PSAs and Commercial Spots: University of Memphis - Gold Medal

Category 16: Electronic Media: PSAs and Commercial Spots
University of Memphis – 2006 Football Ads

Contact: Marcy Sanford, marketing manager, Marketing Communications and Special Events, 303 Administration Building, Memphis, TN 38152, Phone: (901) 678-5581, e-mail:

Description, Planning, and Objectives: The objective of this campaign was to create an entertaining and effective series of spots to sell season tickets to University of Memphis football. This season we were in a unique situation in that the team would be playing seven home games - up from the traditional six home games in years past. We wanted to create a series of spots to let fans know that they now had seven opportunities to see the team play live. This lead us to center the television spots on the concept of “Get used to the Tigers at home.” The execution of this concept utilized the school mascot “Pouncer” as a house guest in a family’s home in a number of domestic situations (eating breakfast, watching a movie, etc.)

Audience and how the spot was used: Former University of Memphis season ticket holders, Tiger fans, and sports fans from Memphis and the surrounding area were the audience for the spots. The spots ran for two months leading up to the 2006 season. Placement was on all four local television stations as well as the local cable system.

Resources and budget: Staff from the athletic marketing department worked with carpenter/Sullivan/sossaman, the university’s ad agency, to determine the initial concept. A copywriter, art director, and account executive from the ad agency wrote and designed the spots. In conjunction with Running Pony Productions, a local production company, we were able to shoot, edit, and voice over the spots.

The resources utilized to create the campaign were either donated or done in trade for season tickets, etc. The cost of media placement was paid for through a combination of cash and ticket sales.

  • Cash budget: $30,000
  • Gifts in kind donations: $60,000
  • Ticket trade value: $65,000

Response and results: The spots were well received by the community and generated a great deal of conversation. As a result, over 20,000 season tickets were sold – one of the highest single-season sales totals in school history.