University of Iowa athletic officials are in disagreement over how to proceed with their relationship with the Iowa Lottery. Debate surfaced after a recent advertising campaign involving a car customized with Hawkeye colors and logos. The commercial features a Dodge car in Carver Hawkeye Arena and fans cheering to the Iowa Fight Song.
U-of-I athletic director Gary Barta says the ad crosses the line of acceptability and he proposes greater scrutiny in the future when it comes to athletics and advertising. Barta says “Whenever they’re going to be using our marks, our logos or anything associated with the department, just making sure there’s more than one set of eyes whether it’s our senior staff, our senior management team and-or the public relations department on campus.”
Barta says the ad went too far, but at Thursday’s meeting, he recommended continuing the lottery relationship with greater scrutiny on future ads. Barta says “It is interesting. I haven’t heard any discussions when in previous years. Iowa State ran their promotion this fall and I wasn’t aware of any concerns raised at that time. They’re raised now so we’ll address them and deal with them now.”
Some of Barta’s advisors on the Presidential Committee on Athletics want all ties severed with the lottery. U-of-I Psychology Professor Ed Wasserman says any ads featuring the lottery are inappropriate for an institute of higher learning and recommends ending the relationship. The committee tabled any decision and will discuss it in greater detail at its next meeting.