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Southern Miss Athletics and Advertising Agency Form Association

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard C. Giannini has announced a strategic alliance has been formed between the Athletics Department and the GodwinGroup of Jackson, Miss., in developing a brand image and assist with promotions and branding strategies.

"We are excited to form the association with Godwin Group," said Giannini. "They have an outstanding firm and their expertise and creativity will provide a great service for Southern Miss athletics."

Danny Mitchell, chairman and chief executive officer of Godwin Group, has been a long-time supporter of both academic and athletic programs at Southern Miss. Danny, a 1970 graduate of USM, was permanent class president and varsity cheerleader his senior year. Recently he was past president of USM's Foundation Board of Directors.

"Danny and the staff at Godwin Group bring a wealth of talent to our program," added Giannini. "I know their association with our program will bring lasting results in terms of branding all our sports teams in the future."

Godwin Group, established in 1937, is the South's oldest ad agency. Adweek magazine has named them to its "Top 10 Fastest Growing Agencies in the Southeast." Clients include Mississippi Tourism and Economic Development, Gulf Coast Tourism and Louisville Slugger, as well as numerous financial, healthcare, telecommunications and cruise lines. Fortune 500 companies Georgia-Pacific, Chevron/Texaco and Nissan also are on Godwin's client list. In addition, they work with the Kellogg Foundation.

The association will include establishing the Southern Miss athletics brand, and assisting in the creation and production of radio, televison, billboard and print campaigns for all sports. They also will review all collateral marketing materials for the Golden Eagles.

Paul Batchelder, Southern Miss Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Promotions, will work directly with GodwinGroup staff in developing the marketing and promotional strategies for the athletics program.

ANYONE. ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. ... GodwinGroup is all about building strong brands and brand identities. Slogans are useful, but temporary. We're here today to unveil a new attitude and communication platform that captures the true competitive essence of Southern Miss athletics.

Developing a successful brand is about how well an organization aligns its message, capabilities and beliefs with its actions-in a way that rings true with people.

Inspiration for this brand identity comes directly from what we've learned from our coaches, players, staff, fans -- and even our competitors. From what we've seen and learned as Southern Miss teams time and time again refuse to be intimidated and play to win against major national competitors.

ANYONE. ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. ... This is not a slogan, but a brand positioning designed to strengthen Southern Miss's identity in the national spotlight. This is not this year's ticket sale promotion, but a statement to our national audience about Southern miss athletics, as we continue to build our reputation and our fan base.

It puts into words how our athletes approach the games they love AND Southern Miss's reputation among competitors.

It even explains why some won't play us....

Fans come to see a team play - not just to but seats. Fans come because of the love of sport, of a team, of an institution that demonstrates what they believe in - that through fierce competitiveness, heart, intensity and sportsmanship, anything can happen.

Fans buy into an experience - to be there for great sports moments. To cheer for the team they believe in.

Every player, every coach, every true fan of Southern Miss athletics - now or from years past -knows that Southern Miss has the talent, passion and heart to beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.

It's what we promise to our fans, to our players and to those competitors in or out of our conference who step on any field of play against us. It is what we deliver. Even our competitors help define us - beating Alabama 21-0 on their own turf. Beating Auburn. And Florida State. And being C-USA basketball co-champs in 2001.

Even our losses help define us. In Nebraska our team received a standing ovation from THEIR fans. In Happy Valley at Penn State the sports broadcasters were clear in telling the audience to watch out - that Southern Miss is `FOR REAL.'

This year, the 2001 Big Ten champs, University of Illinois, will visit the Rock. Next year, Nebraska is coming to us.

Our collegiate players and alumni who have gone pro continue to exhibit the drive and demonstrate the essence of this attitude that defines Southern Miss.

ANYONE. ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. ... Southern Miss plays with total intensity. We know that. Our competitors know that. Sportscasters and writers know that.

Now we are proclaiming what people already know. Bring it on ... Southern Miss plays to win against anyone, anywhere and anytime.

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