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July 6, 2010

Ponder's Heisman campaign officially underway

There are two Heisman trophies on display in Florida State's Moore Athletic Center and the university didn't lift a finger to promote either player for college football's most prestigious individual award.

But a lot of changed since Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke were under center for the Seminoles.

For one, both quarterbacks played on a team that routinely contended for national championships. Also, Florida State had a head coach that didn't think it was necessary to publicly promote his players for them to win national awards. And in just the last decade the importance of public relations and the Internet have changed the nature of college football.

With the approval of new head coach Jimbo Fisher, the campaign to get put Christian Ponder's name in the national spotlight officially kicked off today. At midnight, Florida State launched the official Ponder for Heisman website which can be found at CP7forHeisman.com.

For some college athletes a media blitz and a slick promotional website might result in undue pressure. However, FSU's normally cool and collected quarterback says that won't be an issue with him.

"It definitely doesn't add pressure on me," said Ponder. "If I though it was too much I would say something. I already put so much pressure on myself that this is no big deal to me."

To help create a buzz for the new website, Florida State gave a sneak preview to a collection of print, internet and television media during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. CP7forHeisman.com will not only have up to date stats on the 'Noles' senior quarterback, it will also include photos, video highlights, details about his academic achievements, and even personal information like his favorite music. Seminole Sports (ISP) Director of Marketing Jason Dennard, who helped develop the site, said CP7forHeisman.com and the development of the CP7 concept and logo, took two months.

"It's incredible, it's unbelievable," said Ponder of the website. "It's an awesome site and they (Jason Dennard and Ryan Pensy) did a heck of a job. They worked really hard on it and they deserve all the credit."

Along with the new website, updates on Ponder's Heisman run can also be found on Facebook.

The new site should compare favorably to other Heisman promotional websites such as those created for Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett, which don't provide nearly as much information on the players they feature.

Whether or not all this glitz and glamour will have an impact on Ponder's Heisman run remains to be seen. Besides excelling on the field, playing for a team that wins a lot of games is the only other factor that has a proven track record in the race for a Heisman Trophy.

Gene WilliamsGene Williams is the founder and administrator of Warchant.com and writes stories and features covering all of FSU's sports with an emphasis on football and football recruiting. For seven years, Williams hosted a weekly sports radio show in Tallahassee. He currently appears as a weekly guest on 1010 XL Sports Radio in Jacksonville and 1270 The Team in Tallahassee during football season. Williams is also a former ACC correspondent for College Football News (weekly national newspaper), and contributes to The Osceola. Story about Gene Williams & Warchant.com.

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