In 2009, Two (2) Warsaw Sports Marketing Center students - Steven Strand and Daniel Cogan - were hired by a New York-based agency called Mr. Youth to serve as brand ambassadors for Hewlett Packard on the University of Oregon's campus. The role tasked the two (2) students with creating a captivating marketing campaign that effectively drove awareness for the HP brand on campus.
Strand and Cogan put their sports marketing expertise to work by identifying The Oregon Green Man as an icon on campus that they could leverage without having to purchase official marketing rights (HP is not an Official Sponsor of the University of Oregon Athletics Department) to drive awareness. The two (2) parties collaborated to create an exclusive HP tailgate prior to the team's home game versus Arizona State that featured an appearance by The Oregon Green Man.
To drive awareness for the event, The Oregon Green Man posted several updates on his Facebook account (with 3,000 followers), attracting the attention of the Oregon Daily Emerald, a student-run newspaper. The tailgate attracted 300+ students who visited the tailgate for a chance to have their picture with The Oregon Green man and check out the new HP computers on display. The Green Man also placed HP stickers on his "green suit" which was picked up several times on ESPN and DuckVision during the game (driving thousands of valuable impressions for the brand).
The initiative serves as a great example of the ways top sports graduate programs can drive value for brands and sports organizations. Check back for more related examples of this!