SBD/July 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Univ. Of Maryland Using PR Agency To Help Reverse Negative Image Of Football Program

The Univ. of Maryland football program has hired Maryland-based Maroon PR “for positive spin” following the '11 season that resulted in a 2-10 record and several disciplinary problems off the field, according to Joe Tessitore of ESPN. Using an "outside public relations firm is not news that we hear often" from major college athletic programs. Football coach Randy Edsall said UMD's situation "is probably unique a little bit from the standpoint of where we’re located in-between Baltimore and Washington and having all the competition we have with all the pro teams here in this area." Edsall: "We needed somebody to come in and aid us with getting our message out there. We have so many positive things that are taking place within our program.” Edsall said hiring Maroon PR was “something that we felt was very advantageous and we’ve already seen some of the positives with our relation” with the agency's President & Owner John Maroon (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 7/5). Edsall said the program has “a lot of human interest stories with our players.” Edsall: “What we wanted to do was be able to get that message out more about who we are, what we’re all about and … I don’t think it’s a real big change. I think some people do but when you get a chance to know your surroundings and know your people and trust people, then you go ahead and do some different things” (, 6/29).

: In Baltimore, Jeff Barker writes UMD "spread itself too thin" before dropping seven teams due to budget reasons. The school's current focus "won’t be on adding sports, but rather on better supporting the athletes on the 20 teams it has retained." Schools "do occasionally bring back sports as budget numbers or other circumstances change." UMD track coach Andrew Valmon said that he "was looking into examples of schools that have dropped men’s track teams and considered restoring them." However, it is "not easy resurrecting teams," as they need to be sure they have "secured funding well into the future." Barker: "The last thing you want is to restore a team and then find there aren’t the resources to sustain it long-term" (, 7/6).
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