On June 16, the official BYU Twitter account teased Cougar fans with a new hashtag to talk about: #BYU50
BYU Cougars (@BYUcougars) June 17, 2014
Speculations ran wild about what #BYU50 meant. The most plausible explanation at the time revolved around the fact that LaVell Edwards Stadium turns 50 years old this year. Would there be new renovations to the stadium? Would BYU finally build a statue to legendary head coach LaVell Edwards in front of the stadium that bears his name?
Well, no. Not even close. #BYU50 turned out to be a neat BYU merchandise giveaway.
According to the official announcement on the BYU Football Facebook page, BYU is going to be giving out "Fan Boxes" every day in a different state starting July 10 (twice on Saturday, none on Sunday) until BYU's season opener at UConn on Aug. 29. As it happens, July 10 is exactly 50 days away from the season opener, so BYU will have the giveaway in all 50 states.
Hence the 50 in #BYU50.
Is this the epic announcement for which some fans were hoping? Maybe not. Still, there isn't a Cougar fan out there who wouldn't like the prizes in these Fan Boxes.Here's a picture of one from Ben Wilson at KFAN:
The Fan Boxes will contain a football signed by some of BYU's greatest quarterbacks, a replica jersey, a BYU end-zone pylon and more Cougar swag. At least one of these boxes will be given out in each state, and BYU's Sports Marketing Twitter account confirmed that some states will have multiple boxes.
Specific dates, states and cities will be announced soon.
Yes, BYU fans would probably like to have seen a bigger announcement, such as another scheduling deal, an Edwards statue or, dare I say, an invitation to the Big 12. But for what it is, this is a sweet marketing campaign that emphasizes BYU's national footprint.
Besides, I want one of those Fan Boxes.
Lafe Peavler is a staff sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.