SBD/July 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

College Marketing Notes: Univ. Of Kentucky Football Using Fans' Tweets On Billboards

Kentucky fans' tweets have been turned into billboards around the state’s Zach McCann wrote Univ. of Kentucky football fans “have been interacting via the Twitter hashtag #WeAreUK for the past several years.” Now Lexington-based Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions, which handles UK’s marketing, has “decided to take the Twitter trend mainstream, putting some of the most memorable Twitter messages on billboards, team posters and an interactive page” on UK’s website. Cornett Chief Strategic Officer Christy Hiler said, “A lot of agencies build messages through marketing and branding, but this topic was so strong and people loved it so much.” McCann wrote UK fans have embraced the effort “with constant messages and photos.” One fan in the northern part of the state “tweeted to #WeAreUK that most of the advertising was in the southern part of the state, so UK put up a billboard in North Kentucky with that exact tweet, in an ironic sort of way” (, 7/25).

BULL RUN: In Tampa, Greg Auman wrote Authentic Merchandise: It’s Bucs & Bulls Heaven, which serves as the official merchandiser for the Univ. of South Florida athletics, “is going out of business next month, with a sagging economy and online competition spelling the end.” Store Owner Jeffrey Fox said that when USF remodeled the Sun Dome to include a Bulls retail store, “he was disappointed not to get that property, which created a new place for Bulls fans to buy apparel and other USF paraphernalia on campus” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 7/24).

AS SEEN ON TV: ESPN Consumer Products will bring back the company's “SEC on ESPN” apparel collection this fall. Dick’s Sporting Goods, an official sponsor of the SEC, will sell the collection throughout its stores in the southeast. ESPN teamed with apparel company Weezabi and headwear company Top of the World for the collection (ESPN).

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