Adams: UT ad campaign will turn a few heads

John Adams

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin announced plans for an advertising plan last week while addressing his audience at the SEC football media days. More specifically, he said a “billboard will be going up” in Florida next month.

He didn’t offer any more details. But my guess is the billboard won’t be promoting Florida quarterback Tim Tebow for another Heisman Trophy.

UT’s upcoming billboard is a sign of the times in the SEC. Conference schools have the pleasant task of trying to figure out what to do with the $3 billion ESPN and CBS will be throwing at them over the next 15 years. And if you’re investing money in a billboard, know your demographics.

Florida is a recruiting mecca, so that makes sense. In fact, Pahokee High School in South Florida might have as many college prospects as some states.

As much money as UT is investing in recruiting quarterbacks in Southern California, it would be just as appropriate to advertise on I-405 in Los Angeles. For at least four hours a day, you would be assured of a captive audience.

It also would be wise to keep your billboard messages timely.

Suppose UT loses by a lopsided margin to the Gators this September. Monday’s billboards in Florida and LA could read: “We need help. Are you man enough to Volunteer?”

If you think UT would be messaging an uneducated audience, you haven’t been paying attention. Given its increased television exposure, SEC football is hardly a regional venture. Thanks to ESPN, the conference now has the largest college sports syndication television package in the country.

Imagine a five-star running back riding a school bus somewhere in Illinois. He glances out the window and sees Kiffin pointing from a billboard and saying, “We want you.”

Note to advertising campaign manager: Just make sure the billboard doesn’t include the running back’s name.

As much as this could do for recruiting, it doesn’t have to end with recruiting. Surely, a creative thinker like Kiffin will realize that billboard advertising could be directed at opponents as well as recruits.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive made it clear at the spring meetings that he wouldn’t stand for coaches sniping at other conference schools. So subtlety would be the key.

For example, if UT defeats Kentucky for the 733rd consecutive time this November, you wouldn’t have Kiffin taunting the Wildcats on a Lexington billboard the following Monday. Instead, the UT coach’s message could be something like: “Kentucky never quit. I’m honored to be a part of such a great traditional game.”

The messages between the lines: “No matter how hard Kentucky plays, it still can’t beat UT,” and “It’s a great traditional game for the Vols because they win and Kentucky loses.”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As any coach knows, you take one billboard at a time.

As for the one in Florida, how about: “There’s more than one shade of orange,” accompanied by a Kiffin smirk.

And make sure the billboard is within sight of the Pahokee practice field.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 87

ALL_VOL75 writes:

UT FOOTBALL BILLBOARDS IN FLORIDA......HAHAHAHAHA I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!!!

Bigger_Al writes:

We need high-tech billboards with LED's that we can program and change from an office in Knoxville...

arlvol writes:

Im for anything that helps us land 4 and 5 star talent. However, make sure you dont advertise next to a Stuckeys...Pecan roll anyone?!?!

kman29 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

kman29 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

its all good. Hopefully nobody takes things said in here seriously. It is just a college sport.

rockytopfrog writes:

in response to kman29:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Number of current Gator players under the leadership and mentorship of Urbane Meyer and the Lord Tim Teabow who have been arrested?
Too many to count.

Number of current Volunteers under the leadership and mentorship of "rogue" Coack Kiffin who have been arrested?
No need to count. Like most Gator grads, you wouldn't get past 0.

Go Vols. Suck it Gators.

arlvol writes:

in response to FirstAmendment:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Buy a joke book Mr. Comedy Zone. It might help your lame arse material.

kman29 writes:

I understand what Tennessee is trying to do with this sort of Ad campaign. But in the end I honestly don't think it is going to make that much of a difference. Recruiting is all about relationships with the high school coach the recruit and recruits family. Coaches like Randy Shannon, Bobby Bowden and Urban Meyer for years now have built relationships with kids and their coaches that they are looking to sign for 2010 in addition to 2011 and probably started with some 2012 kids. You really think that a kid playing at a school like Miami Northwestern that Randy Shannon has been talking with for the last couple years is going to be more persuaded by a billboard to sign with Tennessee? Maybe Im wrong, but I just don't see it having that big of an effect. Rutgers has employed the same tatics and while they have been able to recruit some florida kids, it mostly came from Greg Shiano's previous connections with the area and the highschool coaches. And yet even with that they aren't exactly blowing up on the national scene.

tdforvols writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

kman29 writes:

in response to FirstAmendment:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

apparently #1 rated LB Jeff Luc is rumored to be the next big name to commit. Normally don't get too hyped about a highschool kid but when you watch some of his videos, the kid is just unreal.

Chartervol writes:

The point that resounds in this story is the ESPN investment in the SEC. If this deal had been struck 15 years ago no one would have ever heard TELL of Charles Woodson.
ESPN takes care of its own, and the SEC is its new baby. Watch where this goes.

lt4vols writes:

in response to rockytopfrog:

Number of current Gator players under the leadership and mentorship of Urbane Meyer and the Lord Tim Teabow who have been arrested?
Too many to count.

Number of current Volunteers under the leadership and mentorship of "rogue" Coack Kiffin who have been arrested?
No need to count. Like most Gator grads, you wouldn't get past 0.

Go Vols. Suck it Gators.

How about "If Lane was good enough for GatorGirl Layla, he's more than good enough for the rest of Florida..." GO VOLS!!!!!!!

DennisVols writes:

Rebuilding the Reputation of a team and a coach. Lane Kiffin and the UT Volunteers
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/Denn...

lt4vols writes:

We all know an anagram for Coach Lane Kiffin is "CLK", so what would be the same anagram for Coach Urban Meyer? I'm just saying...........

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to FirstAmendment:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great idea...and the gators can post Coach McCarneys billboard in Iowa that says the same thing.

DennisVols writes:

in response to PerdedorVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MMMMMMMMMmmmm Signing day is not until Feb. '10 Maybe the NCAA should look into Meyer getting recruits to sign in July.
Probably a big time violation to the NCAA rule book.

tennezz writes:

in response to FirstAmendment:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Does this mean you are going to stop taking viagra because of a billboard?

lt4vols writes:

in response to PerdedorVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on, Loper.... Don't make me say it..

lt4vols writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

allvol32 writes:

KNS - time get the 'loper broom out again. These few bad apples certainly have an extreme obsession with UT which is funny to me but very sad for them judging by how often they post and how persistent they are at creating new govolsxtra accounts when they keep getting banned.

I pity them in the way that I pity someone with a mental illness (OCD in this case).

Having them on this site can be likened to playing a nice round of golf while being annoyed by gnats. It's still a great experience but would be more pleasant without the annoying pests.

The monikors change but the repetitive drivel is so easily identifiable from name change to name change.

Thanks to KNS for the excellent site and the good job they've been doing lately kicking the morons off - please do it yet again KNS.

blitzshoot writes:

How about :
WILL WORK FOR QUARTERBACK

TommyJack writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Or, "Tennessee. Where you won't be Frenched by a teammate".

walter1998 writes:

in response to allvol32:

KNS - time get the 'loper broom out again. These few bad apples certainly have an extreme obsession with UT which is funny to me but very sad for them judging by how often they post and how persistent they are at creating new govolsxtra accounts when they keep getting banned.

I pity them in the way that I pity someone with a mental illness (OCD in this case).

Having them on this site can be likened to playing a nice round of golf while being annoyed by gnats. It's still a great experience but would be more pleasant without the annoying pests.

The monikors change but the repetitive drivel is so easily identifiable from name change to name change.

Thanks to KNS for the excellent site and the good job they've been doing lately kicking the morons off - please do it yet again KNS.

I don't post very often. I simply enjoy reading all of the different points of view, even from the "lopers". However, I really tire from reading posts from whiners like you who do nothing but complain. If you don't like a certain poster, simply DON'T READ THEIR POSTS.

Thank you.

VolGraduate writes:

A shot of nukeese in his ut uniform would be a nice touch to a billboard near the uf campus....with a caption like "it's never too late to volunteer"

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WD, I can see it now:

CLK in the middle and to one side a picture of a full Neyland Stadium and on the other side is a USC player in uniform pumping gas. The caption would read "Fill'er up! The choice is yours"

belayvol writes:

How about....Come play for Tn. Where wearing orange does not involve handcuffs or strip searches?

VolGraduate writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL... I was wondering where they went

Go4Two writes:

This is a dumb idea. What would happen to a Bama billboard in Knoxville...

teampenny#658108 writes:

I do not know about putting billboards up in Florida, but put a Gator billboard in East Tennessee it would not last a week. It would be painted on or burned down. Unusual wait to get FB players to come to our school. Hope it works on QB's. Go Vols

lt4vols writes:

I've been a bad boy.......... Site staff must have not liked the movie "Brokeback Mountain"......

lt4vols writes:

How about "Come to Tennessee... Where the football is steeped in tradition, and the ladies actually have most of their teeth..."

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

How about one of Smokey with his jaws locked onto a gator tail and the sign would say:

"HELP TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME"

lt4vols writes:

in response to lt4vols:

How about "Come to Tennessee... Where the football is steeped in tradition, and the ladies actually have most of their teeth..."

Or "Come to Tennessee......Where we don't name our men 'Ariel'!!!"

cloudodust writes:

Maybe the billboard will reach out to the many decent players that don't want to be attached to any of the three specific 'Florida's Criminal Institutes of Get High While Learning' programs.

allvol32 writes:

in response to walter1998:

I don't post very often. I simply enjoy reading all of the different points of view, even from the "lopers". However, I really tire from reading posts from whiners like you who do nothing but complain. If you don't like a certain poster, simply DON'T READ THEIR POSTS.

Thank you.

Follow your own sage advice there Walt and don't read my posts if they bother you so much.

If you think that the incessant, repetitive, childish and negative posting by the same 'lopers that keep getting banned over and over again is in some way interesting then you and I have different opinions.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

A picture of EB holding the Heisman Trophy and the sign says "This is you brain" next to that is a UF fan in jorts and wifebeater shirt and it says "This is your brain on drugs.

VolNWA writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

How about one of Smokey with his jaws locked onto a gator tail and the sign would say:

"HELP TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME"

SIMPLY HILARIOUS!!!

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

you know... here's a job I would actually be good at. I have an advertising degree from UT, why don't they bring me on and let me have do this.

Buy up the cable systems ESPN time in South Florida and be all over sportscenter down there. We could have our video department cut the commercial for us and save big-time on production costs. And cable itself is cheap if you already have a good commercial.

BigOrangeVol writes:

The Barn is blowing these up all over the entire state of Alabama and the Crimson Turds are P.O'd...while retaining their self-acknowledged superiority obviously! They do have Satan on their sideline and are expecting their 13th mythical National Championship this season so why worry about the Barners?

Papashango needs to put a special voodoo spell on every billboard we have in Florida.

Hey, all we need is this pic with an orange and white checkerboard background and we're in like Flynn with every recruit we want!!! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TXXG8yAXxx0... Papashango says, "Come to Tennessee or Witch Doctor make you sorry".

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

Sign for Tusk-a-loser

Saban's salary: $4,000,000
Car for recruit: $25,000
Athletes textbooks : Free
Mullets on probation (again): PRICELESS

TnScooby writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

Sign for Tusk-a-loser

Saban's salary: $4,000,000
Car for recruit: $25,000
Athletes textbooks : Free
Mullets on probation (again): PRICELESS

LMAO

VOLatMTSU writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

We need high-tech billboards with LED's that we can program and change from an office in Knoxville...

I just saw one of the billboards near Nashville. It was LED and honestly one of the nicest and coolest signs that I have ever seen. It stated "Eric Berry 4 Heisman" and advertised the berry4heisname.com website. The graphics were very similar to the ones on the website.

VOLatMTSU writes:

sorry that is berry4heisman.com

TnScooby writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Haven't heard a name but here is audio from Chattanooga radio about it, courtesy of vol_freak on VolNation...

big-fish.mp3

TnScooby writes:

Can't get the link to set...go to VolNation and you can hear the audio through vol_freak's link in post about big fish

OrangeMandM writes:

in response to TnScooby:

Can't get the link to set...go to VolNation and you can hear the audio through vol_freak's link in post about big fish

I wonder if it's talking about Tyler Bray?? He is 6 ft 6 and it says "big fish". Just a thought...

99gator writes:

be careful with this stuff.....

you don't know where it ends.

you know some gator or bama booster will buy a billboard in knoxville with the score of the game.

or

put a billboard with the score of the game next to the tennessee billboard.

there are people with money who will have a response to this sort of thing.

99gator writes:

the more i think about this, the more this is a bad idea.

there are all kinds of clever things that can be done in response to this.

people don't think of the counter move to such a thing. but, again, there are all kinds of fun things you can do as a response depending on the nature of the billboard.

bad idea.

volguy#211935 writes:

There are ALREADY UT billboards in Florida ... my cars, my house, and those of other UT people here in Florida (behind enemy lines)!

dharrell#222665 writes:

There is a "Berry4heisman.com" billboard in Nashville right now. On I-24 near Hickory Hollow. It is one of the LED boards that change every 10 to 30 seconds. Maybe some of these should go near Bristol, CT.

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