Kentucky football Super Bowl ad looks to future

People may ask: Why a Kentucky football Super Bowl commercial?

Kentucky’s marketing gurus say: “Why not?”

That was the theme of a sharp, forward-spinning UK football ad that ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

“The feedback has certainly been positive,” said Jason Schlafer, a senior associate athletics director. “I think Twitter broke last night with people sharing the YouTube link to the spot.”

The 60-second commercial was purchased and shown in the Lexington market for a little more than $17,000, that price was up from the $10,000 paid for last year’s spot, which was only 30 seconds long.

Less than 12 hours later, it had been viewed on YouTube nearly 40,000 times, which meant it had done its job of being seen by other UK fans worldwide, Schlafer said.

“The entire target market for that spot are people that care about Kentucky football,” he said. “They’ll find a way to it and it will find a way to them.”

The Super Bowl ad, narrated by UK Coach Mark Stoops, is looking ahead to the future, including a hidden single-frame artist’s rendering of a view of the new Commonwealth Stadium near the end.

“People ask me: ‘Why here? Why Kentucky?’ I said: ‘Why not?’” Stoops says to open the spot.

He talks about laying the foundation and the commercial includes several key returnees from last season like Ryan Timmons, Jojo Kemp, Javess Blue and Blake McClain. There was heavy focus on UK’s two returning defensive ends Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith.

The commercial also shows the seven new signees and early enrollees for this 2014 signing class, the center piece of the group being Conner quarterback Drew Barker, who is donning the much discussed but never worn in a game gray uniforms.

When asked about whether or not those uniforms are going to become a thing this season, Schlafer was coy.

“I wasn’t on the wardrobe committee,” he laughed. “We worked with the coaching staff … anything new and exciting we could put in there based on their recommendations.”

The other early enrollees are linebacker Dorian Hendrix, running back Mikel Horton, defensive tackle Cory Johnson, wide receivers Thaddeus Snodgrass and T.V. Williams as well as defensive back A.J. Stamps.

The commercial, created by Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions, was shot on Jan. 20.

UK did inquire about moving the commercial more regional, into a secondary market (Louisville), but that local station required vendors to buy multiple spots. Schlafer said he only wanted it to be shown on Super Bowl Sunday “when football fans are watching TV.”

Those fans heard Stoops’ refrain loud and clear: “People ask me, ‘Why here? Why Kentucky?’ I said, ‘Why not? It can be done here. It will get done here.’”

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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4 Responses to Kentucky football Super Bowl ad looks to future

  1. Herb Bates says:

    I wear a UK pin for Basketball and a Florida State pin for Football, now of UK gets good at football or Fl St gets good at basketball, I’m going to have a problem, knowing who to back

  2. Highway119 says:

    Absolutely. It is all about changing the culture, and part of that old culture is that we were not willing to do what it takes. Spots like this keep fans excited, and lets them know that things are going to be different. I thought it was awesome!

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