This is a tradition that started 3 years ago and signifies the start of the Blue Raider football season. It is a way for the players and fans to reach out to the local communities and rally community support for the Blue Raiders.
According to Brad Smith, MTSU's Assistant Director of marketing and promotions, "This is grass roots marketing at it's best. We are encouraging members of the Blue Raider family and the general public to take part in this event". Smith goes on to say, "We are creating a tradition with 'Paint the Town Blue' to create an awareness about Blue Raider athletics."
The players and fans will meet at the Hall of Fame building on the MTSU campus. They will then be paired up and assigned a certain area to blitz. This will enable the players to reach out to the community. It also give the fans a chance to get to know the players on an individual basis, instead of just a jersey number as the player competes on the field.
Middle Tennessee fan Ken Weber, who will be participating for the 3rd year, says "I enjoy the interaction with the players and the opportunity to introduce them to the businesses within the community. In my experience the players seem to enjoy the expereince also." He goes on to recall a story from last year's 'Paint the Town Blue', "We had a designated time to return back to campus. As it got closer to that time the players I was paired up with, Christopher Sapp and Germayle Franklin, wanted to continue on past our scheduled return time."
One thing that university officals want to emphasize is that this is a family friendly event. They encourage everyone to bring their children and grandchildren. Fourteen year old Culen Adkins is one of those who will be participating this year. "I was there for the first year, but I was very disappointed I had to miss last year.", Adkins states. "I am very excited to be able to help out this year. I enjoy hanging out with the players. I like to watch them during the games, but this gives me a chance to meet them in person."
Everyone is encouraged to be at the Hall of Fame building (next to Greenland Dr. parking lot) by 10 a.m.