Football may be the primary focus of the Rose Bowl, but UW-Madison officials admit they have ulterior motives when they leave Friday for Southern California.
They hope to leverage exposure from the Granddaddy of Them All into interest from prospective students, donations from alumni and increased awareness of the UW-Madison brand.
This year, for instance, UW-Madison had its best year yet for earning royalties on trademarked products, making it one of the top 15 colleges in the country for licensing revenue — due in part to last season's Rose Bowl appearance.
"To me, the most valuable impact of a Rose Bowl appearance is that it serves as a gateway to the institution in a positive way," said Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations. "When we go to the Rose Bowl it may mean that a few more high schoolers may say, 'Hey, I wonder what Wisconsin's like?'"
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