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By Randy York
Lincoln introduced its new look Thursday when a successful local youth marketing agency went public with a new pitch at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic development breakfast. Clint Runge, co-founder of Lincoln-based Archrival and creative director for several national campaigns, unveiled his agency’s newest project, and this one was local … the re-creation of the Nebraska Capital City’s brand, boiled down to five words: Life is Right in Lincoln.
The creative campaign caught the eye of Nebraska’s Athletic Department, and I offer up an anecdote from four months ago that explains why it resonates with me. During a break in the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Devaney Center, I walked to the Hendricks Training Complex entrance, where members of the Huskers Athletic Fund were hosting an event that featured an architectural model of the Pinnacle Bank Arena, which will open in the fall of 2013.
A man wearing a long-sleeved Minnesota shirt approached me while we were checking the arena model. He told me his daughter was a member of the Gopher track team and how the family lives in Chicago. He said she wanted to visit Nebraska because the Huskers were interested in recruiting her, but he “kind of stonewalled” the visit to Lincoln because he had a certain perception that did not match the reality now in front of him. “This whole city just shocks me,” he said. “It’s so different than what I imagined. I apologized to my daughter.”
In other words, now that Nebraska’s in the Big Ten Conference, Lincoln’s secret isn’t so well-kept anymore, so make sure you check out another blog this weekend that shatters some of the same myths in the minds of communicators who work for other Big Ten schools.
Let’s just say all the Huskers I work with agree that Life is right in Lincoln, and if you don’t believe us, please check out the creative work in the links at the top of this blog. They show real people in real places with real smiles and real enthusiasm. They’re all young, successful, comfortable and having fun in Lincoln. In some respects, they’re also this city’s newest reality show because they can trump almost every inaccurate perception out there.
The Athletic Department is proud of our “home-town” city and all of its new offerings and opportunities that we see every day. We work with Nebraska Global, a business proving itself as an up-and-coming software company. Nebraska Global will partner with NU’s Athletic Department in a 20,000-square-foot research bay that’s part of the East Stadium expansion project, enabling Lincoln to become the home of a major concussion study that features collaboration between the Big Ten and the Ivy League. Under Dr. Dennis Molfese, Nebraskawill lead the effort to standardize the process for a massive database of information.
Lincoln’s ever-changing landscape also includes the new Pinnacle Bank Arena and Innovation Campus. Bottom line, Nebraska recruiters know what happens when student-athletes and their parents visit Lincoln and see the progress of a city truly on the move. “Our most important mission is to make sure they get here,” said Ross Els, Nebraska’s recruiting coordinator for football, “because once they get here, they’re blown away by what they see.”
Els is referring to the Athletic Department and the City of Lincoln itself, which go together, well …just right.
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