The 2015 college football season officially kicks off Thursday, Sept. 3 (7:00 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1 as Utah hosts Michigan, and FOX Sports is literally hitting the road in anticipation.
The FOX Sports 1 Opening Drive tour – highlighted by a full-sized tour bus wrapped in khaki fabric celebrating the look made famous by first-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh – launches Saturday, Aug. 22, from Ann Arbor. The bus visits eight more cities en route to its final destination of Salt Lake City for the showdown between Michigan and Utah, where Harbaugh takes to the sidelines for the first time as head coach of his alma mater.
“Iconic coaches and players have been immortalized in a variety of ways – whether it’s a bronze bust, a statue or a plaque – but rare is the man who is celebrated with a full-sized tour bus,” said Robert Gottlieb, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Marketing. “We’re so excited to take this bus around the country, meet with fans and promote our great college football schedule.”
The bus makes its first stop in Ann Arbor at the campus M-Den at 10:30 AM ET on Saturday, Aug. 22, and then makes the short trip to Detroit for an appearance at Comerica Park that night as the Tigers host the Texas Rangers on FOX Sports 1 (7:00 PM ET). Next, the tour heads west, visiting the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago, followed by stops in Cincinnati, New York City, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis, before pulling in to Salt Lake City. The full schedule is below.
Fans are encouraged to come out and take pictures with the bus, enjoy its many activities and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FS1OpeningDrive. In addition to the one-of-a-kind bus, the tour also includes Jim Harbaugh lookalikes, FOX Sports robot Cleatus and fan giveaways, plus regular entries from Eddie Maisonet, a blogger from FOX Sports Digital’s Yardbarker content network. Maisonet chronicles the sights and sounds at www.thesportsfanjournal.com on Twitter at @EdTheSportsFan, and on Periscope and Snapchat accounts, while FOX Sports documents the journey via its CFB on FOX Facebook and Twitter platforms. The bus and Harbaugh lookalikes will be featured on MLB games on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Regional Networks; FOX Sports 1 signature studio programs AMERICA’S PREGAME and FOX SPORTS LIVE; and several local FOX affiliate morning shows throughout the country.
FOX Sports kicks off the 2015 college football season with seven games over four days on Labor Day weekend, including the highly anticipated debut of Harbaugh as head coach at his alma mater when Michigan travels to Salt Lake City to open the season against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3 (7:00 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1. That matchup is one of nearly 100 games telecast on FOX Sports’ national and regional platforms this season, comprising a schedule that features top contests from the Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA on FOX broadcast network, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Networks (FSN), FOX College Sports (FCS), FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO.
For more information on FOX Sports’ college football coverage, including schedules, photography, biographical information and more, visit FOX Sports Press Pass.
Full schedule available in PDF below.
FOX SPORTS 1OPENING DRIVE BUS FUN FACTS
• The bus is wrapped in 1,300 square feet of fabric – enough for 52 pairs of Harbaugh khaki pants
• The fabric is stitched together with 1,100 feet of thread – enough to go the length of three football fields
• The belt is 540 inches – enough width to make belts for the entire Michigan offense or 15 belts for Harbaugh
• An equal-sized Sharpie could sign approximately 91,000 autographs
• An equal-sized whistle would generate over 140 decibels – louder than a college football crowd or a jet engine
• Six gallons of adhesive were used to apply the fabric – enough to fill a sideline water cooler
• The application of fabric took 211 man hours – more than enough time to cover the opening week games for all 14 Big Ten teams.
The FOX Sports 1 Opening Drive was created in partnership with Bespoke Sports & Entertainment, a collective of experienced creatives and marketers who broke away from the big agency world to deliver a more personalized service offering to brands. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Bespoke specializes in strategic consulting, creative development and brand activations/tours for its clients