09:31 AM

New campaign encourages Buckeye fans to engage in safe and healthy behaviors

Social media, print, video messages and digital billboards reinforce “home game” message

A season unlike any other is about to kick off for The Ohio State University football team. But before the first whistle blows, Ohio State is asking all Buckeyes to practice safe and healthy behaviors to fight the spread of COVID-19.

A public health campaign will encourage fans to continue to mask up, practice physical distancing and engage in frequent hand hygiene – including on game days.

The “What’s your why?” campaign asks Buckeye fans to share their personal motivations for engaging in safe and healthy behaviors. The campaign builds a sense of community, grounded in why Buckeyes care for others.

“Building on the success of the campaign’s initial launch targeting students, faculty, staff and our local communities in August to support our return to campuses for fall semester, we’re expanding the ‘What’s your why?’ campaign to support the return of our student-athletes to the football field this fall,” said Justin Bell, Ohio State associate vice president of brand experience.

The “What’s your why?” campaign will begin targeting football fans this week through ads deployed across social media, print and digital billboards in campus area neighborhoods and business districts, paired with video messages reminding Buckeye fans to do their part to keep game days safe.

The campaign will continue throughout the football season with new ads and spots launching to keep safe and healthy guidelines top-of-mind for fans. Ohio State is partnering with campus areas businesses to deploy supplemental campaign assets encouraging safe and healthy game day viewing at bars and restaurants.

“We need our students and all fans to watch the games at home and to not have or attend large watch parties,” Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith said this week. “COVID-19 cases are rising, including in Ohio, and we can’t have our games become virus-spreading events. So we’re sincerely asking our fans to avoid large watch parties, don’t come onto campus because there’s no tailgating anyway, and enjoy watching the Buckeyes with family or limited numbers of friends because, this year, every game is a home game.”

Game days will look different this season with no tailgating and no fans in Ohio Stadium. Buckeyes are encouraged to enjoy game day rituals and traditions, safely, whether that’s tailgating in the driveway, watching the game on television with those in your household or engaging in the Ohio State Buckeyes game day livestream.

“Because this season, we’re fighting more than just our opponents or rivals – we’re coming Together as Buckeyes to fight COVID-19,” Bell said. “By each Buckeye doing their part to enjoy game days safely, we’re all doing our part to keep our team playing in the ’Shoe this season.”

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