SFA fever running high in the wake of the Lumberjacks' big victory

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - SFA fever is running high in Nacogdoches.

As you should know by now, the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks basketball team is headed to California to play in the NCAA tournament.

The achievement has SFA marketing analysts scrambling to get in on the action.

It's the kind of win marketing and ad people dream about.

A client winning a Southland Conference tournament win is a big deal.

Marketing gurus also know fans are hitting the replay button on You Tube Videos of NCAA "Selection Sunday."

And just hearing the school's name on national television is music to an ad person's ears.

Every SFA media mention is tracked by marketing directors.

"That has gone from just a few mentions per day to 100 mentions per day last week and this morning 346 mentions just in the past 24 hours," said Shirley Luna, the executive director of SFA's marketing and communications department.

Consultants call it "earned press." Consultants were planning to launch its marketing plan March 31. When the Jacks won more than 30 games, the game plan was stepped up.

Billboards went up in Houston and Nacogdoches to re-enforce "Lumberjacks make great basketball players."

"The buzz is everywhere about it, like just have something to be proud of for everybody around school," said Ryan Lodini, an SFA student from Huntington.

"The students are really excited," said Amanda Horne, the director of SFA's student engagement program. "They've been following the men this whole season. Go Jacks."

The enthusiasm is the stuff a student engagement program seeks.

"Absolutely. Grab it when it happens and show support for those students," Horne said. "We're all Lumberjacks, and we should support each other."

So as the Lumberjacks bask in the glory, and the fans go wild, consultants are dreaming up the next big ad campaign.

The Jacks take on Virginia Commonwealth in San Diego on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Watch parties take place at Nacogdoches restaurants. SFA is securing the University Theatre for Sunday in hopes that the team will move to the next level.

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