OU announces July 1 SEC Celebration

Post by University of Oklahoma Athletics

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma and OU Athletics Department are excited to announce plans for a series of special, free public events celebrating the Sooners’ historic move to the Southeastern Conference that will officially take place Monday, July 1.

The celebration, sponsored by Riverwind Casino, will feature a full slate of fun activities for fans of all ages on OU’s Norman campus, including SEC Network programming, the athletics department’s popular summer equipment sale and open houses at the Barry Switzer Center and Love’s Field, with additional morning events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It will culminate with a free and family-friendly “Party In The Palace presented by motorola razr” from 5-10 p.m. inside Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, with live music, appearances from OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. and OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione, and a drone show above Owen Field.

“Entering the Southeastern Conference marks a transformative new era for the University of Oklahoma and all of Sooner Nation,” said Harroz Jr. “This day of celebration is a tribute to our iconic traditions, relentless pursuit of excellence and the indomitable spirit of Sooner Magic. We can’t wait to bring our passion and pride to the SEC, and this event provides the perfect opportunity for the OU Family to come together and celebrate all that lies ahead.”

“This day is years in the making, so it’s appropriate for us to come together and celebrate,” added Castiglione. “We couldn’t be more excited to join the SEC. Our teams are poised for success and look forward to the competition with many of America’s most outstanding universities. At Oklahoma, we have a story to tell, and we’re invigorated by the opportunity with which we’re presented to share with the world what makes OU so special. Our resolute commitment to our student-athletes and their success and to our fans and their experience will only strengthen with this move. We can’t wait to welcome thousands of new people to our community as well as spread Sooner Magic throughout the SEC.”

Read on for additional celebration details.

Race to the SEC 5K Glow Run

Celebratory festivities will get started at 11 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, with a “Race to the SEC” 5K glow run that will take participants through the heart of OU’s campus. The 5K will begin on Brooks Mall immediately north of Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and conclude at Owen Field’s 50-yard line. For a $24.25 entry fee, race participants will receive an official OU x SEC T-shirt, official bib, glow sticks and a custom medal. COOP Sooner Schooner All-American Ale will be available after the run, and at midnight — as OU officially becomes an SEC member — a “Flip the Switch” fireworks show will be held at the stadium. To register and for more details, visit www.runsignup.com/racetotheSEC.

Midnight Madness Sale

Also at midnight, fans will have their first opportunity to purchase officially licensed OU-branded SEC merchandise as part of a Midnight Madness Sale at a special OU x Jordan Brand shoebox pop-up shop located on Owen Field inside the stadium. Merchandise will also go on sale at midnight at shop.soonersports.com.

“Wake Up in the SEC” Events in OKC and Tulsa

On Monday, July 1, “Wake Up in the SEC” celebratory events will be held in Oklahoma City and Tulsa from 8-9:30 a.m., with both featuring prominent guests. The Oklahoma City breakfast will take place at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill (310 Johnny Bench Dr.) and feature OU President Joseph Harroz Jr., Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione and other special OU guests, including head coaches. In Tulsa, the breakfast will be held at Mother Road Market (1124 S. Lewis Ave.) and include the SEC Network’s Dari Nowkhah (an OU alumnus), OU Vice President Susan Bynum, former OU head football coach Barry Switzer, other headlining guests and the Sooner Schooner. The Pride of Oklahoma and OU Spirit will be present at both locations.

Sooner Schooner Roadshow Final Stops

Fans will have the opportunity to take photos with the official OU Conestoga as it concludes the Oklahoma Sooner Schooner Roadshow. The final leg will include stops in Tulsa and Oklahoma City prior to making its way home that evening to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Norman Pep Rallies

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Pride of Oklahoma and OU Spirit will help lead pep rallies at seven different Norman business districts for 30-45 minutes each.

Summer Equipment Sale

The popular OU summer sale of equipment, shoes, apparel and other items will make its return from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Mosier Indoor Track Facility, one block east of the stadium. Merchandise will include football helmets (traditional crimson and white alternates), football jerseys, cleats, Jordan Brand and Nike apparel and shoes, cold-weather gear, baseball equipment (including a large selection of bats), workout shirts from most sports and much more. In addition, the sale will include a large number of televisions up to 55 inches, as well as enlarged photographs that were displayed in OU Athletics offices and facilities.

SEC Network Programming

SEC Network will broadcast from Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium from 2 to 8 p.m. “The Paul Finebaum Show” will kick off the network’s coverage immediately north of the stadium from 2 to 6 p.m., and the first 300 fans at the opening of the show will receive a free OU x SEC T-shirt. “SEC Now: Live from Oklahoma” will air from 6 to 8 p.m. in the north end zone inside the stadium with Nowkhah and Alyssa Lang hosting.

OU fans will also receive their own individual warm welcome to their new league, as SEC Network will bring them into an open house on Owen Field to experience everything the SEC will have to offer: live games, studio programming, original content and much more. Each room in the house will take fans on a journey inspired by the variety of programming and rich history of SEC Network, giving them a taste of everything they’ll have to look forward to.

“Party In The Palace presented by motorola razr”

The Athletics Department is excited to host a special “Party In The Palace presented by motorola razr” event on the stadium field starting at 5 p.m., with plenty of food and drink options available. Fans will have the opportunity to enter Owen Field via the Sooners’ team tunnel, and the event will feature retail activations (including an OU x Jordan Brand shoebox pop-up shop), music DJ, basketball court, bounce house, obstacle course, face painting, balloon artist, gaming trailer, mechanical bull, photo booth, the Sooner Schooner and more.

Open Houses

From 5 to 7 p.m., OU Athletics will host open-house events at the Barry Switzer Center (lobby and weight room areas) and Love’s Field, the Sooners’ new softball stadium. Fans will have the opportunity to take photos with select OU coaches and other influencers.

Live Music, Pep Rally and Drone Show

Live music will be featured inside the stadium from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and will be followed by a pep rally with the Pride of Oklahoma and OU Spirit, as well as short addresses from President Joseph Harroz Jr. and Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. The evening will close with a drone show at 9:50 above the south end zone.

Shop and Hop Challenge

Oklahoma fans are encouraged to discover Norman while shopping for new OU x SEC attire throughout the day on July 1. Fans can engage in a ‘passport challenge’ using the Visit Norman app. The greater the number of visits they make to participating stores, the higher their chances of winning one of five grand prizes by presenting their passport at “Party In The Palace” that evening.

Student-Centric Celebration Forthcoming

To ensure students have an opportunity to fully participate in festivities, the university and athletics department will host a celebratory event featuring a musical artist scheduled near the start of the fall semester. Additional details are forthcoming.

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