What is the Iowa Hawkeyes Wave?

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Courtesy: University of Iowa Athletics

Community traditions have a way of engaging and strengthening brands – particularly when it involves football and kids.

The stadium wave has been a part of sports since the late ‘70s.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, the wave occurs in a packed stadium when successive groups of spectators briefly stand, yell, and raise their arms. Immediately upon stretching to full height, the spectators return to their seated positions.  The result is a wave of standing spectators that morphs through the crowd, even though individual spectators never move away from their seats.

The wave phenomenon reportedly started at National Hockey League games, but the first video documentation of a wave was from an Oakland A’s baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Oct. 15, 1981.

Now, there’s a new version of the wave.  It’s called the “Iowa Wave.”  The idea was born on social media when an Iowa fan suggested that the team should think of something to cheer up the children in the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital that overlooks Kinnick Stadium.

The top floor of the hospital, which was completed just before the 2017 season, features a "Press Box" where patients and families can come together on home game Saturdays to watch the Hawkeyes play. From the windows of the press box, there's a near-perfect view of Kinnick Stadium for patients to cheer on their beloved Hawkeyes.

So, during home football games at the University of Iowa, the Hawkeyes team and the entire stadium does its own wave.  At the end of first quarter the fans turn from the field to wave to the children watching from the windows of the hospital. Children often tape signs and posters to the windows in their rooms in support of the team and now, fans support them back with the Iowa Wave.

How do you root against that?

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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