ATHLETICS HIRES PR COMPANY TO BOOST IMAGE

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By Carys Mills

Ryerson athletics has hired a spin doctor to help give their struggling reputation a clean bill of health.

“Ryerson doesn’t have an athletic reputation,” said Ivan Joseph, director of athletics. “Our location of downtown Toronto is something we haven’t been taking advantage of.”

The university signed a six-month contract with Cosmos Sports at the beginning of November, instead of hiring an athletics marketing manager. Joseph said the department decided to outsource athletic marketing needs.

Outsourcing is a popular way to promote university sports in the United States. But Joseph doesn’t want Ryerson athletics to enter the dark side of corporate sponsorships.

“I don’t want to create an American university. But having corporate help does offset the costs and this partnership enhances our reputation,” he said. “But I don’t want to be Adidas University. If corporate partnerships allow the athletes to have a better experience — it’s not a bad thing. You don’t want to sell your soul.”

Joseph said the contract with Cosmos will cost Ryerson $20,000. He said it will save Ryerson money because a marketing manager’s salary would range from $60,000 to $100,000.

“Hiring a company could seem to be a less personal approach,” he said. “But this way you get six or seven experts that know more than just marketing. It’s hard to find that in one person.”

The sports management company’s clients include the Toronto Argonauts and Hockey Canada.

Cosmos Sports will unveil their plans for Ryerson in the next two weeks. They want to promote the image of Ryerson athletics, incease marketing efforts and attract sponsorships. The company also plans to redo the Rams logo and website.

Anthony Lancione is a recent graduate from Ryerson and a sports account intern at Cosmos Sports.

“I’m on the project because obviously I have pride in being a Ryerson alumnus,” he said. “When I was at Ryerson there was little to zero school spirit, and as a commuter school it’s difficult to build spirit.”

Cosmos Sports has plans for signage in the Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC), George Bell Arena and possibly Lamport Stadium.

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