ULV, Angels form ad partnership
Posted May 9, 2008
Troy Doolittle
ULV assistant football coach Aaron Cloud gathered in the players lounge of the football office with players Blair Chavez, Jason
Carpenter and Jon Farmerie. The new partnership between the University of La Verne and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim includes three advertisements in Angel Stadium, which include an electronic ad behind home plate which is seen on TV during play.

The University of La Verne has launched a new advertising campaign that includes a sponsorship package with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The package includes radio and television ads on Angels broadcasts, as well as billboards both inside Angel Stadium and in the stadium parking lot, facing the 57 Freeway.

The billboards inside the stadium include one on the left field wall and another rotating electronic billboard behind home plate that can be seen on television broadcasts.

“I hate to hear that La Verne is the best kept secret,” said Homa Shabahang, vice president of enrollment management. “This will create name recognition and bring the message of academic quality to a respected community.”

This sponsorship package will put the university’s name literally in front of millions.

The spot behind home plate features the University logo during certain innings. It is the most expensive spot because television viewers nation wide are exposed to the ULV logo.

“The amount of people that come across this ad is uncounted for,” Shabahang said. “It’s priceless.”

The 36-foot sign facing the 57 Freeway says “University of La Verne, celebrating 117 years.” More than 240,000 people drive past the sign every day.

ULV officials say they are looking at redesigning this sign to make the print size larger and easier for drivers to read.

Inside the stadium, a 40-foot ULV billboard sits in left field next to a large Panda Express billboard.

“This sign will reach about 3 million people,” Shabahang said.

The advertisements were up by opening day, and many La Verne students who attended that first game were surprised to see it.

“When I first saw the sign, I thought that the University was there, or giving things out,” Lacey Wiles a junior sociology major, said. “I walked over there, then I realized it was an advertisement above a concession stand.”

Wiles, as well as many other students, was not aware of this newfound partnership.

“I thought it was a little funny at first, and I wasn’t sure why they would advertise 117 years. Why not wait until like 120 years?” Wiles said.

Senior Duncan Cox, a regular visitor to Angel Stadium, was so surprised to see the billboard that he even sent a picture via cell phone to his girlfriend who didn’t believe him.

“I was surprised to see it at first, and thought it was perhaps a bit like a trade school,” Cox said. “But the more I thought about it, I realized that it doesn’t have a negative connotation and it is a good way for people to find out about the school.”

La Verne officials hope that the high exposure of the ads will drive up name recognition of ULV nationally.

“It’s unprecedented to advertise nationally,” Charles Bentley, university spokesman said. “Local universities have advertisements in local ballparks and it’s not breaking new ground, but it is for us.”

“For example Washington University in St. Louis (a main Division III volleyball competitor) has a standing ad in the St. Louis Cardinals stadium.” Bentley said.

Angel Stadium was chosen for a reason, said Shabahang.

“We sought them, and they were just as excited about the partnership,” she said.

“We’re very careful on where we decide to place advertisements. This isn’t a venue that distracts from our reputation.”

“Any time the University can put their name out there in a good light, it’s a good thing,” Andrew Woolsey, a lead admissions representative, said.

Additionally, they figured that since La Verne has a respected baseball and softball team that they might make a connection.

“The athletic department and coaches are very excited and hopes that it attracts more athletes,” Shabahang said.

The sponsorship package is being funded by reductions in print and direct mail advertising, and balancing the costs between two fiscal years, as well as a price break from the Angels.

Along with the deal, the Angels will also schedule a University of La Verne Day, in which a ULV representative will throw out the first pitch and discounted tickets will be made available to students.

Jennifer Gilderman can be reached at jgilderman@ulv.edu.

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