The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Legion’ expands to unify Irish fans at sporting events

Drew Pangraze | Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Leprechaun Legion is seeking to expand its presence to Notre Dame sporting events beyond Purcell Pavilion.

Currently, the Leprechaun Legion holds the label of fan section at Notre Dame basketball games, but sophomore Matthew Cunningham and the rest of the Legion Board hope to shed this label and extend to sports such as soccer and baseball.

“We’re taking the brand name, ‘Leprechaun Legion,’ and using it to address the entire student body as a collective fan group,” Cunningham said.

In addition, the administration of the Legion Board will be expanding to include an Executive Council — a group of individual sport leaders — and a Board of Student Representatives. 

Cunningham said the goal of the additional boards is to generate as much input from as many different student perspectives as possible.

“Essentially, we want the Legion Board to be the student athletic department,” Cunningham said.  “It’s a channel for students to be able to voice their opinions about Notre Dame sports. The Legion Board provides a more formal way to do that.”

Junior Kristen Stoutenburgh, Legion Board representative, said small steps are helping the Leprechaun Legion expand.

“At the hockey game this Friday, there will be a Leprechaun Legion giveaway to raise awareness and get people excited,” she said. “We’re also planning to get banners printed that say ‘Leprechaun Legion’.  They will be placed in every student section at every sporting event so students will know where to sit.”

In addition, Stoutenburgh said students can help spread the word through the clothing they wear.

“There’s also a Leprechaun Legion T-shirt that was just designed,” she said. “We will distribute free Legion T-shirts at men and women’s sporting events, so students can wear them at every home sporting event except football.”

Throughout the expansion process, the Legion Board has been working closely with ‘The Shirt’ committee, Cunningham said.

“We admire the unity that ‘The Shirt’ committee has been able to create at the football stadium,” he said. “We want to work with them to continue to grow the overall student experience with the Leprechaun Legion.”

The Legion also utilizes social media to help spread the word. Students can follow them on Twitter (@leplegion) and on their Facebook page, junior Tyler Moorehead, who is and vice president of the Legion Board, said.

“We use the social media to frequently remind students of the various sporting events on campus,” he said. “We also use the social media to post articles regarding Irish teams, give score updates, post fun Irish facts and insights and notify students of gameday promotions and giveaways.”

Ultimately, Moorehead said he hopes the expansion will entice students to turn to the Legion for all their sporting needs.

“I think our ultimate goal is for [the Legion] to be Notre Dame students’ first stop when they want to learn anything about Irish athletics,” he said.