Tomorrow morning, Denton’s daytime population will swell by the thousands as university students begin classes. Last week, Discover Denton deployed Dentoning Experts to UNT’s Mean Green Fling and TWU’s Pioneer Block Party, events designed to welcome students back to school and into the Denton community. Our focus? To begin at the beginning sharing the art of #dentoning so that later, students’ alma mater memories become great stories they tell. We’re developing lifetime ambassadors for Denton.
Dentoning, a word now common in Denton culture, means participation in any facet of Denton life. One such facet that links university and community dentoning like no other is Mean Green football.
The 2016 Mean Green Game Day project kicks off this coming Saturday, September 3, when the Mean Green will play host to SMU at Apogee Stadium for the first game of the season. And what a season it’s going to be! New Athletic Director. New coach. New players. It’s a whole new ballgame.
Mean Green Game Day’s mission is merging the Apogee and downtown experiences during every home game. This year, 16 businesses in the downtown and Fry Street entertainment districts are partnering with Mean Green Athletics, the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the DCTA A-train to fund a massive marketing campaign aimed to students, alumni and Dentonites. And a new major sponsor joins our ranks for the first time: Jagoe-Public Company.
Founded in Denton in 1921, Jagoe-Public is a general contractor company specializing in highway construction and maintenance. We ride on Jagoe’s expertise every day, because they build most of our roads. They were, in fact, the first hot asphalt plant ever in Texas. This is not a downtown business, yet Jagoe-Public is investing big in Mean Green Game Day.
“Jagoe-Public Company is proud to be the official underwriter for the Mean Green Football game day shuttle service!” exclaimed Vice President and General Manager Billy Cheek. “I am a lifetime Denton resident, went to UNT and grew up attending UNT games since the 1970’s. Many of our employees attended UNT as well, and enjoy being a part of the UNT family of supporters. We think sponsoring the game day shuttle is the appropriate way to travel to a Mean Green football game on the roads that Jagoe has been building and maintaining for almost 100 years!”
So what will Mean Green Game Day look like this season?
Jagoe-Public’s sponsored motorcoaches will run a FREE and constant shuttle route between downtown and the pedestrian bridge at Apogee Stadium beginning two hours before kick-off until an hour after every home game. For the SMU game’s 6 p.m. kickoff, shuttles will begin running early, at 3 p.m., to accommodate SMU fans traveling to Denton via DART and the A-train.
Open to anyone, the shuttle route begins at City Hall East (across from the A-train station) with various hop-on/hop-off stops along Hickory, Oak, and Fry Streets. Eight-foot tall banners, wayfinding signs, business banners, green and white pennant flagging and pocket brochures will lead visitors to sponsor businesses, all of whom are offering game day specials. And expect to see Mean Green Game Day attire everywhere! The Discover Denton Welcome Center is downtown headquarters for Game Day. Stop in for free pom-poms to get your game on. And watch our social media channels for game ticket giveaways all season long.
Game day is an event in other college towns. Our family saw it at Texas A&M, our son’s alma mater. In Denton, it’s a process for a changing culture. And with believers like Billy Cheek, our friends at DCTA and our many business sponsors, we are building the same kind of fervor to turn Denton green on game days.
My brother and I are both UNT alums. I’m here all the time, but my brother lives in Rockwall. During 2013’s first season at Apogee, I invited him to a game. Little did I know that was his first visit to Denton since he graduated in 1985. That is the story we are changing! He’s been back several times since then, even bringing his kids to see his alma mater, something that hadn’t occurred to him before his game day experience when he discovered a new Denton than was here 30 years ago.
Mean Green Game Day is the bridge linking students to a complete #dentoning college experience, alums to their alma mater and locals to hometown team loyalty. And #dentoning on Game Day is for everyone, a festival every home game weekend. Check out meangreengameday.com for details. Go Mean Green!