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Syracuse University launches #IBleedOrange campaign during Final Four games

Zach Barlow | Asst. News Editor

Fans used the hashtag #IBleedOrange during the Final Four basketball games.

UPDATED: April 24, 2016 at 5:13 p.m.

When both the Syracuse University men’s and women’s basketball teams advanced to their respective Final Fours earlier this month, Orange fans around the world showed their support by using the hashtag #IBleedOrange.

Syracuse University’s social media team planned social media engagement to tap into fans’ passion and excitement, said Maren Guse, SU’s assistant director for digital and social media, in an email.

The #IBleedOrange campaign was launched to show how fans “bleed orange,” Guse said. SU’s social media team planned the #IBleedOrange campaign and then coordinated with SU Athletics and alumni social media accounts to involve their accounts in a larger, coordinated effort, she added in an email.

Photos of babies, pets, current students and alumni were shared to show how they bled orange, Guse said, adding that many of those photos were shared on the university social media accounts, which resulted in thousands of page views. Additionally, on Facebook and Twitter, fans showed support by using downloadable #IBleedOrange cover photos.

By showing support for the teams, alumni such as Carmelo Anthony, Vice President Joe Biden, Mike Tirico and Vanessa Williams helped SU gain more visibility and helped the flagship Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts get more followers, Guse said.

“I think the excitement and the coming together of our community is something that most everyone can understand and want to be a part of, even those who may not generally be a sports fan or connected to Syracuse University,” Guse said.

Student Association President Aysha Seedat, who participated in the #IBleedOrange campaign on Twitter, said in an email that March Madness was a time when her school spirit could not be contained.

She added that even though the men’s and women’s teams weren’t expected to make it as far in their respective tournaments as they did, that did not hinder students’ school spirit.

She also noted that students’ spirit was evident in many of them wanting to take a 32-hour bus ride to Houston and a 12-hour bus ride to Indianapolis, the sites of the two Final Fours.

Seedat also said that, unlike most, her NCAA Tournament bracket had the Syracuse men’s team advancing deep into the tournament.

“Perhaps it was me being sentimental in my last year here, but you always have to believe in your team,” Seedat said.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, the coordinators of the social media engagement plan were misstated. The Syracuse University social media team planned the engagement. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

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