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Campaign aims at rowdy fans.

Byline: Rob Moseley The Register-Guard

Members of a University of Oregon advertising agency and the student senate's Athletic Department Finance Committee unveiled an ad campaign Monday aimed at curbing rowdy behavior by students at university athletic events.

The campaign, which came about after UO President Dave Frohnmayer appealed to the senate for action on the issue last fall, features cartoonish images that all include the tagline "You're In or You're Out" and a stamp declaring "Be a Respectful Fan."

They will appear in the student newspaper, on posters and on leaflets distributed with student tickets next fall, said Matt Berry, a member of Allen Hall Advertising and account director for the project.

Berry said the group spent about four months studying similar campaigns at other schools after accepting the project around the first of the year.

"We uncovered a lot of campaigns that had a very paternal, regulatory feel," said Brad Soulas, a copy writer on the project. "The majority of those have been unsuccessful."

Soulas cited such a program at Colorado, where an embarrassing incident took place in November during a game with Nebraska. An entire section of student seating was emptied after fans repeatedly threw objects on the field during a blowout loss.

"So off the bat we wanted to go another way: avant garde, a little irreverent," Soulas said.

In one of the scheduled print ads, the feet of a duck and a human can be seen behind a shower curtain, along with the slogan "Keep It Clean" plus the tagline and stamp.

The leaflets feature slogans that are humorous, if sophomoric.

We're all in this together, one reads. It's like a family reunion; it's all fun and games until the creepy uncle shows up.

"We're really trying to go with an irreverent feel," Soulas said. "But we feel that if we can punctuate it with 'be a respectful fan,' then the message gets across. It's something that can slowly and progressively change the culture of fan behavior."

Natalie Kinsey, a member of the Finance Committee, said the group had considered measures like suggesting more security at games, or threatening unruly students with the potential loss of their tickets.

"But we also thought that would be more authoritative, which we wanted to stay away from," she said.

Kyle McKenzie, chair of the ADFC, said the committee is considering a request that athletes speak to fans about their behavior, among other measures. But for now, they're moving forward with the ad campaign.

"We understand we're not going to change it for next season," said Berry, the account director.

"We're just trying to create awareness."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 13, 2006
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