It appears there’s nothing Ron Baker won’t do for the Shockers, including subject himself to what’s sure to be days of ridicule from his teammates.
On Friday, the marketing staff in the Wichita State athletic department persuaded Baker – he of the dreamy, floppy blond locks and square jawline – to record a just-for-fun Valentine’s Day message to fans.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Shocker fans,” he says. “Will you accept my rose?”
And then he winks. Quickly. Subtly.
But it’s there.
The marketing staff posted the clip to the Go Shockers Facebook wall early Friday afternoon. Within hours the clip had been shared by more than 1,000 WSU fans.
It was shot early Friday, said John Brewer, associate athletics director of marketing at WSU. The marketing department came up with the idea, borrowing the rose line from the popular ABC reality show “The Bachelor,” and approached the coaching staff for its approval.
Then they asked Baker, who they knew would agree.
“Unofficially I guess you could say we chose him due to his popularity, the success he’s had on the basketball court, and his willingness to work with us,” Brewer said.
And because he’s dreamy?
Brewer’s department, which employs the same creative minds that come up with the playful “Don’t Leave Early” videos that play at Shocker home games, said the staff always tries to draw a balance between seriousness and whimsy when promoting the team.
The coaching staffs at some schools are dead serious with their players’ image, Brewer said, but the Shockers don’t mind having a little fun now and then.
And Brewer said he’s particularly lucky that the guys on the team are all so easygoing. (Even though he admits they probably won’t let up on Baker anytime soon.)
“They all have such good personalities,” he said. “We’re blessed.
“We have a young team, but they’re still mature. They know how to have fun, and they know how to get their jobs done.”