Televised showdown with App State to bring economic boost to GSU

Georgia Southern takes on App State Thursday night

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A big game means a big audience Thursday night for Georgia Southern University.

The Eagles may be on the field, but the whole university gets the spotlight. The TV cameras may be positioned on Paulson Stadium, but university leaders hope the national audience learns a little about Sweetheart Circle and other aspects of the school.

When the team hits national television, millions of viewers might hear of Georgia Southern University for the first time. Besides the great plays, they’ll see commercials that tell more about the school.

“Anytime you can showcase the university in a three-hour ‘commercial’ on a national stage, it’s a winning opportunity for us,” said Jennifer Wise, University Marketing and Communications.

Terry Harvin knows that value as well. A former football player, he’s represented the university as one of the radio hosts and a former alumni associate president.

“Sports and athletics can be the front porch of the university,” Harvin said. “Students start looking and ask, 'what else do they have? Oh, they have a top engineering program. Oh, they have one of the best nursing programs in the Southeast."

The university saw a big jump in visits to their website and their presence on Google and search engines after their win over the University of Florida in 2013 and their bowl game win in 2015. They hope that trend continues after Thursday night.

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