If you have been to a recent Brown home game and noticed people with red wigs, megaphones and colorful costumes, you’ve met the Brown Hype Squad. The new Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative has aimed at improving numerous facets of Brown University Athletics, both on and off the field. In an effort to increase fan attendance and participation at home games, a group of student athletes decided to found the “Brown Hype Squad.”
Kelvin Queliz, associate director of athletics, strategic communications and content creation, helped facilitate the creation of the Brown Hype Squad and is excited about its early impact. “The Hype Squad promoting home events and being represented has provided a first-class ‘street team’ of sorts that has grown organically,” Queliz said. “Fans and the community have loved the red wigs, beads, mega phones, etc … it really rivals a student section that you see at Power Five games.”
The Hype Squad is a student organization that markets sporting events in order to promote fan support and attendance. Fans have had ample opportunity to engage in creative cheers while being led by the two Hype Squad founders, women’s lacrosse player Margaret Woodberry ’24.5 and women’s hockey player Meadow Carman ’24.5.
Woodberry and Carman pitched the idea at the September Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting. The idea was centered around increasing school spirit surrounding athletic teams by growing the number of fans filling the stands. In doing so, Woodberry and Carman hoped the Hype Squad could help unify the school community.
“We all know what it’s like to perform in front of a crowd versus (in) an empty stadium,” Carman said. “Our goal is to entertain and build anticipation and buzz around all of our Brown Athletics events. We want our athletes and our students to get the best possible experience out of Brown and we believe we can contribute to that with the Hype Squad.”
In addition to bridging the gap between students and student athletes, the Hype Squad has worked to build a Brown Athletics fan base throughout the Providence area. They have created activities that engage fans, such as a “punt, pass (and) kick” contest and a “dizzy bat” race during breaks in games. What has been the most well received, according to Woodberry, has been the comedic and loud entertainment the group brings — something that she emphasized is just about being themselves. “It isn’t really set in stone yet, but I feel like right now Meadow and I are kind of spearheading the group,” Woodberry said. “Overall we are just being ourselves, which (means being) absolutely crazy at any sports games we can make it to and making utter fools of ourselves in the stands.”
The Hype Squad has been making an effort to recruit new members and implement a form of inclusivity that allows for any and all students to join in on the fun and cheer on Brown’s sports teams. Woodberry added that anyone who is passionate about expressing their school spirit is highly encouraged to join the group and can keep up to date with all things athletics thanks to their social media presence. A position on Hype Squad is paid, and the group has around 20 members. “Anyone who is interested in joining the Hype Squad should do it; you don’t have to be an athlete,” she said.
The group is excited to continue to work to implement a new tradition to Brown Athletics. As games continue, according to Woodberry and Carman, the Hype Squad will continue to make their presence felt through their promotions, halftime activities and red wigs.