This past fall, UW Athletics sponsored a very successful Think Pink campaign in support of research for breast cancer that brought athletes and students together in a very spirited way. This term, with a similar goal of building school spirit across campus, UW Athletics is hosting the third annual Ultimate Warrior Contest during the month of January. By showing black and gold spirit at any one of four qualifying varsity games, students may be chosen to compete for the crown of Ultimate Warrior and presented with a $2,000 trip voucher to anywhere in the world. This ultimate prize has no expiry date and no limitations on destination, so students can choose to use it however they want.
With the first qualifying event already passed on Jan. 11 (at which Emma McMillan was the victor in an on-ice relay race) all full-time students have three more games they can attend in order to win. This Friday at 7 p.m. (Jan. 18), there is a men’s volleyball game versus McMaster in the PAC; on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., there is a women’s hockey game versus York at CIF, and there is a women’s basketball game on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. Women’s versus Brock in the PAC. At each game, four fans will be chosen by the Ultimate Warrior Committee for a qualifying competition, with the winner of that competition earning the opportunity to advance to the finale on Jan.30 at the men’s basketball game versus Brock in the PAC.,from the crowd This will actually be the second wildcard participant selected; the first one will be selected ahead of time by having students submit a one-minute video that will explain why they are the Ultimate Warrior.
However, getting the chance to participate in the finale is not as easy as showing up to the games. Officials will be looking for fans showing their school spirit by decking themselves out in black and gold clothing and cheering on the Warrior athletes with as much enthusiasm and spirit as possible. The Ultimate Warrior will be someone who convinces more students to come out to the varsity sport games and also encouraging other fans at the games to show enthusiasm and help cheer on the Warriors.
According to Jenny MacKay, the marketing and events coordinator for UW Athletics, the idea for the Ultimate Warrior contest actually came from a student: “It all started with a co-op student a few years ago who really wanted a major event to occur in the Winter term since we have Think Pink in the fall term. This student recognized the need to increase school spirit across campus [and] thought this could be a great way to achieve that initiative.” The student’s idea was evidently a success as this is now the third year of the Ultimate Warrior contest, although aspects of it have changed since its inception. This year, the big innovation is the introduction of social media.
In MacKay’s mind, “the ease of promotion via Social media is something we’re relying on. For those on Twitter, we’re encouraging them to use #ultwarrior when tweeting about the series, for example. We also have a Facebook event that we encourage students to join to find out all the up-to-date information.” Beyond promotion, social media is also essential to the selection of the first wildcard participant as students must submit their videos via Twitter by using the #ultwarrior hastag or via Facebook by tagging “Waterloo Warriors.”
“The main goal is to encourage students to get involved and have some fun!” said Mackay. “We’re all warriors here on campus so this is a great chance for everyone to show why they deserve to be named the Ultimate Warrior.”