Baylor University is taking advantage of its football team’s appearance in the Holiday Bowl to spread the message about its school to alumni and prospective students in the San Diego area, a college official said Monday.
The university placed a half-page advertisement in the Sunday U-T San Diego newspaper and plans two more placements before Thursday night’s contest against UCLA at Qualcomm Stadium, John Barry, the school’s vice president of communications and marketing, told City News Service.
Barry said Baylor also bought radio commercials, Internet ads and has five different billboard messages in 10 locations around town. The billboards show off successful alumni like Angela Kinsey, the actress who plays an uptight accountant on “The Office” television show; Mark Hurd, president of Oracle technology firm; and Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy last year.
“The strategy is, we have a natural constituency and a lot of friends in Southern California,” Barry said. He said that while San Diegans have Baylor football on their minds, the advertisements will show the academic side of the university.
The Bears have played in few bowl games over the years, and have never played a post-season game outside of Texas. Barry said coming to San Diego gives the school a chance to seize people’s awareness.
“The fact of the matter is, outside Texas, our largest market in terms of students, alumni and prospective students is Southern California,” Barry said.
In a 15,000-member student body, about 600 are from California — the vast majority from the southern half of the state, he said. Of 155,000 alumni worldwide, around 8,000 reside in the Golden State — again, most in Southern California, he said.
He called Baylor “a high-quality private institution” with strong academics and a proud Christian heritage.
A Holiday Bowl spokesman said he doesn’t recall another participating university marketing itself in San Diego as much as Baylor is doing this month.