BSU brand flying high

December 9, 2008
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hokeBall State University, thanks to its football team, is flying high. The school has received more television exposure in the last 60 days than it has gotten in the last decade as its football team rattled off 12 straight victories and ended up 12-1. Last night, BSU football Coach Brady Hoke was featured on The David Letterman Show, which airs nightly on CBS. But the team has been in the spotlight longer than that.

The Ball State victory over Central Michigan Nov. 19 televised live on ESPN2 ranks as the most viewed and highest rated college football game ever for a Tuesday or Wednesday night on the network. The 1.6 rating means the game was watched in more than 1.6 million homes nationwide. The game also ranks as the Mid-American Conference’s most viewed regular season college football game ever on ESPN or ESPN2.

Earlier this year, the Sept. 5 (Friday night) ESPN televised game between Ball State and Navy was viewed in 1.2 million homes, making it the third most watched game involving a Mac team in the last four seasons. Due to the MAC contract with ESPN, and the Cardinals’ stellar season, Ball State was on national television more than most Big Ten teams. Average attendance for BSU’s six home games is up this year, near 20,000 per six home games.

Ball State Athletic Director Tom Collins is quick to point out the football team’s success has benefitted the school far beyond athletics. “We used the weekend of the Navy game to publicly kick-off our Ball State Bold Campaign,” Collins said.

The $200 million capital campaign will go for almost entirely academic uses, including funding scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships among other things.

“To have an alum like David Letterman talk about you every week doesn’t hurt, and we’ve used the attention to put the spotlight on the larger university,” said Collins, who came to BSU from Arizona State three years ago.

BSU officials are already drawing up a game plan to capitalize on this year’s success. Collins said BSU will launch a more aggressive marketing campaign for next season targeting not only all of Delaware County, but the Indianapolis metro area and Ft. Wayne as well.

 Maintaining momentum is one thing, keeping Hoke, who has also been mentioned for at least two job openings, is another. "They'll have to be creative to get him as much money and autonomy as possible," said Milt Thompson, president of locally based Grand Slam Cos. "Brady Hoke right now is the face of the program, so they need to do what they can to keep him."
  • This has been such a great season, I would hate for it to all go down the drain a few years down the road. Brady is a Ball State guy and I hope they can find enough to make him happy for at least a few more years. He actually likes it in Muncie, and doesn't expect to get rich - although $240,000 (as a base salary) does go a ways in Muncie. While I don't expect 12-1 seasons every year, it would be nice to keep Ball State in high standing with the MAC -and raise the profile of the entire conference. Brady gets it. He played at Ball State on a darn good team and has the pride to do things right. He also knows how to recruit. Let's hope the school makes him feel wanted. And for crying out loud, build the guy his own office!
  • His ability to Keep Hoke will be Collins' first big test. Let's hope he passes. Otherwise it will be back to the drawing board, and it's not easy to get lightning to strike twice.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

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