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Fairfield University Athletics has received national honors from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) for its #LucasOnTheLoose campaign. Fairfield was awarded the gold medal in the “Revenue-Generating Idea” category in Group II, which encompasses all of the traditional ‘mid-major’ conferences in NCAA Division I athletics.
The honor was a part of the ‘Best Of’ Awards, held in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday evening as a part of the 25th annual NACMA Convention. Fairfield was a finalist for the award alongside Illinois State University and Seton Hall University, who claimed silver and bronze distinctions, respectively.
“We are proud to share this award with the Fairfield University Administration, Marketing and Communications Department, Department of Athletics, Fairfield University Media Center and everybody else that contributed to the success of the #LucasOnTheLoose campaign,” said Zach Dayton, Associate Director of Athletics for Marketing and Communications.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to our students, alumni and fans whose passion for Fairfield athletics helped to turn our vision into a success.”
The #LucasOnTheLoose campaign was a collaborative effort throughout the Fairfield campus sparked by the redesign of the University’s mascot, Lucas the Stag. Prior to Lucas’ unveiling to the Class of 2019 this past September, the campaign included a series of videos produced by the Fairfield University Media Center as well as a Snapchat geofilter featuring an animated version of Lucas.
Fairfield also distributed 1,000 Lucas the Stag bobbleheads, which were delivered across campus and to prominent media members and alumni. Notably, Lucas has been spotted on the desk of ESPN’s Mike & Mike, a daily sports-talk radio show that is simulcast live on the ESPN family of networks.
The unveiling of Lucas the Stag culminated with a trip to New York City, which included a stop at the Today Show and visits to alumni at IEX, Deloittte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Buzzfeed and Ceros. The day concluded with Lucas taking the mound at Citi Field in front of 25,000 fans – including more than 700 Fairfield students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends – to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Fairfield University Night.
The second annual Fairfield University Night at Citi Field is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.
The #LucasOnTheLoose campaign also included an appearance in an ESPN commercial, which premiered nationally during the network’s Monday Night Football broadcast on Dec. 21, 2015. The commercial aired nearly 500 times during ESPN programming including NBA games on Christmas Day and the College Football Playoff.
In the months since the #LucasOnTheLoose campaign, regular public appearances have become a staple of the community relations strategy of Fairfield’s marketing and communications department as well as the development of a new revenue stream.
“Lucas is a unique and beloved figure that continues to grow alongside our identity as a University,” said Jennifer Anderson, Vice President for Marketing and Communications. “His presence at Fairfield and in our community has increased the pride and engagement of both alumni and current students alike.”
“With the tremendous support we have received from our University and fanbase, we look forward to continuing the momentum of the #LucasOnTheLoose campaign as we move into the 2016-17 school year,” added Dayton.