UK Baseball

‘So good.’ See Kentucky baseball hype next season with World Series ad

Winning pitcher Kentucky pitcher Sean Hjelle (30) congratulated teammates after the University of Kentucky defeated Ohio University in the NCAA Lexington Regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, June 2, 2017. UK won 6-4.
Winning pitcher Kentucky pitcher Sean Hjelle (30) congratulated teammates after the University of Kentucky defeated Ohio University in the NCAA Lexington Regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, June 2, 2017. UK won 6-4. cbertram@herald-leader.com

The University of Kentucky baseball team took a page out of UK football’s playbook Tuesday night, airing an ad during Game 1 of the World Series.

The spot “This Season on Kentucky Baseball” highlighted UK’s best ever season this past spring and reminded fans the Cats have a number of stars returning in 2018, including SEC pitcher of the year Sean Hjelle.

“Coach Minge (Nick Mingione) hasn’t forgotten how good last season was,” says the voice-over. “And it was so good.”

Mingione earned SEC coach of the year and a national coach of the year honor in leading UK to 43 wins and its first NCAA super regional berth. The ad features the website link www.ukbaseballtix.com throughout.

UK football has made a splash over the last five seasons with ads aired during the Super Bowl, one of the most-watched television events each year. The audience for the World Series might not be as big, but in reaches UK’s target audience: baseball fans.

The nearly 90-second commercial assumes you know some of UK’s returning players, referring to a couple by nicknames, “JLew” for pitcher Justin Lewis, or last names “Becker” for slugger Luke Becker. It also highlights returners Cole Cottam, Troy Squires and “Tristan Pompey. Would you believe me if I told you he’s already on base?” the announcer says.

Based on last season’s success with a team that was picked in the preseason to finish in the bottom half of the pack in the SEC, Kentucky should be one of the favorites to contend in 2018.

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