College nights are nothing new for pro sports teams, but the Cincinnati Reds have come up with an interesting twist.
The club is holding a “college weekend” Sept. 30-Oct. 2 that includes the opportunity for fans to represent both the Reds and their college with customized hats.
This looks like a great way to expand the team’s brand, but it also begs a question.: Why are the only schools involved the University of Cincinnati, Xavier, Northern Kentucky, Miami University and the University of Kentucky?
UC and Xavier are obvious, as are fairly close neighbors Miami and NKU, but what about the Wildcats?
While involving Big Blue Nation certainly makes sense given the proximity to Lexington and the presence of plenty of Wildcat alumni in Reds Country, we couldn’t help but wonder about the University of Dayton and Wright State. Or Ohio State for that matter.
Dayton is closer to the Queen City than Lexington, and the city is full of Reds fans who also happen to follow the Flyers, Raiders and/or Buckeyes.
Reds public relations manager Michael Anderson gave us the answer.
“We reached out to many colleges all across Reds Country in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, and the schools that were able to reach licensing agreements between MLB, NCAA and the schools’ offices of trademarks and licensing were” the schools listed in the promotion.
“And with this being the first year for ‘college weekend,’ we look forward to growing the program in future seasons.”
It’s a shame more agreements couldn’t be reached, but partnering with those five schools is a good start in terms of spreading the Reds’ brand as the club goes through a rebuild that hasn’t been fun for fans this year and might not get much better in the immediate future.