SBD/January 4, 2011/Colleges

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  • Univ. Of Oregon Stands To Gain From Appearance In BCS Title Game

    Oregon Athletic Dept. Expects Small Revenue Gain From BCS Title Game

    The Univ. of Oregon's first appearance in the BCS National Championship game next Monday is lifting the school "to unprecedented national attention,” according to a front-page piece by Bill Graves of the Portland OREGONIAN. UO Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir Paul Swangard said that the university can “expect more donations, a spike in licensing money from products carrying its logo, more corporate sponsors and a jump in student applications from across the country.” Swangard: "It is a multi-million dollar windfall just from the media value of that exposure." UO President Richard Lariviere noted that the university already “has seen a 30 percent increase in student applications.” Lariviere: "It is possible this may be the highest level of positive scrutiny that the university has ever had." He added that UO “could never buy the four-hours of national exposure it will get on game day." Graves notes the “most concrete financial benefits to the university will be a significant jump in licensing royalties on T-shirts, hats, cups and other products bearing the UO logo.” Univ. of Texas VP/Public Affairs Don Hale said that UT “saw its licensing royalties for products carrying the Longhorn logo double” to $8.2M after it won the national championship in January ’06. UO Dir of Marketing & Brand Management Matt Dyste said that Oregon “collected about $1.8 million in royalties last year.” The Collegiate Licensing Co. reported that the “top three universities in logo and brand product sales between last July and September” were UT, the Univ. of Alabama and the Univ. of Florida, all recent BCS winners. UO Exec Assistant AD for Media Services David Williford said that the university’s athletic department “may get a small increase in revenue from the national title game, but not as much as people might expect.” The Pac-10 “has a policy of putting all bowl money earned by its teams into a pot that is then divided evenly among the ten teams” (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/4).

    ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM: A sign atop the Montgomery Park building in Northwest Portland “has been overhauled” to read “GO DUCKS," followed by the Nike swoosh sign. Nike said that the “move was prompted by the building’s owners and is a temporary change timed” to UO’s appearance in the BCS National Championship game. The display “began Dec. 31 and comes on at dusk each night” (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/3).

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  • Kansas Ushers In New Era, Introduces Sheahon Zenger As New AD

    Zenger Discussed Transparency, Personal Relationships During KU Intro Yesterday

    The Univ. of Kansas yesterday formally introduced Sheahon Zenger as the school's 16th AD after the former Illinois State AD signed a contract through June '15 that will "pay him $450,000 per year," according to a front-page piece by Matt Tait of the LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD. Zenger will start at KU on Feb. 1, and while he "showed emotion for what he was leaving behind, the joy for what he was inheriting far surpassed it." His contract "includes language that seems to be a reaction to the controversial circumstances that led" to former KU AD Lew Perkins’ "earlier-than-expected resignation last September." But "none of that fazed Zenger, who preaches transparency, personal relationships and doing things 'the old-fashioned way.'" Throughout the search for a new AD, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little "ensured that she and the committee would find 'the right fit' for Kansas," and yesterday it was "clear that Gray-Little believes that to be Zenger," who is a native Kansan (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 1/4). In K.C., J. Brady McCollough wrote for a KU fan base "looking for a breath of fresh air after an embarrassing year, Zenger said all the right things." He talked about "living from 2 to 4 years of age" just south of Allen Fieldhouse, and also about "growing up wearing No. 10 in youth sports because that’s the number former KU quarterback Bobby Douglass wore." Zenger will meet "face-to-face with as many KU donors and fans as possible in an effort to repair hard feelings in the wake of the ticket scandal and questions about Perkins’ ethics" (K.C. STAR, 1/4). In Topeka, Tully Corcoran reports Zenger during his first 90 days plans to "set about repairing those relationships." Zenger: "One by one, in person, I need to look them in the eye and they need to look me in the eye and we need to get to know each other. We need to find out what the issues are" (TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL, 1/4).

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  • Pizza Hut Park Readies To Host FCS Title Game For First Time

    The NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title game will take place Friday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, for the first time, and the game "could benefit from geography and a change in timing," according to Valerie Wigglesworth of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. This year's game, pitting Eastern Washington against Delaware, is the first FCS championship not in Chattanooga, Tenn., since '96. In addition, there is a "three-week gap between the semifinals and the championship game," compared to "only a week" in previous years. Attracting fans in North Texas "unfamiliar with this level of football" has been a challenge for the bowl, which also has to compete "with the much-more-popular Cotton Bowl, scheduled for the same night" at nearby Cowboys Stadium. Pizza Hut Park, home to MLS FC Dallas, "holds more than 21,000," and about 10,450 tickets had been sold as of Thursday morning, "the most recent figure available." Paid attendance at the last FCS championship game in '09 was 14,328, "though the number of fans in the stands was lower because of rainy weather that night." Average paid attendance for the games in Chattanooga was 17,215. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said, "Our goal is to fill the park. But we're also being realistic. It's new. The schools are far away. As the mayor I would hope that our city and the surrounding cities really get into the spirit of this game because it means so much to the North Texas area." Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett, whose league is co-host of the game, said, "There's some benefit to a team from out West and one from the East meeting in the middle." But he added, "I don't think we were counting on the two teams necessarily to make our attendance" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/3).

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