U starts ad campaign for TCF Bank Stadium

The University has taken its football program and new stadium promotion to the streets. Gophers football advertisements across the metro area are designed to unite the community for TCF Bank Stadium and increase ticket sales. The University worked with numerous stakeholders, including the athletics department, alumni and the Minneapolis-based Olson advertising agency to develop a campaign featured throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding metro areas. The ads were launched Sept. 8 and are scheduled to run until Dec. 5, consisting of 43 outdoor boards and 50 bus shelters, said Ann Aronson, assistant vice president of University Relations and director of marketing . In that three-month period, the advertising space totaled $460,000 and was funded by the UniversityâÄôs central resources, Aronson said. No money came from the athletics department . The University also expects ticket sales and fundraising to increase as a result of the campaign. There is about $77 million in funds raised, so far, Athletics Director Joel Maturi said. The University had raised $75 million of the $86 million goal as of Feb. 29, the Daily reported in an April 1 story. Marketing senior Lauren Cork said the new advertising is unnecessary because people are already excited about the stadium. âÄúI donâÄôt think we really need it, especially after how much we have already paid for the new stadium,âÄù Cork said. âÄúThey shouldnâÄôt have any trouble selling tickets, so I donâÄôt see the point.âÄù However, Aronson said ticket sales arenâÄôt the main goal of the campaign. âÄúThe U of M set out to create buzz and excitement about the stadium in the near term,âÄù Aronson said. âÄúAnd, in the long run, to create a sense of community, pride and enthusiasm throughout the state.âÄù The ads on campus include one bulletin above Stub and HerbâÄôs and three or four transit shelters around campus, Aronson said. The Olson agency and the University shared ideas and gathered input to develop an effective product that satisfied the University and its objectives, Olson Brand Manager Christina Clawson said. Company policy prohibits Olson employees from disclosing how much the University is paying for the ad campaign, Clawson said. Representatives also canâÄôt discuss the campaignâÄôs strategy. Olson also worked with the University to develop its Driven to Discover campaign, featuring the UniversityâÄôs research studies. The campaign, We Are All Search Engines , cost about $2 million over a two-year span and won a gold Effie award for effective communication.