A crowd of students throw the O during College GameDay

Game on with GameDay

On any other Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m., the University of Oregon campus would be nearly devoid of signs of life. However, on the morning of September 22, 2018, campus was bustling. Groups wearing green and yellow lined up for much-needed coffee at the EMU and the Duck Store before heading to the site of the activity—the Memorial Quad in front of the Lillis Business Complex—where crowds of students, alumni, and sports fans stood holding signs and cheering. ESPN College GameDay was back at the University of Oregon.

Since 2000, the ESPN's pre-game broadcast has set up shop on campus a total of 10 times. The show is known for the excited crowds of fans allowed to gather behind the presenters. Funny signs, mascot antics, and a picturesque backdrop of the host university are its hallmarks.

It's an exciting day for University of Oregon students, and they don't let the early broadcast time stop them from making the most of it.

Beyond the regular excitement of a major television show being aired from campus, it's a special event for business students from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. Student volunteers got a backstage look at the setup and running this complex event, which like a well-oiled machine moves from university to university setting up, broadcasting, breaking down, and starting again at the next location.

Sports and entertainment agency Octagon, who represents GameDay sponsor Home Depot, put volunteers to work as early as 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, handing out sponsor swag, manning booths, and working hospitality for VIP guests.

“I'm trying to take advantage of every opportunity to see different sides of the industry and learn something new," said Mina Magnussen, a second-year MBA shifting her focus from finance to sports business, adding that she'd like to work for an organization like Octagon after graduation.

“The experience was a unique chance to go behind-the-scenes of one of the most popular TV shows in sports and see how Home Depot uses the property to meet their objectives," she said.

After the broadcast ended, the GameDay crew broke down the set, packed up, and were gone in two hours, leaving students with a new insight into this area of the industry and a unique shared experience that will last them a lifetime.

The UO marching band plays in front of the Lillis Business Complex during College GameDay GameDay hosts during broadcast in front of Lillis Business Complex
Replica of Animal House car during a GameDay skit GameDay hosts during broadcast

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—Amanda Miner, Lundquist College Communications