Oct. 27, 2010
The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is starting a statewide public service announcement campaign called Tough Enough, Smart Enough. The campaign will feature Fighting Illini coaches and student-athletes providing positive messages related to bullying, environmental awareness, nutrition, and the importance of a quality education.
"As the state's preeminent institution, the University of Illinois' coaches and student-athletes can play an important role in positive messaging to young people throughout the Land of Lincoln," Assistant Athletics Director Chris Hanna said. "The Tough Enough, Smart Enough program will be made available to all media outlets across the state. We encourage Fighting Illini fans in all parts of the state to contact their local television, radio, print, and billboard providers asking them to participate in this positive messaging program."
Billboard, television, print, and radio ads have been designed in anticipation of the Tough Enough, Smart Enough campaign announcement. Billboards have been designed featuring football coach Ron Zook and men's basketball coach Bruce Weber. Television and radio ads feature Weber, All-Big Ten men's basketball player Mike Tisdale, and All-America volleyball player Laura DeBruler. Print ads feature Zook, Weber, Tisdale, DeBruler, national champion golfer Scott Langley, and football players Nathan Scheelhaase and Tavon Wilson. Media outlets across the state may request any or all of the PSAs that fill their specific needs. New PSA messages, featuring additional student-athletes and coaches, will be produced throughout the year.
Illinois student-athletes participate in community service projects throughout the year as part of the Hometown Heroes program. Many of these are not publicized for a variety of reasons. The Tough Enough, Smart Enough campaign will fall under the Hometown Heroes umbrella. Special Hometown Heroes projects that feature Tough Enough, Smart Enough messaging and are appropriate for the public spotlight will now be co-branded as Tough Enough, Smart Enough events.
"Our coaches and student-athletes participate in an amazing number of community service projects each year with little or no publicity," Associate Athletics Director Tom Michael said. "They give their time out of kindness and generosity rather than for publicity. When there are events that line up with the messaging of our new Tough Enough, Smart Enough campaign it would be beneficial for the public to see some of the good work they do. We are excited to bring some of their good work to light." Newspaper, magazine, television, radio, and billboard companies with an interest in participating in the Tough Enough, Smart Enough campaign should contact Illinois Athletics for PSAs by calling Brooke Buzard at 217-244-0016 or e-mailing her at mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.