Gunnar Shades Have Taken on National Audience

April 15, 2010

"Gunnar Shades," the sunglasses that UCSB Athletics will give away this Saturday vs. Cal State Fullerton to the first 250 UCSB students, have gained national exposure this week.

Named after Gaucho centerfielder Gunnar Terhune, the "Gunnar Shades" have become an overnight sensation. The latest video - which can be seen by clicking here - features Terhune and teammates Dan Camou, Ben Edelstein, Mark Haddow and Mario Hollands all wearing brightly colored suits at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The video, which is already the most-viewed video on UCSB's own YouTube page has gained national exposure.

Sports Illustrated's website, SI.com, featured the video on Thursday morning's "Hot Clicks," a daily gathering of web links by Jimmy Traina pertaining to sports. Click here to check it out.

Also, ESPN.com's Los Angeles page has posted the video via its Southern California colleges blog, courtesy of D.J. Foster. Check it out by clicking here. The blog also covers all UCSB sports, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often.

And, Mark Patton of the Santa Barbara News-Press wrote a column about it, which fans can read below:

Gauchos have it made in the shades

By MARK PATTON NEWS-PRESS SENIOR WRITER

The Chicago White Sox inadvertantly started a riot three decades ago with a promotion called Disco Demolition Night.

But UCSB is coming to praise disco, not bury it, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The Gauchos will hand out free sunglasses to the first 250 students to show up for Saturday's 1 p.m. baseball game against Big West Conference leader Cal State Fullerton. To promote that, they've mixed in some 1970s cheesiness with new-age media in a video called "Gunnar Shades" that is quickly becoming a You Tube sensation.

"We put it up on our Web site on Monday and we've already had close to 1,700 hits," UCSB publicist Matt Hurst said Wednesday. "Right now, it's the second-most viewed video on our YouTube page, and it should be No. 1 by the weekend."

The video, produced by Hurst and Matt Berson, shows outfielder Gunnar Terhune and four of his teammates - bare-chested and wearing brightly colored leisure suits and sunglasses - dancing to the tune of Heat Wave's "Boogie Nights."

Sports information intern Jen Mizono got the idea from a different kind of song by E-40 that begins with the words, "I wear my stunna glasses at night."

Terhune had gone solo with a "Gunnar Shades" video to promote a UCSB soccer match in September, but he wanted to include teammates Mario Hollands, Mark Haddow, Dan Camou and Ben Edelstein in a glitzier version for baseball.

"We went down to the fashion district in L.A. and got fitted for the suits for $60 apiece," he said. "I think we spent more on cleaning them than buying them, because we wear them all the time."

They donned them during a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate their 21st birthdays while passing themselves off as a boy band called, "Butta' Cream."

"Our next stop is Leno," Terhune declared.

The video shows the five Gauchos dancing and playing in their leisure suits, with Terhune saying, "Sometimes Gunnar Shades make us feel like such big stars, we forget we're baseball players ... If you want to experience this feeling that you're invincible, and a big deal, come to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium as your Gauchos take on Cal State Fullerton."

The 59-second video ends with Terhune sliding into home plate and saying, "Gunnar Shades ... Don't steal home without them."

He admitted that they've been ragged all week by the other Gauchos.

"They give us heat, but I think it's jealousy," Terhune said. "Hopefully this inspires us and gets us some wins. The more people we get here the more wins we're going to have."

Ironically, his status for the series is up in the air after he injured his knee while tripping the light fantastic to make a running catch on Tuesday.

"There's a ledge where the grass meets the warning track," he explained. "But it's OK ... I'll be good to go."

Terhune knows there are risks no matter where you do The Hustle.

Mark Patton's column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. E-mail: mpatton@newspress.com.

Friday's game is free for UCSB faculty and staff as part of Faculty Free Friday. All UCSB faculty and staff who arrive to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium and show their faculty/staff ID will be admitted free.

Tickets to all games can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here where fans can buy online and print at home.

Saturday's and Sunday's games vs. the No. 22 Titans will be broadcast on AM 1490 and streaming live online at UCSBgauchos.com. Steve Wendt will handle the play-by-play duties with every Big West weekend series scheduled to air live on the radio and streaming live online. Click here for more information and a schedule of baseball games on the air.