College Colors Day: a PR Perspective

With summer coming to an end and schools starting up again, people across the nation are celebrating College Colors Day today, Sept. 2, 2022. College Colors Day is a date of recognition for associated members to show off their pride for an educational institution. But College color day is much more than a day of pride, it’s a day of public relations genius. What makes the two-to-three tones of color on your university sweatshirt just so important? Public relations campaigns based on your college colors bring identity and culture to life as a student. 

For example, Pennsylvania State fans will go every extra mile to show their association with the school. As they gather around the football stadium, students and Penn State fans debut their dedication to the team by wearing school colors. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised seeing shirts that scream, “I bleed blue and white,” walking around campus events. You can say these students really embody their university, and that’s the point. The more people walking around in blue and white, the more talent and funding the school is likely to receive. For this form of campaign, incorporating color identity helps unite people around the interest of the school.

It’s not just Pennsylvania State University using colors to represent who they are, but every college. The point is, when you think of a color combination, the college wants you to think of them. The best forms of PR are the ones that reach not just the main audience, but other publics. Look at Michigan State University’s Instagram page. Every single post, unique on its own, but identical to school culture. Can you tell their main school color is green?

School color became a trending topic around the 1870’s when Kansas University used blue to represent the sky and yellow for corn crops commonly found in the area. This carried through history to other schools. People have worked hard to be a part of educational institutions; they want to celebrate the accomplishment by showing it off. 

Companies in the market have also caught on to the high demand of dorm materials that align with college colors. Nike has even named the specific University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill blue, “University Blue.” Every time a shoe is released with this shade, UNC students are automatically drawn to it because they know it’ll match their wardrobe. 

College colors are trademarked in society, engraved with our interest in where we choose to study. They’ve become so special to schools that you can find lawsuits based on other organizations trying to make a profit from the same color combination associated with a school’s identity. 

So, the next time you wear blue and white or purple and gold, take pride in the creative identity and culture you represent. After all, colors are what make us so different yet so similar in our passion for being a part of something crucial to the success of our future.  

Gracie Cleveland is a fourth-year student at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Wester Chester, Gracie hopes to attain her degree in communications before moving South to pursue her dreams of working in social media related fields. Additionally, she serves as a member of our PRSSA 2022-2023 National Publications Committee. You can connect with Gracie via LinkedIn.

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