The debut of the Hokie Effect Spirit Bus was a success.
In addition to designing the Orange and Maroon Effect T-shirts as usual, the Hokie Effect team and SGA sponsored buses for the first time this year to take students to the Boise State football game in Landover, Md., and the Atlantic Coast Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C.
Former Hokie Effect Director Chris Sykes and Assistant Director Chris Saccoccia thought of the idea last year for the ACC Championships, but when Virginia Tech did not make the game there was no need to bus students to Florida.
Sykes and Saccoccia decided to try their idea for the Boise State game.
“It was the beginning of this year that all that hype with everything going on we went in and we said, ‘It’s a four-and-a-half hour ride to Landover, I think it would be a great thing that Hokie Effect can do,’” Saccoccia said.
“You know, we put out these T-shirts and it’s great, but as far as inspiring that other spirit I think it’s a great service we can give to the students,” he said.
Because of the tremendous success of the bus ticket sales, Kelsey Heiter and Nicole Mottes, the current leaders of the Hokie Effect who were elected in November, worked to bring the service to students again for the ACC Championship Game.
Tickets sold out in two days.
The SGA sponsored the two buses that went to both games. Tech President Charles Steger donated a third bus to the Boise State game.
The tickets to both games were $10 each, but the ride to the Boise State game included a free T-shirt worth $6.
“So it was like a $4 bus ride,” Sykes said. “We recovered almost no cost. It was a big step to take because no one had ever done this before. (The SGA said), ‘We’re going to take however big loss it (is) to really service our students properly.’”
Mottes attributes the project’s success widely to Facebook and hard work at putting the word out.
“I had people messaging me on Facebook trying to get tickets that I had never even met,” she said.
The team’s only regret was the small scale of the project for the first year.
“It would have been really great if we could have just had more,” Saccoccia said.
“It worked really well and I expect they should keep on doing it,” he said. “I’m really excited to see that.”