Before the 2012 season started, Penn State men’s soccer players and coaches wanted to find a way to get more involved with the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
After much thought and a lot of team video game playing, the squad decided to intertwine THON with something they love — soccer.
However, this expression of philanthropy from the team doesn’t involve soccer balls and nets, but instead controllers and rechargeable batteries.
The soccer team is co-sponsoring a FIFA 13 video game tournament at Gamers Arena at 421 E. Calder Way, in which all entry fees benefit THON.
“We were trying to think of other ways that we could incorporate THON, and we had already talked about incorporating FIFA somehow… so this was born,” said Jake Borer, marketing and promotions coordinator for Penn State men’s soccer.
The cost to participate in the tournament is $10 per person with an option to buy back into a loser’s bracket for an additional $5 after initial elimination.
After signing up, players will be notified via email by a Gamers Arena representative regarding their time slot.
Currently, the event is set for Monday, Oct. 8, but more dates could be added depending on the interest level and number of signups.
Gamers Arena store manager Marcus Foster said there is no limit to the number of participants and the longevity of the tournament is flexible.
In order to garner interest, the soccer team and Gamers Arena have used social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word.
“We’re hoping that over the next couple of days we can get the word out more, and people can get in here to sign up… We’ve also had marketing interns pass out flyers all around campus,” Borer said.
Not only has the event been advertised via social media, but members of the men’s soccer team have also assisted by promoting the tournament in the HUB-Robeson Center.
“Off the field, we definitely want to involve ourselves in community service, and this is all for the kids, so we’re trying to do our best to help them out,” freshman forward Drew Klingenberg said.
Along with Klingenberg, fellow freshmen Matt Mayewski, Shane Campbell, and Nino Stewart have also helped the effort.
Although the Lions are co-sponsoring the benefit, the actual players won’t be able to show off their FIFA skills.
Due to compliance rules, members of the Penn State men’s soccer are not allowed to compete in the tournament, which has some of the team disappointed.
“Yeah, we’re pretty bummed,” Campbell said, “But I mean, it’s a good tournament, and there’s probably some good players around so it should be interesting to watch.”