The Baylor Bears on Tuesday will battle the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Fans and players alike will have fun and enjoy the pageantry of attending a bowl away from home and outside of Texas.
But Baylor is not passing up the opportunity to do more than kick up their heels — or paws — in sunny Florida.
The university will deliver its message about this Baptist school on the Brazos and the opportunities it affords through the use of billboards, newspapers, and television and radio spots that will make its presence felt across the Sunshine State, according to school spokeswoman Lori Fogleman.
Fogleman said Baylor feels it is important “to invest in the bowl game host city and to say thank you to the local community for the wonderful hospitality. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to introduce Baylor University to Floridians and visiting football fans who may not be familiar with the university.”
Said John M. Barry, vice president of marketing and communications and chief marketing officer at Baylor, “Our highly anticipated and very visible presence in the Russell Athletic Bowl provides a distinct opportunity for us to build institutional brand and, in some cases, introduce Baylor, its strong academic programs and distinct Christian mission to Floridians, and visiting football fans who may not be familiar with the full profile of Baylor University.”
The school’s advertising is based on the university’s emphasis on the journey to find one’s calling in life. The “Called To” campaign highlights the various ways students and faculty find their calling at Baylor, “whether at the cutting edge of scientific discovery; in ministry in the remotest parts of the world; through leadership in law, engineering, the arts or medicine; or service in their community,” according to a news release Baylor has issued.
The billboard and print, digital, radio and television advertising centers on the themes of Called to Inspire, Called to Service, Called to Discovery and Called to Leadership.
Baylor has a history of advertising heavily in bowl game host cities, such as Houston (Texas Bowl), San Antonio (Valero Alamo Bowl), San Diego (Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl), Phoenix (Tostitos Fiesta Bowl) and Dallas (Goodyear Cotton Bowl), Fogleman said.
More than 2,100 Baylor alumni live in Florida, including prominent Baylor graduates Ed Crenshaw, CEO of Publix Super Markets, and Stephanie Young, senior vice president of Disney Parks and Resorts. Three members of Baylor’s fourth-ranked women’s basketball team hail from Florida — McDonald’s High School All-Americans senior Alexis Prince, senior Niya Johnson and freshman Beatrice Mompremier. Baylor has 159 students from Florida enrolled.
Five busloads of students will leave Texas on Monday for the game Tuesday, and it’s possible they will pass billboards touting their school.