SDSU tries for pillow fight record

A former N’Sync member, 4,500 pillows and a major rivalry football game can only add up to one thing: a giant pillow fight that breaks a Guinness World Record.  At the Nov. 22 football game against USD, Super 8 and SDSU have partnered with Guinness to do just that.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Super 8 hotels, which started in Aberdeen in 1974. In honor of the anniversary, the hotel chain decided to plan a major event in the birthplace of the brand, said Mike Mueller, Super 8 brand senior vice president. 

“As a company, we’re extremely proud of what the brand has been able to achieve and so naturally we wanted to do something to mark our 40th milestone in a big way,” Mueller said.

Between the first and second quarter of the SDSU vs. USD game, a number of different groups, from Super 8 and its partner agencies, the people from Guinness and SDSU, will facilitate the record-breaking pillow fight, Mueller said.

“It’s a big undertaking. A lot of people would compare it to planning a wedding: you work for months and months and then finally, when the day gets here, it’s all over really, really fast,” Mueller said.

According to Mueller, bringing in a celebrity host was a ‘natural fit’ for the event. The brand approached Joey Fatone to help facilitate the event. Fatone will come out between the first and second quarter to officially start the pillow fight. The fight must last for at least 60 seconds in order to qualify for the Guinness World Record.

A representative of the Guinness team will be present at the event to ensure that everything is official and the hope is that at half-time Fatone can announce that the record has officially been broken, Mueller said.

SDSU students attending the game, as well as other attendees wanting to participate, will be registered and given a pillow prior to kick-off.

Many students are looking forward to the event, including junior Brittany Ammann, a member of the color guard in The Pride.

“It sounds fun and if we set a record that would be really cool … It would get us recognized as a school and hopefully more students would want to come here,” Ammann said.

If participating in the pillow fight isn’t enough incentive, students have the chance to win prizes as well. According to Mueller, seven random participants will win $100 gift cards and one student will win a $500 gift card.

“I just think it’ll be pretty fun that it’s at the football game and it’s a cool way to get SDSU involved in things that are bigger than just South Dakota,” said Sarah Knutson, junior interior design major.  

The pillow fight will to draw even more students to the game, because even though it’s a rivalry game, it can only add to the amount of people coming out in the cold, Knutson said.

The goal is to have as close to 4,500 participants as possible, so the brand ordered 4,500 pillows and pillowcases from its supplier for the event. After the pillow fight is complete, participants will have the option to either keep their pillow as a souvenir or donate it to a local charity, Mueller said.

“We’ll have collection bins set up inside the stadium so that students who want to donate may easily do so,” Mueller said.

According to Mueller, the opportunity to partner with SDSU means Super 8 can return to South Dakota and pay tribute to the brand’s heritage.

“How often in life do you get to tell someone that you spent your Saturday afternoon breaking a Guinness World Record with 4,500 of your closest friends and Joey Fatone?” Mueller said, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”