BOSTON (AP) -The Boston College football team has its eye on a new recruit: You.
The Eagles are sending out a marketing video online that lets you know what it's like to be a top prospect, right down to putting your name on the scoreboard and painting it - electronically - in the end zone at Alumni Stadium. At the end of the video, head coach Frank Spaziani hands you a telephone and your own phone rings: it's BC captain Mike McLaughlin, telling you about season ticket packages (starting at only $175!).
``We were trying to see if we could get some buzz out there,'' said Matt Murrey, a Fenway Sports Group vice president who helped put together the ad blitz for BC.
l recruiting, where schools fight furiously for the top recruits, several schools have teamed up on the venture to save money.
``We compete with each other on the field, but we don't compete in the financial areas,'' said Arizona State assistant athletic director Steve Hank, who helped assemble a group of schools from the Big East to the Pac-10. ``I'm not competing with BC for ticket sales, because I'm in Tempe, Arizona. It's one of the surprising things for me in college athletics, that more of this doesn't occur.''
Besides BC and ASU, the campaign is being used for football, basketball or both by Georgia, Colorado, Ohio State and Iowa State. Hank said they first saw the concept used in a video for Barack Obama during the presidential campaign, in which a news report pins the Democrat's one-vote loss on the recipient, who didn't vote.
``We said, 'What a great idea. What a great concept,''' Hank said. ``We looked into the cost of going it ourselves, but we don't have the budget a professional sports team has. This would not be possible if we weren't doing it with the other schools. We can accomplish the same thing by working together.''
BC associate athletic director Jamie DiLoreto said the schools were able to save money by using the same story line and by buying bulk minutes for the automated calls.
n opportunity to create a win-win deal between the schools, trying to have something that we could make more affordable,'' said Mary Pink, associate athletic director for marketing at Iowa State. ``And I think any time, whether it's this economy or any year, schools are always trying to maximize their dollars for marketing. I know we are at Iowa State.''
The BC video asks for your name, phone number and e-mail address, then takes you from the locker room to the coaches' box, where Spaziani is waiting. The other schools use a similar storyboard - right down to the upperclassmen glaring at you on the elevator.
``There you are. Everybody has been talking about you,'' Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson says, gesturing to the Sun Devil Stadium field below, where your name is printed in the end zone. ``Fans like you inspire our team to play harder.''
The Dolphins video treads much of the same ground, set in a news feed speculating on a potential free agent signing. Owner Steve Roth hands you a a contract with your name on it, then a limo (your name is on the license plate), picks you up to drive you to the stadium where you wind up in the locker room (yours is next to quarterback Chad Pennington's).
us to show how the video portion could be, we loved it. We just feel that marketing to an individual as opposed to the masses is the way to market to people.''
When videos like this successfully go viral, they even save more money because the fans ultimately are doing the marketing for the team. Hank said ASU had 25,000 hits in the first 10 days, and 20 percent of the viewers have been forwarding the video - some to four or five friends.
``To have fans share it with their friends, and being able to collect e-mail addresses,'' DiLoreto said. ``I looked at it as an investment, to be able to expand our fan base.''
On the Net:
Boston College:
Arizona State:
Miami Dolphins:
AP Sports Writer Luke Meredith contributed to this story from Des Moines, Iowa.

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