Jan 12, 2011
By George Mauzy
Ohio University Foundation Trustee and alumnus Perry Sook continues to go above and beyond to assist the University in extending its brand through its marketing campaign.
After donating television commercial time to his alma mater twice in the past three years, Sook did it again this fall and will do so again in the spring.
Sook recently donated commercial time valued at more than $11,500 on his Hagerstown, Md., NBC-affiliate station, WHAG-TV. From Dec. 13 to Dec. 30, the four "The Promise Lives" commercials ran 98 times in a geographical region with many alumni who can assist with the University's student recruitment efforts.
Renea Morris, executive director of University Communications and Marketing, said Hagerstown has earned the reputation as a commercial and industrial hub for a tri-state area that includes western Maryland, south central Pennsylvania and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.
"One week of advertising in the Washington D.C. area would pretty much wipe out our entire budget for all markets in Ohio and Pittsburgh, so when Perry mentioned he could get us commercial time in nearby Hagerstown for free, we were thrilled," Morris said. "It's not the nation's capital, but it lies northwest of the Washington D.C./Baltimore/northern Virginia metropolitan area and is only a short drive away."
"The Promise Lives" campaign, which started this fall, builds upon last year's "discover the promise" theme. According to Morris, this year's theme is a more direct and personalized message: "the promise lives in you."
The four campaign commercials, which feature three students and one alumna/assistant professor, aired for three weeks in the fall on Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland network and cable TV stations. They will air again on those same stations in the spring. The campaign is also using online and print ads to capture the attention of potential students and their influencers.
Sook, who earned a bachelor's degree in communication in 1980 from Ohio University, is president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc., a Top 20 television broadcasting company he founded in 1996. The company is a $300 million broadcasting powerhouse that operates 62 television stations covering 34 markets that reach more than 13 million viewers across 14 states. Prior to forming Nexstar, Sook was a principal of Superior Communications Group, Inc.
In a fall quarter UCM press release, Sook explained the reason for his generosity.
"Ohio University played an important role in helping me realize my potential," Sook said. "I can't think of anything more rewarding than helping other students and their families learn more about the excellence and remarkable opportunity we all know has long distinguished this university."
In addition to his service to his alma mater as a foundation trustee, Sook is a member of the executive committee of the Television Bureau of Advertising Board of Directors. In 2006, the Texas
Association of Broadcasters named him Broadcaster of the Year.
As a student at Ohio University, Sook was a member of Omicron Delta-Torch and Alpha Lambda Delta. He was named Outstanding Student for the School of Radio-TV in 1980 and won two national scholarships. He also served on the Residence Life staff and was the announcer for the Marching 110 band. As a graduate student, he was employed as an announcer by WATH radio station in Athens.
Sook, his wife, Sandra, and their three children reside in Flower Mound, Texas.