Following a monthlong social media contest, the University announced 'Wicked Blue' as the winning nickname of its new — blue — field hockey turf. The announcement was made at halftime during the team’s debut clash on the field.
The nickname, one of more than 200 submitted by students, alumni and community members, was submitted by David Alaimo of North Andover. Alaimo has a connection to the field, as he will watch his daughter, Hope, take the turf as a freshman defender. The team presented him with a framed print of the nickname, signed by the players, at halftime of the match with Northwestern.
The contest was a joint effort between the University’s Office of University Relations and the Department of Athletics and used social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and online voting. More than 4,500 votes came in over several days, but a clear winner was chosen by fans.
"The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of Wicked Blue, which garnered almost half of the votes," says Scott Donnelly, assistant athletic director of Marketing and Promotions. "It has regional flair and highlights the field's bold color."
The new blue turf is part of a $2 million facilities upgrade that included the neighboring soccer and lacrosse field in the Lester Cushing Field Complex. The color makes field hockey play more visible than a green field, and is one of only a handful in the country. The hue’s perfect match to the University’s colors is an added bonus for student athletes and fans, as it’s clearly visible from the VFW Highway.
"We wanted to make a statement as we enter our first year in Division I as a member of the America East Conference," says Dana Skinner, director of athletics. "Broadening awareness of the University is always a goal and the blue field has already generated a great deal of interest."
To see the field hockey team in action on Wicked Blue, check their upcoming game schedule.