Teaming up with the Lions is another high-profile way UT is working to close the gap between Toledo and Michigan’s largest city, blurring the state border and erasing the perception of distance between two cities less than 60 miles apart.
“The University of Toledo continues to strengthen its brand and attract talented students to campus by partnering with institutions like the Detroit Lions and the NFL, introducing them to Rocket Nation,” said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs.
In addition to stadium signage, UT and the Lions are developing hands-on opportunities for students and planning joint educational projects that are applicable to real sports business.
“We’re excited to partner with The University of Toledo and integrate sports business into their curriculum,” said Tom Lewand, Detroit Lions team president. “This partnership will also serve as another great platform to introduce more young professionals to Detroit.”
UT also has a prominent presence at both Comerica Park and Joe Louis Arena. The increased marketing effort has directly impacted student recruitment, almost doubling undergraduate student enrollment from metro Detroit from 860 in 2006 to nearly 1,600 southeastern Michigan students in the Fall of 2013.
"This isn't just buying advertising," said Burns. "Whether it's real-world training or other opportunities, we're looking for ways to share the value of a UT education. That message coming alongside the Detroit Lions brand makes it resonate so much more powerfully."
In addition to its sports partnerships, The University of Toledo also is extending its reach into Michigan with a unique partnership with Schoolcraft College in Livonia that will allow students in select degree programs in the area to obtain a four-year degree from UT in their neighborhood. UT also has a strong relationship with News/Talk 760 WJR, which reaches throughout most of the Midwest and into the eastern U.S. and Canada that includes a monthly radio program called “The Relevant University."
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO
The University of Toledo, established in 1872, is a diverse, student-centered public metropolitan research university. The University is home to more than 20,000 students across 16 colleges and six Ohio campuses. UT offers more than 230 doctoral, professional, graduate and undergraduate programs. Nearly 350 student athletes comprise 15 Division 1 Rocket athletic teams. UT has earned national and international acclaim for its expertise in solar and advanced renewable energy, environmental sciences, astronomical research, translational research and biomarkers. For more information visit www.utoledo.edu.
ABOUT DETROIT LIONS
The Detroit Lions is a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. The team relocated to Detroit in 1934 and are the National Football League's fifth oldest franchise. The Detroit Lions finished the 2011 regular season with a 10-6 record and earned a berth in the NFL playoffs. In addition to professional football, the Detroit Lions have a very visible and active community relations role in the Detroit area. With a focus on health and wellness and community revitalization, the Lions have contributed $7.2 million through philanthropic efforts since 1991. For more information, visit www.DetroitLions.com.