With Gameday comes national exposure, free advertising - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

With Gameday comes national exposure, free advertising

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Columbia is once again getting ready for her closeup. As students look forward to a historic matchup Saturday night, out-of-towners like Walt and Kevin Allen are seeing what Columbia's all about.

"I've been to several towns," said Walt. "In fact, I just came back from New Hampshire. Delaware was playing away for the week. But this is big time!"

It's big time attention for yet another Carolina team getting it done on the field.

"It's the entire region, riding on the Gamecocks back," said Ike McCleese, president of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

McCleese says back-to-back baseball championships and Spurrier's squad getting high praise is the kind of attention money can't buy.

"I go to national meetings and the first thing they say is, 'Boy, your baseball team is something else' or 'Steve Spurrier really has you guys moving,' and of course having Gameday here will be even better," McCleese said.

It's a big chance at free advertising USC isn't passing up and the Allens say it's effective.

"A lot of your perspective students and parents see it on TV, see the campus surroundings, the fun going on, so I think it's definitely a boost, probably economically as well. It brings in a lot of people to the surrounding community," said Kevin.

And even if the Bulldogs get the best of Carolina Saturday night,  McCleese says Columbia still wins.

"Far too many times we find ways in South Carolina from Lizardman to some of our other missteps, to project the wrong image of ourselves or shoot ourselves in the foot, so it's nice for something like this to happen and it's a tremendous asset to the community," said McCleese.

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