'Pump It Up': How Louisiana Tech baseball's new anthem helped the team's regional run
Shelby Burnette clicked play on the computer. She had no idea what she was about to unleash onto a listless crowd below.
Off a suggestion from Louisiana Tech baseball announcer Guy Malool, Burnette, a an assistant marketing director, started a song she had never heard before.
Despite her reluctance, what happened next changed everything for the baseball team.
TWO WALKOFFS. ONE DAY:How Louisiana Tech baseball did the improbable vs Southern Miss
The reverbs of the bass line from the song “Pump It Up” by Endor, a British electronic dance music DJ, pulsated through the speakers at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
A then inanimate crowd, with the Bulldogs leading Western Kentucky in the Conference USA Tournament, sprung to life, clapping to the beat, some rising to their feet in the process.
In the Tech dugout, the players’ fists could be seen pumping over the top of the dugout, where they bounced around as if a concert broke out during their game. Meanwhile, men and women of all ages were dancing in the aisles of the stands.
It was the beginning of the three-day “rock show,” as Tech coach Lane Burroughs called it, at the Love Shack. The only things missing were fog machines, strobe lights and multi-colored lasers piercing up into the twilight.
“(Tech assistant marketing director) Madison Kaufman and I were sitting there after the first Southern Miss (game on Thursday) and we talked about what can do we do to get the crowd excited in-game?” said Burnette, whose first day at Tech was April 1. “We decided that we were just going to play bangers, hype music the whole time.
“We were sitting in-game (against Western Kentucky) and (Malool) asked, ‘have you heard the song, 'Pump It Up’?' ” We were amazed by the reaction. And the team loved it. So, we ran in that vein, the EDM vibe that the crowd could clap along to and keep the crowd hype.”
Endor’s “Pump It Up” isn’t a complicated song. There’s literally just two lyrics: “You got to pump it up, don’t you know? Pump it up.” So, what makes it so catchy?
“It has a really good beat to it,” Tech right fielder Phil Matulia explained. “It has a couple of nice bass drops in it. It just makes you want to pump your fist in the air. We’ll all be doing that and slapping the dugout. That song just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and yell.”
Timing is everything
When the song is played is also important – it can’t be played anytime, Burnette said. And even by general marketing rule of thumb, playing the same song at least twice is a bit of a no-no.
But timing and situation are everything. And to pump the necessary energy throughout the team and into the crowd, standard marketing rules are thrown out the window.
“A lot of times when I play ‘Pump It Up,' it’s on the precipice of something happening that can change the outcome of the game – we’re starting that comeback, or it’s near the end of the game and it’s a close one. You want to play it to make sure you keep ahead,” Burnette said. “You never want to play it when the energy is too down. You have to play songs to help build up to ‘Pump It Up.’ ”
“Heck, I wanted to dance,” Burroughs said, as his Bulldogs mounted inconceivable back-to-back comebacks against Southern Miss Saturday all the while “Pump It Up” intertwined itself among the biggest moments of the games.
A song cannot win a baseball game – that’s a preposterous notion. A song cannot execute the plays needed to complete eight-run rallies; the players do.
What a song, with its catchy bass line, can do is inject electricity into a "chill-bump inducing atmosphere," as senior Parker Bates labeled it. Paired with a simplistic, infectious beat, a song can pump energy into a team.
When no one expected it, “Pump It Up” became Louisiana Tech’s anthem. The timing and situation of it are everything as Tech hosts its first NCAA Regional this weekend at the Love Shack.
“I can say that’s our song,” second baseman Taylor Young said. “We’re having fun, we’re enjoying it and playing loose. That’s when we play our best ball.
“When the fans get behind us and when we get that ‘Pump It Up’ song going, that’s when we’re at our best.”