The Fresno State Athletics department is reaching for the sky in its latest marketing campaign – literally.
Bulldog1, a 150-foot long blimp, will fly over Fresno starting Monday and during football games at Bulldog Stadium this fall.
You’re always looking to do something that nobody else has done.
Paul Ladwig, Fresno State senior associate athletic director
The blimp highlighted with a large Bulldogs logo was unveiled ahead of Thursday’s scrimmage but will take its first official flight over Fresno on Monday and be in the air throughout the month leading up to Fresno State’s opener Sept. 3 against Abilene Christian at Bulldog Stadium. In addition to being used at home games, Bulldog1 could take to the skies for some road football games as well.
“We were looking for a unique visual splash to kick off the 2015 athletic season,” senior associate athletic director Paul Ladwig said. “The blimp Bulldog1 will make that splash. By partnering with the best aerial marketing firm, we are able to use this iconic platform to engage our Bulldog community.”
Fresno State is believed to be the first and only university and athletic department with a blimp, making it a “tremendous tool,” Ladwig said. Bulldog1’s lower banner areas will be used for messaging and sponsorships.
Fresno State also said that details on future aerial campaigns – including the use of a sky-diving team – will be released in the near future.
Fresno State’s lease of the blimp was privately funded and is part of a five-year aerial rights agreement with Boling Air Media of Fresno.
According to Boling’s website, the blimp carries one pilot and three passengers under certain conditions. It has a max payload of around 1,200 pounds with room for broadcast equipment and an operator.
In comparison, the iconic Goodyear’s Spirit of America blimp, which was retired on Monday, is 192 feet long and 60 feet tall.