Football Team Poster Giveaway Part of Public Relations Blitz Through State College
Penn State football players called an audible Wednesday as part of a public relations campaign designed to capture the hearts and minds of their fans.
The players fanned out across State College to personally hand out copies of the 2014 Penn State football team posters.
Four buses, packed with players and thousands of posters, hit the streets at about 5:30 p.m.
Two buses stopped at Calder Way just off Garner Street. Another bus headed to Colonnade Plaza, stopping near the Wegman's grocery store. The fourth bus was sent to the Nittany Mall.
Head coach James Franklin, just back from a daylong series of appearances on ESPN, led his troops off the first bus. The players followed behind -- many of them toting plastic bags stuffed full of posters.
Strolling down College Avenue, Franklin told StateCollege.com, "We're just trying to have some fun and raise awareness" about the 2014 season.
The poster, titled "Unrivaled," features a photo of about a dozen players.
Franklin was clearly having fun, waving, fist bumping and posing for photos.
"Get those people across the street," Franklin called to anyone willing to listen. Players marched down the street handing out posters to delighted fans. Some players stood in the road passing out posters to passing drivers.
Franklin was in his element, marching into the Inferno restaurant to greet fans sitting inside. He tapped on the windows at the Tavern restaurant -- no doubt startling diners at their tables.
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg was in the thick of it and appeared to relish his role as a public relations ambassador. At one point, Franklin accepted a woman's request to talk with her husband -- on the phone -- a move which produced some comical moments.
Franklin, waiting for the call to go through, kept up a running commentary. "I think I'm on hold," he said, followed by, "He hung up!"
A second call produced the desired result with Franklin thanking the man for being a Penn State football fan. About an hour after the giveaway began, the players got back on the bus, leaving a lot of smiling football fans in their wake.