Officials confused about ‘Get the Edge’ campaign

James Vaughn

Some students are wondering why “Get the Edge” billboards are lingering close to home.

Senior public relations major Paige Popham said students who go to high school in Evansville know what USI is.

“If USI wants to lose the ‘West Side High’ title, they have to expand into other cities,” Popham said.

There are billboards in Evansville for Indiana State University, Vincennes University and Indiana University. But for now, USI’s billboards remain in the area.  

Popham said the university needed a new campaign that would bring in more students.

As a public relations major, she said she feels like she should be able to see a campaign and feel engaged – but she’s just confused by it.

“When I first saw it, I had questions – is this our new logo? What is ‘the Edge,’ and how does this brand USI?” Popham said.

She said she’s heard a variety of explanations of what “Get the Edge” actually means.

“I’ve heard things like we are the ‘edge’ of Indiana or that we get extra ‘edge’-ucation,” Popham said. “I don’t know if new students will understand how USI will bring them ‘the Edge.’”

Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kindra Strupp said “Get the Edge” can mean different things to everyone.

Strupp has been with the university since January and within the past few months, she’s been walking around campus and asking people, “What does ‘Get the Edge’ mean to you?”

“I don’t believe it’s meant to just be three words and it’s certainly not meant to be a pom-pom campaign slogan kind of thing,” she said.

Her hope is that everyone will have a personal story to share about what their experiences while being at USI really mean to them, she said.

“It should have some sort of personal fulfillment,” Strupp said. “There should be something there that allows students to say, going forward, what about their college experience gave them ‘the Edge.’”

As for the billboards, there are talks of branching out but the campaign is still in the early stages, having launched in November.

She does not know how much money has gone into the campaign, considering that information predates her.

“We’re feeling our way through this as we begin marketing, and we’ll assess a right amount as time goes on,” Strupp said.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Rozewski said about $200,000 in non-state funds are being used by USI’s marketing department. He’s not sure how much of that money is being spent on the campaign.

Fire and Rain representative David Chen said his agency helped develop the brand, the look, the feel and the foundation.

They worked with university officials and a lot of key leaders in the marketing industry.

“Get the Edge” was a culmination of a lot of different discoveries and ideas, he said.

“‘Get the Edge’ fits with where USI wants to go and the advantages the university offers on a regional landscape,” Chen said.