September 6, 2010: Like many other sports college conferences nationwide, the Big Ten Conference will be undergoing significant changes in its football division alignments beginning with the 2011 season when Nebraska will officially begin conference competition, giving the Big Ten 12 football programs for the first time in conference history.
Not content to wait another year, the Big Ten has ramped up marketing activation to showcase its university members to a national audience. The Conference has unveiled a multi-media campaign, anchored by several TV spots, that focus on the "breadth, visibility and impact of the Big Ten across all aspects of life and sport.
Beginning next season, the Big Ten football division alignments will include a division featuring Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin; and a division featuring Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern. The winner of each Big Ten division will meet in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, to be played Dec. 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The championship game will determine the Big Ten champion and the conference's participant in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
The campaign supporting 2010 Big Ten football includes a trio of TV spots that will run throughout the season on on various outlets, including ABC, ESPN's family of networks and the Big Ten Network. The tag line is “Big Life. Big Stage. Big Ten.” Lead agency is TeamWorks Media, Chicago.
“Impact the World” highlights an impressive list of accomplishments by Big Ten alumni, ranging from life-altering to pop culture phenomenon. The spot also challenges Big Ten fans to find ways in which they can impact their own worlds. The spot is scheduled to run through the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years with new accomplishments introduced in year two.
Among the people being highlighted are such Big Ten alumni as Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States (Michigan, 1935); 2010 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees (Purdue, 2001); Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig (Wisconsin, 1956); Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon (Purdue, 1955); the first woman president of the NCAA, Judith Sweet (Wisconsin, 1969); Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks (Indiana, 1981); Pop Art pioneer Roy Lichtenstein (Ohio State, 1946,1949); actor James Earl Jones (Michigan, 1955); golf legend Jack Nicklaus (Ohio State); Tony Dungy, the first African-American NFL coach to win the Super Bowl (Minnesota, 1976); and George Nissen, the man who invented the modern trampoline (Iowa, 1937).
Support includes a corresponding Web site, www.Bigten.org/impacttheworld, which will provide more information on the achievements and the people behind them.
“Big Ten Fan Camp” has been expanded from last year’s campaign to include one 30-second spot representing all Big Ten schools as well as one 15-second PSA for each institution. Each PSA is comprised of one or more camp scenes, with each providing a humor take on Big Ten traditions. This year’s “Fan Camp” spots feature camp counselors Antwaan Randle El (Indiana), Shonn Greene (Iowa) and LaMarr Woodley (Michigan), as well as special cameos by Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema and mascot Bucky Badger and Michigan State mascot Sparty.
A supporting Web site www.Bigtenfancamp.com, will feature the 12 “Fan Camp” PSAs plus opportunities for visitors to win a trip for two to the 2011 Rose Bowl game or trips to the Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl, Insight Bowl, Texas Bowl, Dallas Football Classic or Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. (Full details here.)
The Big Ten TV spots also are running at the Big Ten Web site and on a dedicated site at YouTube.
Eight student-athletes from each Big Ten school will be featured in the 2010-11 “Faces of the Big Ten” PSAs. The student-athletes were filmed in on campus sharing their own unique stories.
This marks the eighth consecutive year that TeamWorks Media has created PSAs in partnership with the Big Ten Conference. Past Big Ten Conference PSAs produced by TeamWorks Media include the “I Will” football PSAs, “Big Ten Soundtrack” basketball PSAs, “Welcome to the Big Stage” basketball PSAs featuring musician Talib Kweli and slam poets, and the Big Ten women’s athletics 25th anniversary PSAs.