Atlanta's Aydlotte & Cartwright Becomes BMOC For 14 Universities' Sports Alliance
ATLANTA--Aydlotte & Cartwright here has been assigned the advertising account of three-year-old Conference USA (C-USA).
Though billings were not disclosed, the assignment will benefit from more than $5 million worth of media commitments from Fox Sports Net and ESPN regional TV coverage.
C-USA, formed in 1995, includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Cincinnati, DePaul University, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Louisville, Marquette University, the University of Memphis, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, St. Louis University, the University of South Florida, the University of Southern Mississippi, Tulane University and the United States Military Academy.
Working against the conference, as a brand, is the fact it is still in its infancy. In its favor is the current shuffling of the major college football consortiums, like the Big East and the Pac 10, among others.
"Most of the [collegiate] sports conferences are 75 to 100 years old," said agency president and creative director Bill Aydlotte. "That gives them years of competition and tradition. But this is a great time for us because some conferences are changing members like musical chairs. The conference a school is in today may be different from where it was a few years ago. There's a lot of confusion out there, and we have an opportunity to gain some ground."
The agency's first work will begin appearing during football season in support of the conference's basketball schedule. While the member schools will handle some media placements, the agency will also be called on for a portion of the buys. That is in addition to the spots provided by the broadcast or cable outlet carrying the C-USA member games, commercial time that Aydlotte thinks has been largely overlooked through the years.
"I don't think [college sports] has used that time very well," he said. "They've always filled it with a 30-second walk-though of the campus. I think more can be done."
The agency got the assignment based on work it had done for the University of Cincinnati, which first contracted it for its medical school, then broadened the project.
Aydlotte & Cartwright's workload will consist of television, print, promotions and guerrilla marketing.
"This is like having 14 separate clients," Aydlotte said. "It's a great creative opportunity for the agency--I've got [staffers] knocking down my door wanting a chance to work on this."
The addition of C-USA brings the the shop's billings to $28 million.