Aug. 22, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the 2012 University of Notre Dame football season less than two weeks away, the celebration of 125 years of Fighting Irish football (1887-2012) is well underway.
The University last spring introduced a special 125 logo that is being utilized throughout the year on all signage identifying elements of the campaign. The logo will be seen on sideline apparel worn by Irish coaches during 2012 home games and on the back of the Irish helmets for the Sept. 22 Notre Dame-Michigan game.
The “Strong and True” slogan — taken from the University’s alma mater, “Notre Dame, Our Mother” — has been interwoven through various segments of the NDFB125 program.
Although the celebration lasts all fall, the Sept. 22 Notre Dame-Michigan game at Notre Dame Stadium (7:30 p.m. EDT on NBC Sports) will feature special recognition events based on Irish football history dating back to the first Notre Dame game in 1887 against Michigan. The Notre Dame-Michigan relationship qualifies as the original and oldest Football Bowl Subdivision rivalry. Former Irish head coach Ara Parseghian will take part in the flag presentation for that game.
A Web site devoted to 125 years of Irish football has been created at 125.nd.edu. It launched last spring, with three sample “Strong and True” moments featured. Beginning Aug. 27, 125 “Strong and True” moments will be released (one per day) via digital media, along with photo and video galleries. Some of those video moments will be featured at the Notre Dame Football Kickoff luncheons on the Fridays of home weekends.
Former Notre Dame players and fans have been and will be encouraged to engage and participate via the 125 site (as well as social media) by sharing stories, photos and videos of their “Strong and True” experiences via Facebook (facebook.com/ndfootball) and Twitter (@125ndfb). The official NDFB125 site also will feature memories provided by former Irish football players and others connected with the program from their Notre Dame football experiences.
Here are specifics of other elements of the 125-year celebration:
- NDFB125 banners featuring the official logo will be on display at all Notre Dame Stadium gates, as well as at the mediaentrance and on the ticket windows.
- The pennant-style flags that fly over Notre Dame Stadium and normally feature all the different opponent names from that season instead in 2012 will display the NDFB125 logo.
- The light posts surrounding Notre Dame Stadium, in the Joyce and Stadium parking lots and also around the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and the LaBar Practice Complex fields will feature NDFB125 flags.
- A 360-degree megapixel photo will be taken to commemorate the Sept. 22 Notre Dame-Michigan game. Fans will be able to interact with the image via the NDFB125 Web site, tag themselves and share with friends via social media.
- The 2012 Official Notre Dame Football Yearbook features a 125-year Irish football timeline, including more than 140 pages of all-new prose in a scrapbook format and more than 1,200 images. It will be published Aug. 24 and will be sold through the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore on the Notre Dame campus and via UND.com.
- Each of the Notre Dame football game programs (including the version for the Notre Dame-Miami game in Chicago) features a specially-designed, eight-page pullout insert devoted to 125 years of Notre Dame football. Each insert is based on an essay dealing with an aspect of Notre Dame football history.
- Covers of the football games programs feature original art by nationally-known sports artist Tim Cortes from Duluth, Minn. Cortes’ work highlights the NDFB125 celebration and can be seen on all seven program covers (including the Solder Field game).
- Game tickets for the 2012 home season (and the Oct. 6 Soldier Field game against Miami) include both the NDFB125 logo as well as throwback looks based on tickets from past seasons.
- A one-hour television special providing a behind-the-scenes look at the Notre Dame football program will air at 2:30 p.m. EDT, on Oct. 13 (just prior to the Notre Dame-Stanford game) on NBC.
- The Leprechaun Legion, the official student group liaison to the athletics department, is coordinating a celebration of student traditions over 125 years of Notre Dame football.
- The Notre Dame Licensing Office has worked with a variety of its licensees to produce commercial products that include the NDFB125 logo — including everything from pins and pennants to apparel and mini-helmets.
- The 2012 version of “The Shirt” features the NDFB125 logo below the back collar.
- A special NDFB125 commemorative coin has been produced and is being utilized throughout the 2012 season for pre-game coin tosses. A smaller version is being produced for retail sale.
- Legends of Notre Dame, located just south of Notre Dame Stadium, is displaying signage related to the celebration.
- Centerplate, the University’s official athletics concessionaire, has included the 125 logo on commemorative drink cups and popcorn boxes utilized throughout the 2012 football season.
- The South Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau has joined in the celebrationwith a variety of programs — including streets renamed during the football season in both downtown South Bend and Mishawaka. Flags denoting NDFB125 will hang along Michigan Avenue in downtown South Bend all fall, as well as throughout downtown Mishawaka.
- A large version of the official logo will appear throughout September on the side of the parking garage at Main and Colfax in downtown South Bend.
- Hotels in the South Bend-Mishawaka area will feature commemorative room keycards featuring the NDFB125 logo all during the 2012 home season.
— ND —