Undefeated since 1947

Hearing the roar of fans painted in teal, navy blue and gold on Saturday afternoons brings excitement to our bones. One can only wonder why UNCW lacks the school spirit that a collegiate football program can provide. If a single sport unifies the student body, then why not take immediate action?

According to ESPN, more than 600 universities contain collegiate football, 32 teams are located in North Carolina. So, why doesn’t UNC Wilmington have a football program? Location, finances, and UNCW’s brand image can all contribute to that fact.

The SeahawkUNCW’s newspaper states, a university requires roughly $50 million dollars to start a collegiate football program. Raising the tuition at UNCW would be one option if a collegiate football program were desired. A charity fund needs to be set up, but the amount donated is only 1/6th of the money UNCW receives annually. 



Size is a factor on whether a university contains a collegiate football program; Coastal Carolina located in Conway, South Carolina recently added a collegiate football program and revamped their stadium in 2003. Compared to UNCW, Coastal Carolina has similar faculty/staff to student ratio, location (distance to local beaches and cities), and similar student enrollment. Bottom line, the main difference between UNCW and CCU- school spirit. Does a university with a collegiate football program contain greater school spirit? According to USA Todayschool spirit within the student body is greater at a university that contains collegiate football. This sport helps to unify the student body unlike any other collegiate programs at universities.



But, does a football program align with UNCW’s brand image? We believe the answer to that question would be no. UNCW encompasses a laid-back, chill, and relaxed atmosphere. Our image is centered around the hype of Wrightsville Beach, rather than tailgating football games. UNCW’s image is reflected to its audiences as a stress-free university and town, and the idea of joining a mellow student body attracts prospective students. Part of what facilitates UNCW’s relaxed and personable image, is the small class sizes and opportunities for hands-on applied learning. If the university shifted its focus from academics to athletics, the financial strain would likely cause a greater faculty/staff to student ratio. This would affect UNCW’s brand image, as the key ingredient that helps build the brand would not be as strong. Are we willing to give up one of the aspects that differentiates UNCW from its competitors? A part of UNCW that provides an academic advantage to our students for the addition of a collegiate football program, making UNCW similar to other North Carolina universities?

All factors aside, the real question lies with whether students desire a collegiate football program. A good researcher does their homework and we spoke to 10 students to get to the bottom of this matter. A large chunk of the student body opposed having a football team, citing it changed UNCW’s brand image. Of the students surveyed, 65% supported a team, 25% opposed, and 10% was neutral. We did find those who supported a UNCW football program were very passionate. Those students felt football would bring the student populace together. The main sticking points are location and money. However, all obstacles can be reduced if the student population united their efforts. As a UNCW student, is a collegiate football program worth the money? Are you willing to change UNCW’s brand image, evolving UNCW into something more?

-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs

Meant to be a Seahawk

Today is my last day of classes here at UNCW. I did not actually think this day would ever come. For a while, I didn’t even know that I would be attending school at UNCW or in North Carolina at all. I transferred from Dallas, Texas as a Junior. When I mention that, almost everyone asks, “Why UNCW?” So I’ll go ahead and fill you in on how I got here.

Right after High School, I wanted so badly to attend Baylor University, a more expensive, private school in Texas. Shortly after orientation at BU, they notified me that they had promised too much scholarship money and they were going to have to decrease my scholarship. This was the first crazy, unexpected event in my life after High School. The thought of getting into an extreme amount of debt my first year frightened me to death. My father pleaded with me to attend community college for one or two years, and then he would do his best to send me anywhere I chose.

After a year or so at a community college outside of Dallas, my dad asked me, “You need to start thinking about where you’re going to transfer.” I was only joking and trying to ruffle his feathers when I replied, “What if I want to go to school all the way in North Carolina?” I did not know it then, but this sarcastic comment would change my life.

I began looking into UNCW, but it still did not feel like a legitimate option for my future. I only knew of Wilmington because of the movie and television industry – and I thought it was pretty. My parents never said no to sending me there, but I think they honestly felt like it was a phase I would snap out of after a few weeks.

One day in my mass communications course, we had a panel of women that work in the field of communication speak to us. Afterward, I went to thank them for coming. After speaking briefly with one woman, Keturi Beatty, I asked her where she received her undergraduate degree. She told me I had most likely never heard of it – it’s a school called UNC Wilmington. I could not believe it. That day she gave me her business card (she wrote “Go Seahawks!” on the back). I connected with her over the next few months, and she got me in contact with the one and only David Weber. Connecting with her was the next crazy turn my life took – because now UNCW felt like a real option.

I was able to convince my mom to bring me out to Wilmington to visit UNCW, and we both fell in love with the campus. I learned a great deal about the Communication Studies Department from Dr. Weber, and the rest is history.

UNCW and especially the COM Studies department means so much to me. I have learned to think, research, explore, work hard, and how to be a true team member. The COM department feels like one big giant family – that likes to talk a lot. My professors have given me the opportunities and the tools to succeed in my courses and in my experiences after graduation.  When friends ask if I have homework, I tell them no. I tell them I have things I need to get done, because I don’t see the work in my COM classes as homework or chores – they are opportunities to learn and create something I can be proud of.

Why do I love to tell that story in such detail? Because UNCW has changed my life in so many ways, and this time two years ago – I didn’t even know I would be here. Life can take so many crazy turns when you least expect it, but each and every one of them happens for a reason. Before even I knew it, I was meant to be a Seahawk. I will never tire of telling that story, because it helps me appreciate and value my experiences from UNCW that might not have happened without one special conversation with a fellow Seahawk all the way in Dallas, Texas.

Rachel Gracy

UNCW Class of 2014

Snapchat: A New Social Trend For Brands?

Today, brands dominate social media. It is almost impossible to find a company without a Facebook or Twitter account. Even newer platforms like Instagram and Vine are being taken over, but there is one social network that has yet to be fully explored—Snapchat.


Snapchat is a mobile app that allows one to share pictures and videos. The special component of this network is that the captioned picture is deleted after 10 seconds; this is much different from the “out for the world to see” social media we are used to.

The majority of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13-25. This age, as James Twitchell reminds us in his book Lead Us Into Temptation, is the “number one focus of almost every marketer”. Why? Younger demographics are still choosing what brands to align themselves with. A survey sent out by Sumpto, a marketing group that works to gather information about the “most difficult to reach demographic”, found that 77% of college students use Snapchat once per day. Their findings also concluded that 70% of respondents wouldn’t mind adding a brand as a friend on Snapchat if they already followed them on another social network.

So, why haven’t brands jumped onto this platform? Unlike other social media Snapchat is more intimate and personal— like a text message instead of a public wall. This very direct connection leaves brands with a problem. What type of content could they send via snap? Would people be interested in interacting with them this way?

DoSomething.org, HBO’s TV show Girls and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) have all been using Snapchat in a variety of ways. DoSomething.org described in an interview with Mashable that their strategy is to make interactive Snapchat stories that are ridiculous and fun. They see Snapchat as a tool for “opening up more options for brands”. The Girls Snapchat account has been used to remind fans of the upcoming season premiere date and give exclusive insider looks.  ASP says Snapchat is a way to “bring fans closer to the athletes and events”. They also point out there is “lots of room for experimentation and innovation”. Click on the image below to learn more about how Snapchat is being used by companies.


Patrick deHahn from CNN Money stated that Snapchat “has more funding and a higher valuation than Instagram and YouTube when they were at Snapchat’s stage in their startup lifespan”. So it seems Snapchat itself is a viable platform and with a growing 350 million snaps per day, brands should consider its possible benefits.

Would you follow brands on Snapchat? Do you think Snapchat is a worthy social media investment? How do you think brands will begin to use Snapchat?

Caroline Robinson

“Dumb Ways to Die” Campaign—Dumb Enough to Work?

What do you think of when you hear “Australia”? Accents? Kangaroos? The Great Barrier Reef? Wouldn’t it be nice to be there in lieu of the recent frigid weather? I bet two things no one would ever put together is Australia and train safety, but you probably will after seeing the two awareness commercials Australia has recently released for the Melbourne Metro.

In 2012 “Dumb Ways to Die” was launched as a train safety PSA. The three-minute animated spot features personified blobs making outrageously stupid decisions –  setting your hair on fire, eating out of date medicine, using the clothes dryer as a hiding place, selling both kidneys on the Internet. With these demonstrations, comes a catchy song that illustrates each scene as it unfolds. At the 2:24 mark, the audience is introduced to train safety in which the dumbest ways to die are: standing on the edge of a train station platform, driving around the barrier at a railroad crossing, and running across the tracks.

This year, another PSA spot appeared just in time for Valentine’s Day. Titled “Dumb Ways”, the second video – this only ones 30 seconds – features the blob from the original spot who died from selling both his kidneys on the Internet and replicates the format of the first spot with the simplistic design elements, characters, and tune. Even though the new spot has absolutely no correlation with train safety, the advertisement’s copy reads “Be safe around Valentine’s Day*” and in smaller font, “*and trains”.

With the release of the newest Valentine spot, it is obvious that McCann Melbourne realized the success first 3 minute spot reached with over 71 million YouTube views. However, the Valentine Day advertisement is relying on the presumption that the viewer has already seen previous campaign efforts, which include radio, print and outdoor advertising. The campaign even has some interactive media such as a fully functioning website and a mobile phone game app that offers short mini games where you can save the characters from their “dumb” deaths.

There is no denying that the whole campaign is undeniably cute and captures attention, but the question is, is this direction effective?

When asked about the creation and initial vision of the campaign, John Mescall, McCann’s executive director, said this, “The idea for a song started from a very simple premise: What if we disguised a worthy safety message inside something that didn’t feel at all like a safety message? So we thought about what the complete opposite of a serious safety message would be and came to the conclusion it was an insanely happy and cute song.”


What Mescall is describing is the use of logical fallacy or in our case irrelevant points. Usually the use of fallacies in an argument or message weakens it, but Mescall used it to his advantage, strengthening the impact.

One logical fallacy, argumentum ad baculum, is an argument that uses threats or forces to cause the acceptance of the conclusion. Example: “Do this! Or ____ will happen!” “If you don’t this, ____ will happen!” The Dumb Ways campaign uses this fallacy’s appeal to fear in the explicit form of death – if you do these activities in the ad you will die – to remind people of the need for train safety.

In addition, another logical fallacy is also used – red herring. In this type, a fallacy of diversion is created where irrelevant arguments or information is introduced into a discussion in order to divert people’s attention away from the issue under discussion and towards a different conclusion. No one needs to know all the dumb ways to die; almost all of the scenarios are things that are common sense. Except for the last 30 seconds, none of the scenarios are relevant to educating people on train safety.

Over a year after the original launch of the “Dumb Ways to Die” commercial, the campaign has grabbed the attention of the world, educating all of us on train safety. What do you think of this PSA? Do you think the campaign could have been stronger if the agency had gone in a different direction?

Savannah Valade, Elizabeth Harrington, Caroline Robinson

Paul McCartney’s NEW Publicity Stunt

The digital world of iTunes and social media has given the music industry both high and low notes. While the Internet offers accessibility, it also caters to specificity. Most predominantly, the Internet offers an array of platforms for artists to upload, share, and send their music.  However, while music junkies may be constantly searching for new digs, most people eventually acquire a particular taste for what they choose to send through their ear buds.  Internet music services such as Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio allow users to handpick and listen to an endless variety of artists and genres. This narrowcasting of music leaves artists waging campaigns to try to reach listeners. As a result, clutter prevails.

Like in advertising, clutter has become a big problem in music promotion. As Douglas Rushkoff pointed out in The Persuaders, “The more messages they create, the more they have to create to reach us.”

The more opportunity social media platforms – YouTube, MySpace Music, and most recently Vine – offer artist to share their music, the more competitive and important promotion of music and musician become.

So how does a music artist break through all the online music clutter without breaking budget? The answer is: great music, a little luck, and a publicity stunt.

Not new to the music arena are surprise gigs on rooftops or buses in the middle of big cities, events known in the public relations world as a publicity stunts. This past October, music legend Sir Paul McCartney promoted his recently released album, NEW, by doing just such a thing – performing a surprise concert in the middle of Times Square.

Paul McCartney at performs at the Times SquareTelling fans only hours before – via Twitter – he played a 15-minute long show featuring the single “New”, as well as music from the (not at the time released) album. McCartney was not only able to give NYC fans a concert, but fans from around the world could tune in through Times Square live webcast and watch the performance.

pm tweet nyThe surprise gig resulted in social media buzz and major news coverage, all promoting the NEW album for free. The stunt was so successful; exactly a week later he performed another surprise concert in London.

pm tweet loSir Paul McCartney proved how to conquer the masses. Not only did he succeed in making his fans happy, but also he succeeded in executing a publicity stunt that generated both word of mouth and media coverage that ended up promoting his music at no cost to him.

Caroline Robinson, Savannah Valade 

The Time Has Come

Here we are. Ten days until graduation! The past four years have been the most incredible years of my life. It’s almost overwhelming to think of all that has happened to get to this place.

Growing up in Wilmington, I always said I would go to college anywhere but UNCW. However, when it came time to actually look at colleges, I realized how many opportunities UNCW provided. And at the end of four years, I cannot imagine going anywhere else, even though I tried. After changing by major about three times (because I could not figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life), I decided to try to get into the Sonography (ultrasound) Program at Cape Fear Community College. For three semesters, I took classes at UNCW and Cape Fear trying to figure what I wanted to do. In that last semester, I took COM 105 and absolutely loved it. Dr. Weber sold me on the greatness that is Communication Studies, so I changed my major again. After taking a few COM classes, I decided to fully “recommit” to UNCW and stopped pursuing the Sonography Program.


During this “two-school” phase, I also got engaged and married to the best guy ever! My dream had always been to have a fall wedding, so we got married in October (yes, in the middle of the semester), but it worked out perfectly. Since then, we celebrated our one-year anniversary, got our first dog, Hudson, bought a house, and got a second dog, Winnie. Needless to say, graduating from college is the next step in growing up!


Looking back at all the reasons I changed my major, landing on Communication Studies makes perfect sense. I wanted to be an art major for a while, and Communication Studies requires a huge level of creativity. I wanted to be a business major, and Communication Studies teaches things vital to the business world. I wanted to be a Community Health major, and Communication Studies teaches how to conduct research, how to advocate, and how to effectively present findings. By choosing Communication Studies, I finally felt like I was able to get all I wanted out of my educational experience at UNCW. I have truly enjoyed my courses and have been stretched to learn more and engage in projects that have impacted education. Taking all I have learned in the major I hope work in the field of advertising to combine the aspects research, business, and creativity that I was looking for all along.

With the support of all of my family, teachers, and friends, these past four years have been a wonderful journey. I cannot thank you all enough for the study sessions, wedding festivities, and moving boxes. I am truly excited to move into this next phase of life.

Laura Tippett

This is The End

It is absolutely unreal to be sitting here writing my senior blog post. As of today, I graduate from UNCW in less than 2 weeks. I visited UNCW before my senior year of high school, and instantly fell in love with the place. Growing up ten minutes from UNCC, I was quickly drawn to how different UNCW was, and it was in that moment that I realized where I wanted to be for college. I received early acceptance into UNCW, and I could literally not wait to be here. During my senior year of college, I remember more than anything the feeling of just wanting to get out of Charlotte and see and experience something new. Upon arriving to UNCW/Wilmington, my wish was commanded.

My time here at UNCW has been everything I could have ever wanted and much, much more. I have met so many different kinds of people and gained friends that will surely last for a lifetime. The memories and experiences I have gained here are surely ones that I will never forget and will cherish forever. It is certainly a bittersweet time in my life right now.

When I first arrived to UNCW as a freshman, I was unsure of what to declare as my major. My older brother recommended Communication Studies. I looked further into the major, and I remember thinking that it was the fit I had been looking for in a major. I could not have made a better decision. I have taken a wide range of different courses at UNCW, and without trying to sound biased, I have to say the courses within the Communication Studies major have provided me with experiences and skill sets I just did not receive in other courses. The difference being the experiences and skill sets I encountered within my Communication Studies major will benefit me in many different aspects of my life, not just for my career, and for the remainder of my lifetime.

With all that said, I am forever thankful for the knowledge, experiences, friends, and professors I have encountered during the time I have spent at UNCW. This time period in my life certainly holds a place dear to my heart, and I have become a better person because of it. Here’s to the next chapter!

Callie Fenlon