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      University of Toledo building brand with new Detroit Lions partnership

      UT signage at Comerica Park in Detroit.

      T he University of Toledo is expanding its reach across the region with a new partnership with the National Football League's Detroit Lions.

      The UT brand is already in the eyes of baseball fans who see the university's name at Joe Louis Arena and in the backfield of the Detroit Tiger's Comerica Park.

      Now, UT has partnered with one of the region's most iconic brands, the Detroit Lions. The partnership, announced Thursday at Ford Field, creates another high-profile way the university can lessen the distance between Toledo and its neighbor to the north.

      "The University of Toledo continues to strengthen its brand and attract talented students to campus by partnering with institutions like the Detroit Lions and the NFL, introducing them to Rocket Nation," said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs.

      UT will have stadium signage within Ford Field, in addition to developing joint education projects with the Lions.

      "We're excited to partner with The University of Toledo and integrate sports business into their curriculum," said Tom Lewand, Detroit Lions team president. "This partnership will also serve as another great platform to introduce more young professionals to Detroit."

      READ: UT to offer 4-year degrees at Mich. college

      The university's increased marketing efforts within the Motor City resulted in a doubling of undergraduate enrollment of students from metro Detroit in the Fall of 2013. Nearly 1,600 students from southeast Michigan enrolled at UT for the last fall semester.

      "This isn't just buying advertising," said Burns. "Whether it's real-world training or other opportunities, we're looking for ways to share the value of a UT education. That message coming alongside the Detroit Lions brand makes it resonate so much more powerfully."