December 12, 2007

New promotional spot is airing on ESPN

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Did you miss the commercial everyone is talking about? The one with Southern Illinois University Carbondale student and basketball player Bryan Mullins heaving a basketball down-court and assisting his own shot, aided by a complicated mathematical formula?

Fear not, die-hard Saluki fan. You can catch a reprise whenever you want by logging onto SIUC's Web site at and hitting play on the video screen near the bottom of the page. The commercial is also showing on You Tube, where site hits climbed by almost 2,000 in the first three days after the commercial's debut. And, thanks to a contract between the Missouri Valley Conference and ESPN, it will play during televised SIUC basketball games – at least 10 times this season.

The commercial, created by SIUC's own in-house marketing group Barking Dawg Productions, debuted during the Anaheim Classic tournament.

Stephanie Sparks, Web content manager for the group, said Barking Dawg staff fanned out through Carbondale during the game to monitor public reaction to the commercial.

"Everyone got really quiet," Sparks said. "Usually people are talking during the commercials but someone noticed it was the SIUC commercial and everyone got quiet and just watched it. I talked with other Barking Dawg staff members, and they said the same thing happened where they were."

Staff also noted positive feedback on the popular online community Saluki Talk, at

Besides the "Second Nature" basketball commercial, other SIUC videos are available on You Tube, including the new campaign Dawg Tales and the Only in One Place videos.

Barking Dawg Productions is part of University Communications, the multi-unit office that assists in promoting the University.