By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer, Video by Joe Pratt | LTVN Sports Director
With football starting this weekend and many other fall sports kicking off, Baylor fans are joining together under a new initiative called “Go Gold.” The goal of this movement is to unite the Bears in the stands by pushing them to wear gold on game days.
“This year, every one of our sports programs will have a Go Gold game,” Jovan Overshown, senior associate athletic director for external operations, said. “We want fans to feel like it’s just a natural pull from your closet game day. So we’re educating on the impact of it, the presence of it and just like [how] green is a dominant color for us. We want people to just naturally want to wear gold.”
Before Nike’s United rebrand of Baylor Athletics in April 2019, the Bears struggled to find a definitive, unified gold color.
“We had a season of many different golds,” Erin Bean, assistant athletic director for strategic marketing and fan engagement, said on the Baylor Connections podcast. “All of our sports teams were wearing a different version of it, and even fans were wearing different versions of it, and it became a little bit diluted.”
However, after 2019, Overshown said the Baylor program focused to promote the two official institutional colors of green and gold.
“They’re distinctive, they’re impactful and we want to try to create a brand presence for Baylor that is known nationally, that you see the colors you know, that’s distinctive for Baylor,” Overshown said. “We’ve really done a lot of work and a lot of pushing at different events and activations to help people naturally and authentically buy into the power of the gold.”
The 2021 Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma State University sparked a push in this Go Gold effort. The overwhelming orange of the Cowboys at the AT&T Stadium seemed to swallow the Baylor fans, who sported a mix of green and gold.
“I say a lot of our fans didn’t get credit for being there because you didn’t see them,” Overshown said. “That was really when we noticed, ‘Hey, fans, this was a good educational opportunity to help you understand how impactful a color like gold can be because you’re seeing your presence is known.’ So we doubled down on that effort and really did a strong Go Gold push for the Sugar Bowl.”
Baylor fans showed up at the 2022 Sugar Bowl in full force. With provided gold pompoms, rally towels and shirts. The fan section was a golden sea.
“Our presence was known. It was powerful. It was impressive,” Overshown said. “You know you really packed a punch and helped create that competitive advantage for those competing on the field.”
Rallying from the impact that the gold movement had against the University of Mississippi, Baylor Athletics looks to the 2022-23 season. The conference home openers for Baylor football, soccer, volleyball and equestrian have been announced as designated Go Gold games. These efforts will continue into the spring season as well.
“I think it’s great for the entire department,” Baylor equestrian head coach Casie Maxwell said. “I think it’s great for our program to be included in that and so I can’t wait to see what it brings out to our first home meet.”
By unifying the fans, Baylor can establish its brand nationally and internationally. The ultimate goal is to push the color so that someone on the street would be able to tell that this gold is Baylor gold.
“We’re trying to put ourselves even further on the map,” Overshown said. “Anything you can do to distinguish a brand at a glance or without any kind of all the contextual cues. It’s important. That only furthers who we are as an institution, as a competitive athletic program, [and] as a big-time program.”
Baylor football has their Go Gold matchup against OSU on Oct. 1. Volleyball hosts Texas Christian University on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. and soccer faces the University of Oklahoma on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. Equestrian will host TCU on Oct. 21.