“The ‘Champion’ campaign was created by the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations to leverage the national and international spotlight that will be focused on LSU for the BCS Championship,” said Herb Vincent, LSU associate vice chancellor for communications/senior associate athletic director.
The primary goal behind this campaign is to highlight LSU’s academic reputation, thereby increasing both undergraduate and graduate school recruitment, which is crucial due to recent state budget cuts to LSU, the state’s flagship university.
“The LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Student Aid reported that the last time LSU was in the BCS Championship game in 2007, freshmen enrollment rose by 12 percent for the year,” said Emaan Abdelbaki, LSU director of marketing. “After the 2003 BCS Championship game, in which LSU also played, there was a 5 percent freshmen enrollment increase.”
Private donations to the university also spiked during the year of the last BCS Championship, and it is estimated that merchandising revenue increases by more than $1 million during BCS Championship years.
Fans and visitors to New Orleans will begin seeing LSU’s “Champion” messages throughout the city. These messages are included on billboards on I-10, bus shelters, streetcars and digitally on NOLA.com. People flying into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will see messages in high visibility areas throughout multiple concourses. These ads have been placed early enough to be seen by both New Year’s and Sugar Bowl visitors, in addition to those traveling to the BCS National Championship game.
“All of the ads direct the public to the LSU.edu/lovepurple website, and the site will be interactive and be used to highlight the university’s high academic achievements, or areas we ‘champion,’” said Todd Miller, LSU director of communications. “This includes the 30-second TV spot that will air during the game and have a reach of millions of viewers on ESPN.”
These ‘champion’ areas are those where LSU is gaining national prominence with student, faculty and program achievements. The “Champion” campaign includes the following:
· We Champion Education
· We Champion Research
· We Champion Service
· We Champion Louisiana
· We Champion Diversity
· We Champion the Arts
In addition to ads placed throughout the city, ticket holders and members of the Louisiana Restaurant Association were given “Love Purple Live Gold” window clings to spread LSU spirit in advance of the BCS Championship game.
Those going to the game or people wanting to show their support of LSU should be on the lookout for a special insert in the Baton Rouge Advocate and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. On one side of the insert will be a “Love Purple Live Gold” sign that can be placed in home or office windows and/or be brought to the BCS Championship game to show support. On the reverse side will be a list of LSU success stories.
Fans visiting New Orleans should also check out www.LSU.edu/lovepurple for details on an LSU-organized SVNGR trek that coincides with the “Champion” campaign’s academic success stories.