App turns crowd’s phones into light show at Thompson-Boling Arena

Orange & White Nation

The excitement surrounding Tennessee basketball largely centers around their #1-ranking. However, Tennessee’s arena-wide synchronized light show is helping amplify that vibe before every home game. 

Think ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’, minus the fight, with thousands of lights taking over Thompson-Boling Arena.

Coca-Cola helped introduce Cue Audio, the company behind the app, to UT Athletics. Even sponsoring the $15,000 it would’ve cost the school for both the Lady Vols and men’s basketball teams for the 2018-2019 season in an effort to elevate the fan experience after the men’s team concluded last year as co-regular season SEC champs.

“We knew our fans could cheer loud, we knew they could create a ton of energy and we take great, great pride in our video intros,” said Jim Delaney with UT Athletics Fan Experience. “Our intros are an experience. So we said, ‘how do we take that experience to another level?’ Well, the fans have to be a part of it.”

Hoops Hype is the free app tailored specifically to Tennessee where fans become a part of the team intro by putting their cell phones up to illuminate the stadium with their flashlights the app synchronizes to video introduction.

“The Tennessee fan base is really educated in basketball and so they are also educated in being loud and then one of the things we came up with last year was ‘feed the floor’ you know everybody says make noise,” Delaney said. “The level of noise you make is just going to energize the guys on the court. So we’re like, ‘feed the floor feed the floor’ and then even with the students we took it a step further and it’s feed the floor and create chaos.”

It’s suggested you download early as cell phone service becomes less reliable as Thompson-Boling Arena fills with fans.

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