Thursday, October 08, 2009

Product placement?

When retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu turned 78 yesterday, he celebrated in a Saint Joseph's University sweatshirt. A veteran of the struggle against apartheid, a Nobel laureate, and the chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Tutu spoke at SJU in April of 2008; the Archbishop's SJU sweatshirt is presumably a souvenir of that visit. I'm sure that the admissions and public relations offices at the university are pleased to see a figure of Tutu's public stature and gravitas sporting SJU apparel. For my part, I'm impressed that the Archbishop chose to celebrate his birthday by remembering his visit to Hawk Hill (even if he only remembered it in passing as he put on his sweatshirt).

I wonder if this bit of free advertising will have an impact (even if only a slight one) on applications for admission to SJU, particularly from South African students who may wonder about the striking logo on Tutu's sweatshirt and turn to the Internet for more information. At the very least, it's delightful to think that some future denizens of Hawk Hill may be able to say that they were introduced to Saint Joseph's University by a Nobel laureate. AMDG.


At 10/10/2009 7:02 PM, Blogger Sal said...

I saw him last year! What an inspiring man--yeah PR is gonna have a field day. I wouldn't be surprised if there are posters of this all over SJU next semester HAHA.

Like how they have Jamie Moyer on the billboards even tho he only went to St. Joe's for 2 year. I can see it now. "Archbishop Desmond Tutu--SJU Alum April '08-April '08"

At 10/11/2009 1:09 PM, Blogger Joe said...


Agreed on all counts. It's probably also only a matter of time until we start seeing Jameer Nelson billboards too, presuming it hasn't happened already.


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