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In Colorado, University Business May Be Driven By Sports

University of Colorado plans business around atheleticsUniversities in Colorado may be taking a page out of Boise State’s book by pushing for better athletics to drive business to their schools.  Boise State made strides to increase enrollment of out-of-state students in large part because of their 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory.  Now, Colorado schools are looking to their athletics for help.

Colorado Universities Look To Athletics To Drive Business

Because state funding for higher education in Colorado is bleak, Jack Graham – Colorado State University’s athletic director – thinks Boise State is on to something.  Successful athletic programs often help Universities gain recognition by showcasing their school on a big stage.

In the words of Bruce Benson, president of Colorado State University:

“When we played West Virginia on a Thursday night (a pulsating overtime victory in 2008), we were the only game in town. Do you think you can get a better 3½ hours of marketing than that?”

By the numbers, Bruce Benson seems to be absolutely correct.

  • Traffic to CSU’s website increased by 20 percent last March when the men’s basketball team won their first NCAA Tournament game in 24 years.
  • Traffic to CSU’s online enrollment page went up by 42 percent the week before the NCAA Tournament started.
  • Boise State had a 40 percent application increase just after winning the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Numbers like these seem to confirm the importance of college athletics.  According to Bob Kustra – president of Boise State University – when the school receives more applications, the quality of students increases.  28 percent of incoming freshmen had a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. Track ahead to 2012 and that figure reached 45 percent.

University of Colorado Moves to Upgrade Athletics Program

After hiring Rick George as the new athletic director, the University of Colorado plans on starting fundraisers to upgrade the athletic programs, including Folsom Field.  The other staple school of Colorado, CSU, plans on raising money as part of their plans to build a $300 million football stadium.  Colorado schools are now leaving it up to their athletic programs to help them out in the world of business.  If the views around campus aren’t enough to draw out-of-state enrollment, perhaps sports will be.  Read more here.

Have you considered a school because of their athletic program?

Photo Credit: colorado.edu

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