The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Johnnies Day 2023: The Culmination Of A Widespread “SJU Elevates” Marketing Campaign

St. John’s University is taking Penn Station and Madison Square Garden by storm Feb. 11.
Photo Courtesy / St. John’s University

St. John’s University is preparing to hold the first-ever “Johnnies Day,” a day-long celebration that represents the culmination of a far-reaching “SJU Elevates” marketing campaign, Feb. 11. 

Starting with the Men’s Basketball game against Providence College at Madison Square Garden at 12 p.m. and returning home to Queens for the Women’s Basketball game against DePaul University at 4 p.m., the University plans festivities in-person and on social media. 

But although it’ll be the first “Johnnies Day,” the University has overhauled its branding in and around New York City for months. 

“I wish I could claim credit for that, because I really like it,” said University President Brian Shanley, referencing the “St. John’s Elevates” branding, in an interview with The Torch. “I think it speaks to a lot of dimensions of St. John’s about social mobility.”

There were numerous ways the University could have revitalized its marketing campaign, but it chose upward mobility as its pitch due to the makeup of the student body. Forty percent of freshman classes are eligible for Pell Grants, according to Shanley. Pell Grants are federal grants given to undergraduate students “who display exceptional financial need,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“We have always been a school of opportunity, particularly for first-generation college students,” Shanley said. “And so we change whole families by elevating [and] getting kids a college degree.”

Shanley spoke passionately about the “St. John’s Elevates” campaign, and firmly stated that it is going to continue to be the University’s brand going forward.

“I think elevate is also at the heart of education in terms of minds and hearts, to elevate your mind, broaden the sense of compassion and concern for the human condition,” Shanley said. “I keep telling people, ‘we’re not changing that while I’m here.’”

The summation of the University’s branding efforts, which range from billboards to installations at New York airports, is “Johnnies Day.”

“We’re going to plaster Penn Station, like we’re taking over the building, and it’s going to be Johnnies Day at Madison Square Garden,” Shanley said. He made it clear that he didn’t choose the date of Johnnies Day, which is centered around the Men’s Basketball game against Providence College, where Shanley served as president for 15 years. 

The University already has large advertisements in the rotunda of Penn Station, and it will have t-shirts, rally towels and more for “Penn Station Domination.” The festivities start at 10 a.m. and will continue until tip-off around noon. It’ll also be happening on social media, where people can post with the hashtags #SJUElevates and #JohnniesDay for a chance to win a $1,000 Visa gift card.

“Our primary market is still the New York metropolitan area, and so we need to make sure that the brand is well known [in that area],” Shanley said. “We want to be New York’s team, as we say.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Brady Snyder, Editor-in-Chief
Brady is a senior journalism student currently serving as Editor-in-Chief. He joined The Torch in 2021, and previously served as Sports Editor. Outside of The Torch, Brady covers consumer technology and new innovations for ScreenRant, where he has nearly 100 published articles. When he isn’t writing, Brady is usually running or catching a sporting event. Brady can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *