WEEKEND | 10:00 am | October 7, 2011 | By Akbar Ahmed

Ain’t no party like a Samsonite party

This is what corporate-sponsored fun looks like.
This is what corporate-sponsored fun looks like. Photo by Samsonite.

When supplies run low at tailgates, ADPi bros get anxious, general revelers get annoyed and everyone suddenly remembers that it’s really early and they’re standing on mud. Ew. But at the tailgate before Dartmouth-Yale this Saturday, Yalies will have another option ∏ we can have a backpack strapped onto us and rage rage rage/hang out on a really chill obstacle course.

Having decided that it’s time to rebrand, luggage company Samsonite will be at Saturday’s tailgate with their “Tough Tour,” an “interactive experience” that’s making the rounds of East Coast colleges to promote a new backpack product the company says is ideal for college students.

Emily Holden, a representative from AMP Agency, Samsonite’s partner in the project, said that the “events have received positive feedback from over 850 students participating at each school.” So far, they have been to UMass Boston, Salem State, Boston College, the University of Rhode Island and that school in Cambridge.

What drunken, merry (or bitter, ‘I wish I were asleep’) types can do is enter one of the races on the 100’ by 100’ obstacle course. And, like, run. With a backpack on their back. So that they can (maybe) win a different backpack. That’s pretty meta for a business stunt, but we’ll go with it.

Whether Samsonite should expect 850 Yalies to show on a Saturday morning is questionable. If they get the numbers they want, that’ll put unheard-of pressure on the 0.77 residential college volunteers and the 770 illegal Greek life tailgate organizers who typically supply food and drinks at Yale Bowl tailgates.

But Samsonite does have an armored truck as “an eye-catching and convenient set-up.” For those nervous about New Haven streets, just the chance to see a potential solution to their problems could be a magical pull.

Are you tough enough for Samsonite, readers? Are you going to show them that Yale’s about 7 million times more intense than their next stop, UConn (pfft)? And am I actually asking you to prove your ‘toughness’ to a corporation? You might find the answers to all or none of these questions inside a Samsonite backpack at Saturday’s tailgate.

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