The LSU Foundation’s #MikeontheMantel social media campaign allowed the LSU community to show their Tiger spirit throughout the holiday season.

The LSU community was encouraged to share pictures of their holiday celebrations featuring Mike the Tiger with the hashtag #MikeontheMantel. A printable “Flat Mike” was created by the LSU Foundation for people to include in their photos, but other versions of Mike the Tiger were also used.

#MikeontheMantel, a parody of Elf on the Shelf, was launched to celebrate the generosity of the University’s many donors. Throughout the year, the LSU Foundation showed its appreciation to the 15,000 people around the world who donate to the University, but the social media campaign was a unique approach.

“We wanted some holiday-based outreach to donors to engage them in something fun,” said Sara Whittaker, LSU Foundation’s senior director of communications and marketing. “It was different than anything we’ve done before and was a good opportunity for us to see how our audiences respond to a social media campaign.”

#MikeontheMantel was used on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and featured the many ways Mike the Tiger was included in the LSU community’s holiday festivities.

“I thought it was quite successful at bringing everyone together over the holidays,” said kinesiology freshman Madison Hawkins. “It was really cool to see everyone’s take on #MikeontheMantel and how we all had fun with it.”

Whittaker said the LSU Foundation was very pleased with the amount of participation in the hashtag.

“It was fun to watch people’s creativity take form,” Whittaker said. “People took Mike on trips, put him on their Christmas trees and even literally put him on their mantels.”

Although #MikeontheMantel was created to acknowledge the University’s 15,000 donors, all members of the LSU community were invited to use the hashtag. The LSU Foundation also sent out stuffed animal versions of Mike the Tiger to departments around campus to motivate them to participate. Several participated, including Auxiliary Services, which took pictures of Mike the Tiger at the Union Theatre, Barnes and Noble and outside the Tiger Lair. 

“When the LSU Foundation asked if we would be willing to participate, we didn’t hesitate,” said Rachel Henry, Auxiliary Services director of event management and marketing. “This was a great opportunity to participate in a fun social media campaign while also showing off some of the various locations and services within Auxiliary Services.”  

The LSU Foundation incorporated philanthropy in its #MikeontheMantel posts, but intentionally encouraged people to participate however they wanted to showcase their unique holiday celebrations and passion for the University.

#MikeontheMantel is one of many ways the LSU Foundation encourages members of the LSU community to donate to the University. The nonprofit organization exists to financially support the University’s academic programs and offers several ways for people to get involved or make donations.

 “This was a way to celebrate the spirit of generosity on campus and how that is part of campus all year long,” Whittaker said. “We wanted to passively show people that that kind of spirit is what drives people to give, but also wanted to help people celebrate their Tiger spirit around the holidays.”

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