Penn State Football: Top 5 Creations by Whiteout Creator Sacked by PSU
Guido D’Elia, the mastermind behind the promotion of Penn State football, was fired, FightOnState.com reported Monday.
A native of Altoona, D’Elia energized fans’ interest in Nittany Lions football after being hired full-time in 2004 as the director of communications and branding for football.
D’Elia helped redirect the focus from late Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and dwindling wins and mounting losses to the Beaver Stadium game-day experience and the school’s long tradition. Meanwhile, he was a trusted adviser to Paterno, who championed the hiring of the marketing guru.
According to the report, Penn State also has cut ties with Mind Over Media, the Pittsburgh-based firm that has produced the Emmy Award-winning “Penn State Football Story.” D’Elia is part-owner of the company, along with Joe Wittkofski, a Penn State graduate.
Under D’Elia’s watch, Penn State became “The Greatest Show in College Football,” according to Sports Illustrated on Campus.
“I, along with Paternoville officers past and present, had the chance to work with Guido in a capacity that most students and fans did not,” said Paternoville president John Tecce. “I appreciated his requests for our opinions on topics related to the game-day experience, and it means a great deal to us to know that our opinion was valued. He enhanced the Penn State football game experience to a level it had previously not seen.”
D'ELIA'S TOP FIVE GAME-DAY INNOVATIONS
Here are five of D’Elia’s signature contributions to the Penn State football program during his eight-year run:
1. Best Student Section In The Nation — Ever since ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s famous crowning of the Penn State student section, D'Elia marketed the name to the fullest. The name can even be seen over Gate A, the student entrance at Beaver Stadium.
2. Whiteout — Maybe the most recognizable aspect of a big game in Happy Valley, the Whiteout’s origin has been debated by most Penn State fans, but the nation first caught a glimpse of its effectiveness in 2005 as the Penn State student section came dressed in white. In 2007 the effect was taken a step further as every Penn State fan in attendance was asked to wear white for what has become an annual Whitehouse.
3. “Gladiator” — Many of the videos Penn State fans have seen before games have come at the hand of D’Elia. The most famous video was set to the theme of the 2000 Oscar-winning film, “Gladiator.” The D’Elia-led creation celebrated the tradition of Penn State football.
4. Kernkraft 400 (Zombie Nation) — First making its appearance in 2005, Kernkraft 400 — a techno mix by Zombie Nation — became the unofficial fight song of Penn State football played over Beaver Stadium’s speakers after each big play. Kernkraft 400 was originally used several times a game, but an examination of Beaver Stadium following the 2005 Ohio State game showed the jumping that took place during the playing of Kernkraft 400 actually loosened bolts throughout the stadium. After that, its use was limited to key play sand moments in the game.
5. Stadium Décor — Under D’Elia’s direction, the interior of Beaver Stadium was classed up, enhancing the clean traditional look that has symbolized Penn State football. Stone was added to the walls surrounding the playing field and an iron gate was added to the south tunnel.