Where Have You Ben? Miami University’s 2003 Heisman Trophy Campaign Challenges

Jacquelyn Cuneen
Raymond Schneider
Andrea Gliatta
Nicholas Butler

Joe Cobbs, the Director of Marketing for Miami University’s Athletics Department, walked into his office in Millett Hall every day during summer 2003 knowing that Miami would have one of the top quarterbacks in the country when the football season got underway in the fall. The quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, had shown remarkable poise during his 2002 sophomore season and appeared to be even stronger in 2003 spring practice. Miami, picked as a top contender for the 2003 Mid-American Conference (MAC) title, may even be ranked nationally in the upcoming season under Roethlisberger’s leadership. Cobbs knew that Roethlisberger had the kind of talent that national media would appreciate and, indeed, knew that the Red Hawks?quarterback’s talent could rival any of the pre-season Heisman Trophy candidates who played at larger, more visible schools. There were, however, a number of challenges that Cobbs and Miami’s marketing staff would have to overcome in convincing the public and, more importantly, the Heisman voters that Roethlisberger was worthy of the kind of attention that might come naturally to more celebrated contenders.