On Sunday, Washington State University unveiled its Undefeated Fans Super Bowl commercial, meant to highlight the ESPN College Gameday tradition of flying the Cougar flag. It's been an impressive effort, with the flag making over 100 consecutive appearances on the show and counting. While the commercial was fantastic, and inspired pride for many Washington State fans and alums, it left many wondering what it was all for.
First, check out the behind the scenes video for the commercial, released on Youtube. The finished product can be found here.
The answer, of course, was simple -- explained by the Undefeated Fans website that accompanied the Super Bowl commercial. The site encourages fans to take a Cougar flag with them on their travels, snapping pictures in unique places. Call it guerilla marketing at its finest. It's about building a brand.
But that's not all the campaign is about. Simply put, it's about raising money for the WSU athletic department, the No. 1 task for athletic director Bill Moos. On the website, you can find tickets and donate money, as well, while also browsing Cougar flag pictures submitted by the fans. Come for the photos, stay for the donations.
As CougCenter explained, it's another brilliant move from Bill Moos.
There's more over there, but you can explore it yourself. Here's why I use the term genius: Rather than focus on our teams -- which are still building up to the championship level -- to drive purchases and donations, he's using us to drive our own donations.
And it's going to work. It sure as heck worked on me.
When times are tough, as they are at Washington State right now, it takes a bit of creativity to get donors to open their wallets. This -- the Super Bowl commercial that aired in Eastern and Central Washington, the viral video and the website -- is a different way to connect with fans and bring them into the fold. It's not cold calling; it's not begging for money; it's a well thought-out campaign.
The campaign has a well-done website, a Twitter account and a Facebook page, utilizing the Internet and social media to connect with fans. Will it all pay off? It's impossible to tell, but everything about the fundraising campaign is set up for success.