Meeting West Virginia University for the first time doesn’t happen all at once.

It’s a multilayered process.

There are plenty of buildings and icons stretched throughout campus – the Mountainlair, dorms, Student Rec Center, libraries, PRT, classrooms, Coliseum, just to name a few.

Seems a bit overwhelming for the nearly 6,000 new students at WVU. But no need to fear, your smartphone and WVU’s social media can save you ? and land you some cool prizes.

To introduce the newest batch of Mountaineers to campus, WVU and Collegiate Licensing Co. have teamed up to launch a first-ever social media scavenger hunt, slated for Aug. 29 through Sept. 1.

WVU and Social Media By the Numbers*

YouTube total views: 1,462,113
Facebook fans: 144,459
foursquare followers: 11,822
Twitter followers: 8,924
YouTube subscribers: 1,435
foursquare locations: 106
*as of Aug. 24, 2011

The scavenger hunt is just part of a broader University effort to engage students, alumni and the community in its world of social media. Folks can stay connected to the Mountaineer nation through the University’s pages on Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and YouTube. All are accessible at connect.wvu.edu.

Next week’s hunt is not only designed to help familiarize new students with campus, but challenge the knowledge of WVU history among current students.

Students must follow the University’s Twitter page (@WestVirginiaU) to receive clues and then check in at the correct location using the free foursquare mobile app to win a prize.

Starting Monday (Aug. 29), the University will tweet clues to its Twitter followers. It’s then up to the students to play Sherlock Holmes and decipher those clues to arrive at a specific location. You’ll know you’re at the right spot if you see a big, blue “Let’s Go?Scavenger Hunting” sign. Once there, check in using foursquare.

The first 10 students to check in at a location win a prize. But each student to crack the code still gets a shot at the grand prize – an iPod Touch. All students checking in at these locations will receive an entry card for the grand prize, which will be awarded at the WVU women’s soccer game Sept. 1. Students must bring their entry card to the game and be present for the announcement. All participants will receive a coupon for 30 percent off at Zide’s, the Coliseum Team Shop, during the scavenger hunt week.

There will be two scavenger hunts per day over a four-day period. That means a person can earn up to eight entries for the grand prize.

“This is a perfect opportunity for students to connect with each other and share their stories,” said Nikki Goodenow, trademark licensing coordinator at WVU. “Students will be able to see who’s checking in and hopefully, they can learn about the great places on our campus.”

Other scavenger hunt prizes include $700 worth of gift cards from PINK, $200 in gift cards to Kroger, $200 in gift cards to local restaurants, a $100 gift card to Zide’s Team Shop at the Coliseum, various WVU products and apparel and a prize pack from the WVU Bookstore and UniversiTees on High Street.

Goodenow said the scavenger hunt furthers the University’s integrated social media assault. She also believes it’s a great way for students to form relationships with others and the campus.

“We want to help students learn about campus and connect with other students,” Goodenow said. “This will also engage students on campus with our social media.”

The hunt also coincides with the kickoff of college football and College Colors Day on Sept. 2.

Sponsors of the scavenger hunt include PINK, Zide’s, WVU Bookstore, UniversiTees, Kroger, Texas Roadhouse, Damon’s, Chick-fil-A, Papa John’s, and Jersey Subs.

The scavenger hunt is just the latest in WVU’s aggressive use of social media.

In the two hours leading up to the recent New Student Welcome, students in the Coliseum could throw down for their favorites via texting for battles like “Harry Potter” vs. “Twilight”, soda vs. pop, Brad Paisley vs. Jay-Z, among others.

New students also got to share their thoughts, photos and new experiences by texting or tweeting with the Twitter hashtag #wvuwelcome. Their words and images were displayed on video screens at the Coliseum.

Another hefty social media undertaking included The Final.

To celebrate Commencement 2011, University Relations asked graduating seniors to take one last “Final,” resulting in a compilation of their Mountaineer memories showcased in the form of digital graffiti. Students used Twitter, foursquare and Gowalla to participate. The project also kept tabs on the most popular campus check-ins via foursquare. The video was posted on YouTube.

Similarly, University Relations rolled out a Big East campaign for the men’s and women’s basketball teams last spring during March Madness. University Relations asked fans to show their support by utilizing Facebook and Twitter. To complement drumming up support for the basketball teams, a 30-second video entitled You Want WVU aired throughout the Big East tournament as an invitation for viewers to join WVU in its efforts to change the world.

To see a video promoting the scavenger hunt, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_92zeJ92gbw.

CLC is a division of IMG Worldwide and is the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing company. CLC acts as WVU’s exclusive trademark licensing agent. CLC represents 13 of the 16 basketball Big East Conference member institutions and all eight Big East Conference schools with football programs.

-WVU-

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CONTACT: University Relations/News
304.293.6997

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