SBD/May 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater Asks School Not To Run A Heisman Campaign For Him

Bridgewater wants any publicity to be focused on the team rather than himself
Univ. of Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater has been "billed as a Heisman Trophy candidate since the end of last season," but he has asked that the school "not mount a Heisman Trophy campaign for him," according to Eric Crawford of WDRB.com. He instead wants to have "any emphasis or publicity include the team as a whole." Bridgewater has "backed away from individual attention his whole career at U of L, but seemed resigned to the Heisman hoopla when he spoke with reporters before spring practice." When asked in April if he would mind the school mounting a Heisman publicity campaign on his behalf, Bridgewater said, "Not at all. ... I don't see anything wrong with it." But UL SID Rocco Gasparro recently said that the "more he thought about it, the more Bridgewater decided it wasn't his style." Bridgewater said that the Heisman is "not a priority for him, and that was behind his unusual request." Crawford noted voters are "rarely affected by Heisman campaigns anyway." UL still can "do the traditional things it would do for any All-American candidate, send out periodic emails updating statistics, and it can break Bridgewater out on his own web page with stats and news." But there likely will not be "gimmicks or slogans or even a bobblehead doll of the kind done for Dave Ragone before his senior season" at UL in '02 (WDRB.com, 5/20).

SMART DECISION? ESPN's Paul Finebaum said Bridgewater "just got more publicity out of 'College Football Live' than he would have with his campaign from Louisville, Kentucky, so I think it was smart move." ESPN's Ed Cunningham commended Bridgewater's decision to forgo a large campaign, but he said it "could really help the brand for Louisville." Cunningham noted people in '01 were "making fun of Oregon for putting Joey Harrington on a billboard across from Madison Square Garden," but the school's football team now is a "national brand." Louisville will join the ACC in '14, and it "could have a breakthrough like Oregon has had over the last five or six years" ("College Football Live," ESPN, 5/23).
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