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CBS College Sports Campaign Invokes Belushi’s ‘Bluto’

In Animal House, John Belushi’s character famously tries to rally the deflated Delta frat house with his cry: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Invoking that spirit, CBS College Sports Network in an effort to promote its pigskin presentations has launched a number of spots sending up famous scenes from The Blues Brothers,Jerry Maguire and Animal House.

With the latter, the Bluto Blutarsky wannbe intones: “Over? Football’s never over on CBS College Sports Network. Was it over when Appalachian State beat Notre Dame?”

For those with the proper scorecard it was Michigan that went down to defeat at hands of the defending Subdivision champion in the 2007 season opener.

As for the Jerry Maguire-inspired spot, fans play off Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise’s “show me the money scene.” Here, promotional paydirt comes with the line: “Show us the college football.”

CBS also takes a second dip into the John Landis canon with a take-off on The Blues Brothers as two superfans prep for a 106-mile drive to Gator country in Gainesville, Fla. dressed in alligator costumes.

“These are films that a lot of sports fans can relate to,” said CBS College Sports president Steve Herbst. “They’re designed to have a little fun, break through the clutter and raise awareness for the network.”

Those spots are airing throughout the college football season on the network, CBS Sports, Versus, The Mtn. and on various cable networks in local markets. They will be joined by others.

“We shot a lot of different spots with variations on the movies,” said Herbst of the campaign CBS College Sports worked on with Southpaw Films.

Related creative is also appearing online, in print and on radio, plus collateral materials.

The movie-themed creative is being complemented by more straightforward tune-in spots, trumpeting the network’s top match-ups for the weekend.

All told, CBS College Sports, which kicked off its football slate on Aug. 23 with Fort Valley State-Valdosta State, is scheduled to air more than 40 games, including 11 Thursday primetime telecasts. Through a relationship dating back to predecessor CSTV, CBS College Sports will televise all five Navy home games from Annapolis, Md., and a number of Conference USA contests, including a pair of Saturday primetime games late in the season, as well as other division competition.

One upcoming Conference USA game has caught Herbst’s eye, and may catch many more around the country: East Carolina University will host Houston on the network on Sept. 27. Having opened the season with upsets of Virginia Tech and West Virginia, ECU was 14th in the Associated Press Poll and 20th in USA Today’s rankings going into its game with Tulane on Sept. 13. Should the Pirates beat the Green Wave and then North Carolina State Sept. 20 -- both are on the road -- CBS College Sports may be showing a top 10 school.

“It’s a hot team with a young coach, Skip Holtz [son of Lou, now the ESPN analyst],” said Herbst. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”