T for TU

September 17, 2001

Carol Schlueter
Phone: (504) 865-5714

It flashes by on the side of a streetcar, on a billboard on the West Bank Expressway, on the back of a Coca-Cola truck, on a postcard in the mailbox--photos of crazy folks with a green and white T painted on their faces. The spirited Tulane advertisements are all part of a plan by Tulane athletics to rev up Green Wave fan support.

Scott Sidwell hopes the new slogans, all using a person with a painted T to help spell out words in headlines, will start connecting with the New Orleans area community. Associate athletics director Sidwell plans to use the campaign throughout the year to support all sports at Tulane. The first ads said Show Your T, with the letter painted across the chest of a young man.

While some may recall a familiar Mardi Gras chant, Sidwell said the slogan was not intended to send out the wrong message. "That wasn't our intention," he said. "Our interest is that it (the painted T) worked well with the Wave logo. In fact, our ads show a variety of uses. Other slogans have followed."

For football, one ad uses the headline Cheap Seats with a face-painted toddler posing as the T in SeaTs. The design has successfully helped promote athletics family plan for football--2 adult and two children's tickets for $135. Sales of the family package are favorable compared to last year and may mean upwards of 1,000 season tickets, Sidwell said.

And the campaign was used to promote the Tulane women's volleyball team in a recent newspaper ad about a volleyball tournament on campus. The Great Action headline used the photo of a woman whose painted face interrupted the word AcTion. He is planning to build on the campaign, which was developed in conjunction with Alford Advertising of New Orleans, by using it for baseball, soccer, basketball and other sports, now and into the future.

"This all-sports approach fits with the planning of athletics director Rick Dickson to have a broader-based athletics program," Sidwell said. "The big thing from a marketing standpoint is that we're in a major market here. We're trying to find a way for people to notice us," he added. "We have a great school, and great programs. It's not just about athletics. It supports all we do."

Eventually, Sidwell would like to see people across the campus painting their faces on game days and even wearing green on Fridays to show fan support. For next year's football marketing campaign, he is considering taking actual photographs of face-painted Tulane fans to use in the advertisements.

"Your face on a billboard," Sidwell said. "It's a way to invoke spirit and have fun."

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000