Among the ads that aired Super Bowl Sunday was a special thank you from the Washington State University athletic department that both promoted the university and launched their ?Undefeated Fans? campaign .
The university is thanking the diehard fans that have stood by the Cougs through some trying football seasons and reminding other fans that WSU has a thriving program that needs their support in more ways than one.
Cougar pride is something a true Coug understands
?When you become a Coug you are a part of that family,? Luke Rice said.
Luke and Jaime Rice met at WSU, are former WSU athletes and are personally growing the Cougar fan base. How diehard are they? They named their five-year-old daughter Crimson.
They will live and die with their Cougar pride.
When a commercial aired during the Super Bowl pushed people to visit WSU?s new website undefeatedfans.com , it spoke to Cougs like Luke and Jaime.
?For some schools its easy for their fans, but for us we cheer on our Cougs whether they do well or they don't do well, and to see that ad it shows is why we have such Cougar pride,? Jaime Rice said.
WSU's athletic department says the ad and the Undefeated Fans campaign are designed to do two things.
?We need to thank Cougar fans everywhere for what they have done and encourage others to come into the fold,? Senior Associate Athletics Director Mike Marlow said.
It has been a challenging couple of seasons for Cougar football fans. Donations and attendance are down.
?A Cougar fan does not become a Beaver fan or Husky fan, so they're out there, we just need to remind them we have a seat for them a place for them at the table,? Marlow said.
The athletic department launched this campaign as they try to finish the third phase of Martin Stadium renovations which include premium seating, a new press box and a new football operations center. Those upgrades could come with a $70 Million price tag but upgrades Marlow says are crucial to the success of the program.
?It is absolutely critical it eliminates that gap between Washington State and our PAC-10 competition,? Marlow said.
Winning and losing come with every sport, but Jaime and Luke Rice said that like a family Cougars stay together.
Last week WSU Regents gave the go ahead to start the design phase of the Martin Stadium improvements. The design phase alone will cost about $5 Million and will come out of the athletic department donation reserves.
The university would not comment on how much the ad cost.
WSU Cougar Super Bowl Commercial