CHICAGO: The Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC), which includes eight schools in several major midwest cities, has hired Caldwell Van Riper/MARC to develop a national branding strategy.
CHICAGO: The Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC), which includes
eight schools in several major midwest cities, has hired Caldwell Van
Riper/MARC to develop a national branding strategy.
MCC commissioner Jonathan LeCrone said that the business handed to
Caldwell - worth between dollars 80,000 and dollars 100,000 - may be
followed next year by an implementation phase that could see the
conference intensify its marketing efforts.
’The first thing we’re trying to find out is what people think of us,’
LeCrone said, noting that Caldwell is not a shoo-in for the additional
The conference’s eight schools are located in major Midwest markets
(Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and Milwaukee, among others), but are
generally not the most visible universities in those regions. LeCrone is
thus hoping that the planned rebranding campaign will ’position our
member institutions so they are just a little more well-known. We want
to increase awareness.’ Caldwell is LeCrone’s first PR agency hire since
he became MCC commissioner in 1992.
Caldwell EVP Kirk Stall said the firm’s work will be research-intensive
at first. ’We’re doing a lot of research right now on the conference’s
brand,’ he said.
Exactly how much of the MCC’s future spending will be devoted to PR, ads
or other marketing tools has yet to be determined, Stall added.
Caldwell, an integrated agency, has assigned three marketing people and
two PR staffers to work on the account for now.
LeCrone expects future branding efforts to focus on MCC student/athletes
and their academic achievements. Caldwell’s sports background - the
agency works with the Indiana Pacers and the NCAA Hall of Champions -
was one of the deciding factors in its selection.
The eight members of the MCC are Butler, Cleveland State, the University
of Detroit/Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola/Chicago,
Wright State, the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay and the University