Horned Frog football sports new spring look

Off-seasons may not be the most exciting time for football, but new marketing campaigns for spring football are attempting to change the stigma.

The athletic marketing department collaborated with Fort Worth-based Concussion Advertising LLC to launch the “Next Season is Now” marketing campaign Friday for the spring football season.

The bulk of the campaign consists of posters featuring close-up photographs of players and a Web site where fans can download desktop wallpapers and print posters.

Friday through Sunday, the Web site recorded 1,586 hits, a number Allen Wallach, Concussion’s chief executive officer, called “through the roof.”

Wallach said Concussion was initially brought on for the fall advertising campaign, but after meeting, the two sides decided to add a spring campaign at the last minute.

Wallach said many Division-I programs try to hype football during the spring and he hopes the campaign will enhance the team’s position among the major programs.

“We’re adding a marketing program to match the quality of product they put on the field,” Wallach said.

Concussion’s work for the Armed Forces Bowl is what caught the marketing department’s attention, said Scott Kull, associate athletics director for external operations. This is the first time in Kull’s three years at TCU that the athletic marketing department has worked with an outside firm for such a project or attempted a marketing campaign for spring football, he said.

“It’s always good to have different people, whether inside or outside your organization, to kind of assess what you’re doing and maybe bring some fresh, new ideas,” Kull said.

With the May 1 deadline for season ticket renewal approaching, the department is aiming to create a buzz within the fan base and raise awareness for spring football, Kull said.

Players loved participating in the campaign, Kull said. A professional photographer was brought in to create an intimidating look for the players’ photos to conflict with the lighthearted phrases on the posters, Wallach said. Wallach, who graduated from TCU in 1988, said he thinks the players were enthusiastic because they recognize the efforts being put forth by the marketing department.

“We do have some marketable players,” Kull said. “We strive to represent the team.”

Junior linebacker Jason Phillips felt the need to go above and beyond the call of duty.

During the photo shoot, Phillips used a plastic knife to open up a scar on the side of his nose, which was caused by his helmet repeatedly sliding down and hitting him, Kull said. He wanted to have the blood in his picture, Kull said.

“I’m just surprised that when he cut himself it didn’t bleed purple,” Wallach said.

Jason Byrne, the director of athletics marketing, said the campaign was a good opportunity to highlight the student-athletes and take a fresh approach to advertising by varying from the typical action photos of previous campaigns.

Byrne said he also wants to educate fans on the history and success of TCU football by celebrating the 70th anniversary of Davey O’Brien’s Heisman Trophy-winning season and the team’s undefeated national championship season in 1938.

Wallach said the marketing department welcomed Concussion’s outside perspective. Concussion was allowed to bring a creative attitude to the table while the marketing department helped to guide them along the way, he said.

“When we met them, I liked the range of talents, and also their experience and the spirit of collaboration,” Wallach said.

Wallach calls the spring campaign more of a quick and easy mini-campaign and said the fall campaign will be “one like you’ve never seen before for TCU football.”