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Marketing Plan Garners National Award

Coach Akey and football team

You’re gonna love it: that’s what the 2010 Vandal football marketing campaign promised, and we did love it – and so did the National Association of College Marketing Administrators. They recognized the plan with a $1,000 Basic Training Challenge award.

Building on the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl win , the passionate and entertaining Coach Robb Akey and Vandal pride, coupled with strategic marketing , the 2010 marketing plan for season tickets made a large impact in Idaho and eastern Washington –providing an eight-to-one return on investments – and on the national level.

“It’s very rewarding to see   that our marketing plan had  such an impact,” says Nick Popplewell, director of marketing for athletics.

Working with University Communications and Marketing, Popplewell and Vandal Athletics saw a50 percent increase in season ticket purchases, and for every dollar that was spent on rolling out the marketing plan, the university saw an $8 return. Popplewell says that increase can be attributed, in part, to strategic media buys for the commercial, which debuted as “Thunder-in-the-Dome” but gained momentum as the “You’re Gonna Love It!” commercial.

“We had a lot of talk coming out of the Treasure Valley, Magic Valley, Spokane Valley and Boise -- a lot of excitement and pride,” says Popplewell.

The commercials were primarily targeted in the Couer d’Alene and Spokane areas, with Boise and the Treasure Valley as additional target markets. Popplewell says the calls that came in from excited alumni in the southern part of the state were very positive. In fact, when the “Love It!” ” commercial came on at a gym in Twin Falls , Popplewell says everyone stopped to watch and gave a cheer.

The award includes a $1,000 stipend to attend the conference for the National Association of College Marketing Administrators this year. Popplewell will also present the plan at the conference.

“We put our brand out there; we told our story,” says Popplewell.  “I am very excited about earning this recognition for the University.”

Popplewell says he hopes to build off the success of last year’s campaign and continue the momentum this year..

“People are excited about Coach Akey and the team, where we’re headed as a department and the overall game-day experience at the University of Idaho,” says Popplewell.  “We have a great product, and we need to let people know about it.”