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Joe Hice On The Importance Of Building N.C. State’s Brand

May 25, 2010

Just who is Joe Hice?

Beyond operating the cleverly named blog,, Joe serves as N.C. State’s Chief Communications Officer. He was hired into this position last September from the University Of Florida-Gainsville, a school that has had–as you might’ve heard–a moderately successful athletics track record in recent years.

His latest entry at, “Why Branding is Important to NC State,” is a FANTASTIC piece on promoting N.C. State more effectively. I’d love to repost the entire thing here because it’s all excellent, but I felt like the conclusion of the piece is particularly pertinent to the topics we typically touch on here–winning, and the positive brand impact it has for a university. The bolded portions are my emphasis:

As we move forward with the creation of a new television spot, a new branding campaign, and a refreshed strategic communications plan, our efforts will focus on research and discovery at NC State, our leadership in science and technology, our global aspirations, the quality of our students, faculty and staff, the history and traditions of the university and much more. And our efforts will be much more than just a tag line.

One voice, one message, many places.

The television spots are important and attract the most attention because they appear on athletic events. NC State institutional television ads appear at no charge during every local, regional, or nationally televised sporting event in which Wolfpack athletic teams participate. They also appear on the rebroadcast of NC State athletic events, Coaches’ Shows, and more. The value of this “free” advertising could exceed $1 million annually. If we’re fortunate enough to compete in conference championships — better yet, national championships — that number could be significantly more than $1 million. At my old job, we estimated the value of our “free” television advertising at about $8 million annually.

Corporations know that leading brands enjoy a tremendous advantage over their competitors, and so it is with universities. The investment we make in branding comes back to us many fold. Failing to make that investment in such a competitive environment would most certainly come back to haunt us.

If State’s middling athletic performance is worth a million dollars of free advertising, imagine what winning could do for State.

And it would be effective advertising. If we’re currently putting out the equivalent of a million dollars worth of advertising, the “ads” aren’t putting our best foot forward. It’s wasted advertising, in essence.

I get the sense that Joe will do an excellent job from his office in helping to promote State’s brand. State’s athletics programs–particularly football and basketball–need to hold up their end of the bargain.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 6:56 pm

    This is not related to the post but it had to go somewhere:

    I am really glad to see your blog doing well and moving over to the new domain and all. I used to be a Pack Pride premium subscriber who would religiously visit the message boards hoping for a nugget of news, but I have been reading and enjoying your blog for months and now you are my sole source of NC State sports news (other than what comes through in my WRAL and TBJ feeds). Your one or two posts a day are perfect for keeping me up to date, and are always written in a very entertaining style. I’m wondering if you have other interests because if you do you should start blogs on those, too — you are very good at this.

    (I promise he is not paying me to say this … I am genuinely impressed.)

  2. May 25, 2010 8:42 pm

    Branding- a concept long forgotten by NC State. Thanks for pointing us to this article and the efforts of Joe Hice. Also- I love the new blog address and header photo as well!

  3. May 25, 2010 8:55 pm

    Well damn. I’m speechless.

    Thanks for reading, and perhaps I’ll start a barbecue blog someday, but as much time as blogging requires for me, I don’t think I could juggle three kids, two blogs, one job and one wife. (not in that order, lol)

    But again, thanks. *cough* TELL YOUR FRIENDS! *cough*

  4. Scott permalink
    May 26, 2010 8:00 am

    should we take branding advice from a blogger who used to have the longest blog name in the history of ever?

  5. May 26, 2010 8:54 am

    It’s not ME. It’s Joe Hice!

    Though word is, his previous blog address was


  1. We All Go (Back) To N.C. State « Riddick & Reynolds

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