When Tyrone Hill was a senior, the University’s sports information department tried marketing him to those who vote for All-American players by creating a campaign. “T-time,” they called it. They received 10,000 tea bags from Kroger, tore off the tags and replaced them with their own tags with Hill’s statistics written on them.
This season, the effort the department is putting forth to hype David West as the national player of the year is mountainous in comparison to Hill’s. It’s sending out a West bobblehead, a poster, a keychain with a compass on it that’s permanently pointing west, a reporter’s notebook with West on the front and Romain Sato—who’s also being marketed as an All-American—on the back, and a mousepad with West and Sato holding the Atlantic 10 Conference championship trophy.
“As much as we are trying to reach the media and those voting for the All-Americans,” says Tom Eiser, assistant athletic director for media relations, “we’re also sending our message to NBA teams. When the Golden State Warriors made Tyrone Hill a lottery pick, their ticket campaign that year was, ‘It’s T-time.’ ”
Next year, some team’s campaign will undoubtedly be going West.