Sac State sports fans have a tradition of getting behind their teams, sharing a “Stingers Up!” spirit that brings to life Hornet Stadium, the Hornets Nest, and other Green & Gold fields of play.
That passion for Hornet athletics received a measure of focus in the summer of 2009 when what was called the “Green Army” was formed, organizing students into an official rooting arm of the University.
That army now is being transformed, and its new version, The SWARM, is looking for fired-up fans who want to bring their energy to Sac State games as part of a group of like-minded members of the campus community. It is a new look and feel, but steeped in Sac State tradition.
Rebekah Hopkins, a kinesiology major and former Green Army member, is making the transition to The SWARM.
“I chose to be a part of Green Army and now The SWARM because I love being a part of the athletics community,” Hopkins said. “I enjoy getting fans and students excited about Hornet athletics.”
She said she wants the atmosphere at Sac State athletic events to resemble that portrayed on game days at other universities, “where fans and students are passionate participants in the game.”
“They have their own chants, cheers and dances. That is what I hope to see at Sacramento State,” Hopkins said. “I think the rebranding of … The SWARM will give us the opportunity to do all of those things.
“(It) will help Sacramento State students take pride in the great competition we have on campus.”
So, why The SWARM?
Dallas Smith, the University’s director of ticket operations and fan engagement, provides rationale for the rebranding.
“Over the past year, athletics has put an emphasis on increasing engagement with our student body,” Smith said. “Green Army paved the way for that engagement to happen, but the SWARM now allows us to refocus our efforts in creating a strong community of sports fans."
A “passionate and dedicated” student fan base is what Smith says is necessary to boost Hornet pride across campus.
SWARM membership is free and comes with plenty of benefits, including:
- Official SWARM T-shirts, provided to members each year throughout their academic careers.
- Priority seating at all home athletic events.
- Opportunity to participate in exclusive halftime contests.
- Invitations to special SWARM socials and events.
- Exclusive road trips to away athletic events such as the Causeway Classic when it’s at UC Davis.
- The SWARM newsletter with updates about game days and other events and offers.
Interested students can join The SWARM by registering online. Once signed up, new members will receive a membership confirmation email from Sac State athletics. Members also will receive weekly e-newsletters containing information about all of that week’s activities.
Organizers say that members of The SWARM, which is overseen by the Athletic Department, will be encouraged to support all of Sac State’s 21 Division I sports, and they emphasize the importance of creating an exciting atmosphere for all home games, matches and events.
Athletic Director Mark Orr says that, in addition to offering a fun group in which to participate, a great spirit section can serve a practical purpose.
“When The SWARM has a large number of students in attendance cheering on the Hornets, it makes Sacramento State one the toughest places for our opponents to visit,” Orr says. “In addition, our Hornet student-athletes feed off of the electric atmosphere, energy, and enthusiasm that The SWARM provides.”
The SWARM is expected to be organized and up and running in time to travel to the Causeway Classic at UC Davis on Nov. 17.
For more information about The SWARM and how you can be involved with Sacramento State Athletics, please call 916-278-2222 or email Dallas Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow The SWARM on Instagram @theswarmsacstate. – Sac State Athletics