Ben­e­fits abound from turn­around

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Monte Wha­ley

The re-emer­gence of Colorado foot­ball reaps plenty of ben­e­fits for the uni­ver­sity be­yond the fi­nan­cial wind­fall of rep­re­sent­ing the school and con­fer­ence in a bowl game.

The no­to­ri­ety and brand­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties af­forded to teams that make it to one of the premier bowl games ben­e­fit the en­tire cam­pus. If the un­der­dog Buf­faloes beat the fourth-ranked Wash­ing­ton Huskies in the Pac12 cham­pi­onship game Fri­day night, Colorado (10-2) would qual­ity for the Rose Bowl and per­haps be a long­shot for a spot in a Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off semi­fi­nal.

Even if Colorado loses Fri­day, the school’s name and icon Buffs logo are back in the na­tional spot­light. It is Colorado’s first con­fer­ence ti­tle game since 2005 (Big 12), and it will be the first time since 2007 that CU is in­vited to a bowl game.

That alone makes re­cruit­ing top ath­letic tal­ent much eas­ier, say mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing experts. It also helps that Mike MacIn­tyre — who was hired in De­cem­ber 2012 af­ter a sim­i­lar, re­mark­able turn­around at San Jose State — on Thurs­day was named the Wal­ter Camp 2016 coach of the year, which is se­lected by his fel­low head coaches across the coun­try.

“The ath­letic de­part­ment is the front porch for a col­lege or uni­ver­sity and it’s an enor­mous re­cruit­ment tool,” Metropoli­tan State Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sor Dar­rin Du­ber-Smith said. “If you are a mem­ber of the alumni, you want to build an affin­ity for a school, and you usu­ally don’t feel much affin­ity for the math de­part­ment.”

“I think the fact that you are get­ting ex­po­sure, and that is al­ways good,” added Du­ber-Smith. “The big­ger the bowl, the big­ger the au­di­ence, and that will help spread CU’s mes­sage.”

The CU ath­letic de­part­ment gets plenty of fi­nan­cial help from the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off. But so do other schools thanks to a rev­enue-dis­tri­bu­tion plan ap­proved by uni­ver­sity pres­i­dents and chan­cel­lors rep­re­sent­ing the 10 con­fer­ences that man­age the sys­tem.

All bowl rev­enue — as well as money from tele­vi­sion net­works and rights — is col­lected by the Pac12 Con­fer­ence and then dis­trib­uted evenly to the schools in an an­nual pay­ment, said David Plati, spokesman for CU ath­let­ics.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from CBS Sports this year, the Pac-12 gave each school an av­er­age of $25.1 mil­lion in the 2014-15 year from rev­enue and $21.2 mil­lion in 2013-14. The re­port said the con­fer­ence gained $298.6 mil­lion from tele­vi­sion rights fees and $80.1 mil­lion from post­sea­son bowls in 201415 sea­sons.

The rev­enue CU re­ceives is used within the ath­letic de­part­ment.

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