Fan shirts: you can find people wearing them anywhere, from dorm buildings to sporting events, as they are a popular trend here at Elizabethtown College. The shirts are sold individually through team members, and anyone can buy them. This is just one of the ways that Etown’s sports teams are advertising and helping students become more spirited and involved with all the different athletic programs.
The track and field team just started selling fan shirts this year. They sold them for about two weeks when they began practicing, but they plan on selling more during the spring semester. Members of the team advertised the shirts to friends, family and through social media tools like Facebook. The track and field shirts have the words “Etown Track and Field” on the front with pictures of all the track events as well. The back of each player’s shirt usually has the athlete’s last name or nickname. Since this fundraiser is very recent to this team, they are hoping it will bring more school spirit to their track meets and team as a whole.
Sophomore and 400-meter-hurdler Alexandra Christ explained through an email interview, “I know that there are many great runners here on the track team who should be recognized more for their amazing accomplishments, but sadly track and field tends to be looked over. I think if more attention was placed on the team then people would really see and appreciate all of the hard work, time, patience and determination we have.”
Christ wrote that she has sold about six shirts to friends and family. The track and field team is hosting the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship meet (MAC) here at Etown this year and is hoping that students on campus will take an interest and cheer them on.
“We all try our hardest in every meet and are constantly pushing ourselves to get better,” Christ said of her teammates. “We leave it all on the track and never look back. We are more than just a team; we are an unbreakable family.”
The men’s basketball team has also just started selling fan shirts this semester. Co-captain and senior Dan Silver said that he carries his forms with him everywhere and asks anyone he meets or knows if they are interested in buying a fan shirt. He believes that once his team has stopped selling the shirts, they will have sold over 500 shirts.
The front of their shirt has the Blue Jay logo, with “Elizabethtown Men’s Basketball 2011-2012” written underneath. When you purchase a shirt, you can get any last name of a member of the team written on the back with the player’s number. Silver also said that if anyone is interested in purchasing a basketball fan shirt, they should contact him by e-mail at SILVERD@etown.edu.
The men’s tennis team has been selling their shirts since the beginning of October, but are currently not selling them. Junior Paul Whitman said that the team sells about 100 shirts per year. The front of their shirt has the new Blue Jay logo with “Elizabethtown Tennis” with the possibility of having a player’s last name on the back.
Whitman said that when he sees someone wearing one of his team’s shirts, he feels very accomplished. He has purchased a fan shirt from each team at Elizabethtown that sells them, as well as other club shirts.
Whitman believes it increases support and a fan base when someone buys a shirt. The profit of the shirts goes to the team and contributes to their spring break trips every year to Hilton Head, S.C. Whitman wrote in an email interview, “I personally feel that owning a fan shirt for different sports is a great idea for support of that player and you can wear it whether going to the gym or to class. They are fairly nice shirts that can be worn whenever.”
Supporting our teams and clubs on campus is important in keeping up school spirit and helping our classmates. Buying fan shirts is just one way of supporting someone or an entire team. The teams that currently sell them are women’s lacrosse, field hockey, men’s tennis, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, track and field and more.
Silver believes that since Etown is a smaller school, we sell more fan shirts than a larger state school because “people know the students on the athletic teams and would like to show their support any way they can.”