If you are headed to the Minnesota Twins home opener today at Target Field – or any of the team’s 81 home games this season – keep an eye out for the University of St. Thomas-1500 AM ESPN press box.
The press box is located on Rod Carew Way, one of the main entrances to Target Field off of Seventh Street, and is owned and operated by Hubbard Broadcasting, the parent company of 1500 AM ESPN Radio (formerly KSTP). The station broadcasts Twins games and uses the press box for pre-game programming.
As the official sponsor of the press box, St. Thomas will promote its academic, alumni, athletic and fundraising programs, gaining greater visibility for the university through signage, websites, broadcast references and information giveaways.
“We see the press box as a great opportunity to help market and promote the university as a whole, its graduate programs and our alumni, fundraising and sports programs,” said Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations. “We’ll interact with thousands of fans, and many more will see and hear the St. Thomas name on websites and on broadcasts.”
Components of the sponsorship include:
It is a trailer-type building and the site of two hours of pre-game activity and interviews by ESPN sports staff. The game and post-game shows also are piped from there. The press box is co-branded with St. Thomas and ESPN signage, and the front façade has a video screen that will rotate photos and information about university programs.
Each academic and administrative program will be assigned at least one home series, with the opportunity for faculty, staff, students and alumni to greet fans and distribute marketing materials and other information. St. Thomas clothing will be on the ESPN-St. Thomas “Prize Wheel” outside the press box.
St. Thomas can use the press box at six events during 2011. The events have not been determined, but possibilities include alumni golf tournaments and home football games. The press box also will be used at ESPN events around the Twin Cities; there were 21 such events last year.
St. Thomas will appear on the leader board of the 1500 AM ESPN home page as well as the station’s home page for the Twins. The sites get 900,000 hits a month. The leader board will include a reference to the program assigned to the home series, with links to a portal site that lists St. Thomas programs and has a special promotion of the program involved with that home series. This feature will allow St. Thomas to track the number of hits that each program gets.
St. Thomas will be mentioned a minimum of 10 times per home game and a minimum of 15 times per week during the season.
St. Thomas will receive four tickets to 10 Twins games and a 14-ticket suite for one game. The tickets will be distributed to the academic and administrative programs involved in the press box promotions.
St. Thomas academic programs involved in the project are College of Arts and Sciences graduate programs in Art History, Catholic Studies, English and Music; the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Opus College of Business, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, School of Engineering and the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.
Administrative programs are Alumni and Constituent Relations, Athletics, Development, undergraduate Enrollment Services and University Relations.