Advice from ESPNU: ‘Never Graduate’

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As far as ESPNU is concerned, it’s OK not to get your degree.

No, we’re not talking about student-athletes. Rather, the fledgling college-sports network -- which is slated to bow March 4 -- has launched a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign centered on the “Never Graduate” theme.

The campaign, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York, invites fans to ESPNU, where there is an emotional and passionate connection to college and college sports that does not end with graduation

The campaign consists of promotional spots airing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNews and ESPN Radio; print ads in ESPN-The Magazine; online ads on ESPN.com (espn.go.com); and off-channel broadcast and cable buys.

Each of the three 30-second spots was filmed in New York and began airing on all ESPN networks Feb. 21.

In “Wedding,” the ceremonial first dance of a husband and wife is set to a college fight song; in “Nursing Home,” college-sports rivalries extend to the geriatric set; and in “Halloween,” a trick-or-treater dressed as an opposing team’s mascot gets snubbed on the candy front.

“One of the insights we benefited from when we created ESPNU is that a certain part of anyone who has experienced campus life still clings to that experience and never leaves it behind entirely,” ESPN executive vice president of marketing Lee Ann Daly said in a prepared statement.

“ESPNU is a special place created to serve all of those college fans young and old who understand the pageantry, the rivalry, the camaraderie, the party and why it all really matters so much,” she added.

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