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February 22, 2024

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Stroh Center Rap video wins award

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Mikey ‘Rosco’ Blair stands under the falcon statue at the Stroh Center, where the Stroh Center Rap was filmed.

The University is spotted once again in the national spotlight with its Stroh Center Rap video winning the Grand Gold Award.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education chose the Falcons and their Stroh Center opening video for the very highest honor, the Grand Gold Award. The University won out of 62 entries in the Fundraising Video category, beating out Princeton University, and was one of 2,800 total entries from 567 participants.

“I am so pleased that CASE recognized BGSU out of so many qualified institutions,” said University President Mary Ellen Mazey, according to University website. “It once again speaks to the creativity and talent of our marketing and communications staff, alumni and students.”

The Stroh Center Rap was a collaboration of the University’s marketing and communications office, athletics, University advancement and Madhouse creative firm.

Thomas Seiffert, University alumnus and partner of Toledo’s creative firm, Madhouse, was hired by the University to help promote the opening of the Stroh Center.

Senior Communications Director David Kielmeyer said the University decided it wanted to do something different when it began discussing the official opening.

“Part of our process is to brainstorm and come up with innovative ideas,” said Madhouse partner Bill Sattler.

Kielmeyer said the conversation eventually evolved when Seiffert suggested they do a rap video, which Madhouse thought was a bold idea the University should try.

“I said convince me,” Kielmeyer said. “In my mind there were two scenarios; either it would be a great success or

a flop.”

The rap video was a success with more than 174,000 views on YouTube. It also received national attention.

Jason Knavel, the assistant athletics director for athletic communications, said the athletics staff really tried to promote the video using social media. He said they also used some of their athletic connections and sent the video to ESPN, which featured the video during its college basketball segment.

Knavel said he was confident the video would be a success because the video was produced at a high quality and would have a great opportunity to win contests it was entered in.

Alumni and others agreed with the quality of the video and the opportunities ahead for the University.

“Many folks emailed me when they saw the video and said it was an award-winner,” Knavel said.

Sattler is happy for his clients that the video was such a success because they took a chance and did something different.

The rap video featured students, Mikey ‘Rosco’ Blair and Rachel Willingham, singing alongside University athletes.

Blair began rapping his freshman year at the University and became more serious the summer after when he received a call from Madhouse saying he was a contestant for the Stroh Center Rap. After seeing footage of his ‘Brown and Orange’ rap video, the company wanted to see more footage. A week later he was on his way to record the rap with Seiffert, Blair said

“Rob and the guys from Madhouse wrote the lyrics,” Blair said. “I wish I was good enough to come up with the [lyrics] ‘This man is bombastic and classic, fantastic.’”

Blair rapped about a few of the top alumni donors: Kerm Stroh, Bill Frack, Allen Schmidthorst, Larry Miles and Neil Young.

But the alumni donors weren’t just mentioned in the video. They were in the video sporting basketball attire, socks and even dribbling a basketball.

“It might have taken some initial convincing at first,” Kielmeyer said. “But we had a group of donors who were willing to take a chance with us, they willingly went along.”

Keilmeyer said the Stroh Center Rap was a fun process and a good collaboration with everyone involved, especially the alumni donors who were willing to get involved and take a chance.

Making a rap video wasn’t just fun way to promote the opening of the Stroh Center and make it more exciting, it also brought the campus together.

Knavel said the video was a great way to raise some school spirit as well and athletics has even made t-shirts with catch phrases from the rap to pass out at games.

“The dance moves and ‘Bowling Green. Falcon team. Where my falcons at?’ was some swag that I added,” Blair said.

Thanks to the success of the Stroh Center Rap, the falcon’s are proudly at the top, with the Grand Gold Award in their talons.

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