Five Months Later, A Social Media Movement Returns

Scandalous Times

Things aren’t great in Chapel Hill, N.C. these days. Julius Peppers, 216 and Julius Nyang’oro have overshadowed what should be one of the best times of the year: the return of classes at the University of North Carolina against the backdrop of perfect Carolina blue skies.

But while those skies are threatening with the chance of further tarnishing a proud university’s reputation, a few former students are set to relaunch a social media movement they hope will remind others of what some call “The Carolina Way.”

PassFir5t, Revisited

We first wrote about PassFir5t in March. The post entitled, “NCAA Tournament Spawns Social Media Movement” generated so much traffic, it actually crashed our site for a while. It certainly helped that Kendall Marshall, UNC’s social media savvy point guard, retweeted the post, which made it spread even faster through the Tar Heels fan base.

Marshall, of course, was the reason PassFir5t was born. After he broke his wrist during a win over Creighton in the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina’s national title hopes essentially vanished. About the time Marshall was undergoing surgery, a UNC senior came up with an idea: turn Marshall’s bad luck into something good. The idea was the spark. UNC’s students, alumni and fans were the gasoline.

PassFir5t was one part: Scribble the number 5 (Marshall’s jersey number) on your right wrist (the one Marshall broke), and another part: Do something nice for someone else. Give them an assist, just like a point guard.

As PassFir5t caught fire thanks to Twitter and Facebook, and while it became a national, feel-good story, the creator hid behind his curtain. He wanted to remain anonymous.

But hold one a second. Don’t we live in a time when EVERYONE wants to be known for just about anything? Here’s someone who could get attention, interviews, adulation, and he doesn’t want any of it? Obviously, that made this story even better.

No Longer Anonymous

Fast forward five months (yes, we did this post at five months to mesh with the number five theme), and the creator of PassFir5t is ready to be unmasked. 

Below you’ll find a Skype interview we did with Brandon Copeland, the former student who started PassFir5t. After a quiet summer, Copeland and his two partners have big hopes to grow their movement during the 2012-13 athletic year.

Click on the video to find out:

–Why he no longer wants to be anonymous.

–How much money PassFir5t has raised for charity in its first five months.

–Marshall’s current role with PassFir5t.

–The movement’s future plans.

–Why Copeland thinks PassFir5t can help erase some of the negative feelings at UNC.

–How you can get involved.

Your Thoughts

So what do you think about the PassFir5t movement? Even though Marshall’s no longer in Chapel Hill, can it continue to growth through social media? What can Copeland and his team do to help it spread? Let us know in the comments below!


Spiracle Media is a video content agency built to tell stories. Since 2011, we have been telling stories that support the voice of our partners by using our journalistic background.

get in touch

Please take some time to tell us about your latest project or partnership we can help you with. You can also call us at 844-SPIRACLE (1-844-774-7225).