By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
Baylor’s Go Gold initiative connects the Baylor and Waco communities with special promotions as part of the Solid Gold Neighbor initiative, striving to foster partnerships between the university and Waco.
Go Gold is composed of three branches: discounts for students, faculty and staff at local businesses with a Baylor ID; scavenger hunt giveaways designed to encourage interaction between the Baylor and Waco communities; and a spirit campaign aimed at cultivating Baylor spirit throughout Waco.
Holly Burchett, director of community relations with Baylor’s Office of External Affairs, said she believes that Waco and Baylor have a symbiotic relationship.
“They’re encouraged to shop and really spend their time locally right here and engage with the community that’s surrounding Baylor,” Burchett said. “We believe that when Baylor faculty, staff and students choose to live and go out and play right there in our city that Waco improves and Baylor improves.”
Krista Brinser, assistant director of community relations with Baylor’s Office of External Affairs, said the Go Gold discount program is about exposing the Baylor community to Waco’s culture and local businesses, and that students may even find their “new favorite Waco hot spot” among its partners.
“Each of those provides a unique and different way to engage, for example—discount partners,” Brinser said. “The easiest way that we can support the growth going on in Waco is if we shop local. Partners from across the community have come to the table willing to offer discounts, [which] in turn will hopefully get the Baylor community shopping with them, eating with them and just using their different services.”
Businesses included in the Go Gold discount program include local favorites like Heritage Creamery and Milo All Day, Waco attractions such as the Dr Pepper Museum and more. Brisner said a relaunched Baylor.edu/Waco webpage is now the “hub for all things Go Gold” and businesses seeking to partner with the Go Gold discount initiative can access the application process online.
Go Gold giveaways involve boxes with prizes hidden around Baylor and Waco, and hints are periodically posted to the Solid Gold Neighbor Instagram account. Burchett said the hidden boxes were designed to encourage crossover between the communities.
“We are hiding a box on campus at Baylor and then also at times one in Waco… the boxes that are on campus for Baylor students encourage you to go and engage in Waco,” Burchett said. “And the boxes that are found in Waco— those are full of opportunities to engage at Baylor. Different tickets will be there for Baylor events, just different opportunities for Wacoans to go and come onto our campus.”
Burchett said anyone hoping to find the giveaway boxes should be alert. New boxes will “pop up at any time” on the Solid Gold Neighbor Instagram without a “rhyme or rhythm” to predict when new boxes are hidden.
Spirit is the final element of the Go Gold campaign, encouraging the Waco community to show its Baylor pride. Brinser said Baylor is “still in the process of building [it] out.”
“It’s sort of something that’s always continually going. We’re encouraging the town to support Baylor and wear their best green and gold on game days,” Brinser said. “We had a proclamation from the city not too long ago… where they proclaimed College Colors Day, so we’re really just trying to rally Waco together behind Baylor as the hometown team.”