Updated 5 months ago by Guy Ramsey, UK Media Relations
Considering the way Mark Stoops and his staff are recruiting, fans aren't likely to forget about Kentucky football even though the season is two months away.
UK's marketing department still isn't taking any chances.
In the coming weeks, advertisements for UK football will be in issues of Sports Illustrated, Time and The Week. The ad features a faceless player wearing number 13 for the 2013 season in a blue home jersey, along with UK's 2013 home schedule and the phrase "A Nation Awakes."
"Coach Stoops has generated incredible excitement around this program," said Nathan Schwake, UK's assistant athletics director of marketing and licensing. "Our goal is to keep building on it."
The magazine ad is part of a summer-long season-ticket sales campaign and will be complemented by billboards with the same "A Nation Awakes" theme. UK advertises football season tickets every year on those billboards, but this year opted to scale back its outdoor presence and purchase magazine space in the Lexington and Louisville markets.
Schwake worked with Lexington-based Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions to design the ad. The space in the three magazines cost approximately $15,000.
"Just like with our Super Bowl spot in February, we had to make sure we created an ad that matched the prestige of the medium," Schwake said. "We want people to turn the page in these magazines and know UK football belongs."
Even though only readers in Kentucky will actually see the ad in any of the three magazines, awareness of it already extends well beyond the Bluegrass. When the first copies of Time containing the ad hit newsstands on Saturday, photos immediately began circulating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Within hours, most sites covering UK had posted about the ad and media members wondered aloud how much the athletic department had spent for such exposure.
"The beauty of the Big Blue Nation is that anything we do is going to get around," Schwake said.
Schwake hopes fans will be buzzing about a few of the marketing department's other July plans, but he isn't willing to give anything away just yet.