SBD/June 27, 2013/Colleges

Arizona State Univ. Launches Billboard Campaign Near In-State Rival's Stadium

About 20 billboards featuring current and former players went up last weekend
A billboard featuring Arizona State RB D.J. Foster “went up at a prominent intersection in Tucson less than four miles” from the Univ. of Arizona's football stadium as part of an "aggressive marketing campaign ASU launched over the weekend," according to Tyler Lockman of FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com. The campaign emphasizes the "success of local players who donned the maroon and gold” for ASU. About 20 billboards featuring current and former ASU players from the state “went up around the metro Phoenix area over the weekend in what is the first phase" of the school's "Stay True" campaign. The signs featuring former players included the phrase, "ASU Football Where Arizona Stars Become Legends." Those featuring Foster read, "Stay True." Both include the hashtag, "StayTrue2ASU." Former ASU stars currently featured include Cardinals TE Todd Heap, Seahawks TE Zach Miller and former NFLer Adam Archuleta, "all local products who went on to star in the NFL after prolific ASU careers.” ASU Senior Associate AD/External Relations Rocky Harris said that additional billboards “featuring other former players with Arizona roots were designed and could be part of future phases of the campaign.” Those players “must consent to ASU using their images.” Future phases of the campaign “might also extend beyond football to include local talents in other sports.” Phoenix-based Owens Harkey Advertising "helped design the billboards and determine locations.” UA has had billboards in the Phoenix area “for a few years, featuring needling slogans” like "Head South, Move Ahead" and "Welcome to Arizona, This is Wildcat Country." But “none have been as directly tied to athletics” (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 6/25).

RUNNING WITH THE DEVILS: In Phoenix, Doug Haller reports ASU’s on-field success last season “has resulted in a strong push in off-season season-ticket renewals and sales.” ASU officials said that the school has seen a 93% renewal rate from last year’s season-ticket holders, "which is a significant bump" from the previous year when they had just a 78% renewal rate. ASU does not release season-ticket numbers, but officials “expect to see an increase in home attendance this season.” The school last year “averaged 56,835 fans over six games at Sun Devil Stadium," which seats 71,706. That figure "ranked fifth in the Pac-12 in home attendance.” Several factors "likely have contributed to the increased interest,” including on-field success, customer service and the home schedule. ASU has “worked with the Disney Institute to help improve its game-day experience" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/27).
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