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University of Akron Zips blog

Zips football: Taking right steps marketing wise

By George Thomas Published: August 13, 2012

 The Zips football team didn’t practice Sunday, but that didn’t mean they weren’t busy.

They dealt with taking team pictures in the morning, but saved some time for their fans in the afternoon.

Coach Terry Bowden reminded his team of how important team photos are.

“You don't want to have your grand baby on your laps 50 years from now and they asked what you did and not be able to tell them what a great year you had,” he said to them.

The entire team and coaching staff was available for autographs at a 2 p.m. meet-and-greet for fans. 

“The fans coming out and meeting the players, I think they appreciate that, but it's kind of a new thing. We'll hopefully get more out in the future, but it was a good day over all,” he said.

A steady stream of the Zips faithful showed up for about an hour to get autographs, take the occasional picture and chat with them in this continuation of an annual event.

With Bowden’s presence on campus now, events like this and the relaunching of a kid’s club for athletic teams are shrewd marketing moves to build the UA brand.  The men’s soccer and basketball teams have carried the banner for years, but adding a successful D-I football team will only continue to build an enthusiastic fan base.

Coach stops by

The way former Zips coach Gerry Faust worked the sideline and field, you’d swear that he was still running the Zips football program.  And he probably could still coach.

It’s important that the university to not forget its legacy.  The current coaches certainly haven’t.

“Hey, guys you know you're talking to a celebrity,” defensive coordinator Chuck Amato said jokingly.  “He's on TV making commercials.  He's on billboards.”

All kidding aside, Faust, whose staff Terry Bowden served on as quarterback coach, saw a difference in the Zips.

“Really impressed with the attitude,” he said. “It's going to take a couple years but they're going to be good.”

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