UK football during the Super Bowl?

Kentucky’s marketing people are hoping that you not only saw the UK football promo commercial that ran just before halftime of Sunday’s Super Bowl, but that you watched it over and over again.

Even more so, that the spot, which cost $10,000 to run locally on WKYT, made you want to go buy or renew your season football tickets.

The basic idea for the 30-second commercial was to get fans excited for the start of spring football, thus the thunder, lightning and rain sounds in the ad.

“It wasn’t going to be a fun spot or humorous, it was going to be tough,” said Jason Schlafer, a senior associate athletics director. “The thunder, rain, dark, was all about fighting through, which is what (players) do in the spring.”

Each year, Kentucky had discussed running an ad during the Super Bowl, but this year seemed like the perfect time, Schlafer said. But UK wanted to make sure it had a “Super Bowl quality ad” to put in the spot. It worked with its outside advertising firm to put it together.

The spot, which includes a digitally re-created Commonwealth Stadium at night, features new coach Mark Stoops’ voice. He was one of only a handful of people who knew the spot was going to air.

“We wanted it to creep up on people during the halftime show,” Schlafer said. “I wanted folks to back up the DVR.”

As for the “Air Raid” sirens that ran in the background of the commercial (like the ones that sounded during the Hal Mumme era at UK), Schlafer said there’s been no real discussion about whether or not to bring them back.

“That’s not on our radar quite yet,” he said.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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