VCU Still Capitalizing On Hoops Success, As Sponsorships Accrue, Applications Spike
VCU is "taking advantage" of a successful four-year run by its men's basketball team that has "brought in a new pool of students as well as increased donations and corporate endorsements," according to a front-page piece by Louis Llovio of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. The school tomorrow begins play in its fourth straight NCAA tournament, highlighted by an appearance in the '11 Final Four, and VCU Associate AD/External Affairs and play-by-play announcer Robby Robinson said that capitalizing on the exposure that "comes from the team’s on-court success has been a boon to the university and the athletic department." Robinson: "It goes back to the old saying that athletics is the front porch of a university. The corporate sponsorship revenues enhance the athletic department. And when we have a higher profile athletic department, the school becomes higher profile." He added that VCU "has seen sponsorships jump" an average of 25% each year since '11, with sales up 27% this season. Llovio reports much of the growth "has come from existing sponsors who are looking for more exposure." The sponsorship dollars "have changed game day at the Siegel Center by bringing in more promotions and activities during breaks in the action." VCU Exec Dir of Univ. Relations Pamela Lepley said that her office "uses the team's prominence to leverage donations and applications." She added that VCU "saw a spike in applications after the Final Four run that’s never abated" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 3/20).