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La Liga de Las Americas

Universities expand advertising to sporting events, TV, Web

COLUMBUS (AP): Ads for universities around Ohio are cropping up on high school football fields and on Internet sites popular with teenagers as more colleges expand their efforts to draw potential students.

Students and parents attending football games at some schools in the Columbus area can expect to hear paid announcements touting the University of Cincinnati as a great place for “learning, living, playing and staying.”

In addition, the university advertises with signs along football fields to encourage students and their parents to check out the university's Web sites when considering college options.

Schools also are focusing more on TV, Internet ads, billboards and print and radio advertising.

Ohio University has started airing three 30-second commercials in Columbus and southeastern Ohio featuring students that have reached goals such as playing violin in Carnegie Hall.

“This is the first time the university has marketed in any kind of large-scale way,” said spokeswoman Gina Calcamuggio.

Kent State University is marketing through the Internet site YouTube. Videos for the site feature Frank Squirrel, a male student dressed as a giant squirrel that has become Kent State's unofficial mascot.

``It's all about making a connection,'' Kent State spokesman Tom Neumann said.

Bowling Green State University relies mostly on TV ads and draws most of its students from northeast and northwest Ohio and from Columbus, said spokeswoman Kim McBroom.

The University of Cincinnati is into its second year of marketing directly to students with signs and public announcements at 100 Ohio high schools, including 25 in Columbus and its suburbs.

“We know we have statewide appeal, but we want students and their parents to know that we're one of the top 25 research universities in the country with more than 500 majors or paths to choose from,'' spokesman Greg Vehr said.

LaToya Johnson, whose 16-year-old grandson, Michael, attends Brookhaven High School in Columbus, said one of the school's ads caught her attention.

“It’s one more college my grandson can consider when he's browsing college Web sites and planning college visits this year,'' she said.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com





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