'Sopranos' Star James Gandolfini Joins College Buddies In Commercial for Rutgers Football

Rutgers Alumni Take the Stage in Praise of New Head Coach Greg Schiano



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Rutgers University

    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Rutgers University's
 first-year head football coach Greg Schiano has fans in high places.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010403/NYTU006 )
     When Mark Ohlstein, a Rutgers alumni and Moorestown, NJ resident, heard
 that Schiano, a native New Jerseyan, would return home to coach his alma
 mater's football team, the Scarlet Knights, a light bulb went on.  Ohlstein
 wanted to help Schiano achieve his goal of developing the Scarlet Knights into
 a BIG EAST caliber team with star quality and mass appeal and would recruit
 his best friends and one of show businesses' biggest stars -- James Gandolfini
 -- to do it.
     Ohlstein contacted former classmates Vito Bellino, a senior account
 executive for Gannett Inc. who lives in Middletown, NJ, and Tom Richardson, a
 project manager for Lucent Technologies who resides in Florham Park, NJ, to
 see if they would co-star in a commercial for Rutgers football.
     The duo jumped at the chance to support their alma mater. The next step,
 and real clincher, was to recruit "The Sopranos" star and 1983 Rutgers
 graduate, Gandolfini.  When his longtime friends explained their idea to
 support the program, Gandolfini agreed.
     "It's exciting to have a famous alumnus lend his talent in support of
 Rutgers football," notes Schiano.  "We want our team to be highly visible
 throughout the entire state of New Jersey.  With James Gandolfini on board,
 New Jersey residents will surely take notice."
     Schiano has made significant strides in his four months as head coach of
 the Scarlet Knights.  He has assembled a coaching staff with New Jersey ties
 and a recruiting class that includes 13 players from the state.  In addition,
 Schiano has used his Florida connection to recruit 7 key players from the
 Sunshine State.
     In the Rutgers Football commercial, entitled "The Fan," a star-struck fan
 speaking words of praise, approaches Gandolfini, Ohlstein, Bellino, Richardson
 and Coach Schiano at the Rutgers University Red Lion Cafe.  The fan seeks a
 celebrity autograph, but the celebrity he asks is ultimately Schiano -- not
 Gandolfini.
     "The Fan" was created by DKB and Partners, a New Jersey advertising
 agency.  Michael Imperioli who plays Christopher Moltisanti on "The Sopranos,"
 directed the 30-second spot for Perretti Productions.  "The Fan" will air on
 New Jersey cable stations beginning Monday, April 16 and may be viewed
 nationally by logging onto http://www.scarletknights.com.
 
     Contact:  Kim Keating or Brian M. Lowe, both of DKB and Partners,
 973-993-5600.
 
 

SOURCE Rutgers University
    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Rutgers University's
 first-year head football coach Greg Schiano has fans in high places.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010403/NYTU006 )
     When Mark Ohlstein, a Rutgers alumni and Moorestown, NJ resident, heard
 that Schiano, a native New Jerseyan, would return home to coach his alma
 mater's football team, the Scarlet Knights, a light bulb went on.  Ohlstein
 wanted to help Schiano achieve his goal of developing the Scarlet Knights into
 a BIG EAST caliber team with star quality and mass appeal and would recruit
 his best friends and one of show businesses' biggest stars -- James Gandolfini
 -- to do it.
     Ohlstein contacted former classmates Vito Bellino, a senior account
 executive for Gannett Inc. who lives in Middletown, NJ, and Tom Richardson, a
 project manager for Lucent Technologies who resides in Florham Park, NJ, to
 see if they would co-star in a commercial for Rutgers football.
     The duo jumped at the chance to support their alma mater. The next step,
 and real clincher, was to recruit "The Sopranos" star and 1983 Rutgers
 graduate, Gandolfini.  When his longtime friends explained their idea to
 support the program, Gandolfini agreed.
     "It's exciting to have a famous alumnus lend his talent in support of
 Rutgers football," notes Schiano.  "We want our team to be highly visible
 throughout the entire state of New Jersey.  With James Gandolfini on board,
 New Jersey residents will surely take notice."
     Schiano has made significant strides in his four months as head coach of
 the Scarlet Knights.  He has assembled a coaching staff with New Jersey ties
 and a recruiting class that includes 13 players from the state.  In addition,
 Schiano has used his Florida connection to recruit 7 key players from the
 Sunshine State.
     In the Rutgers Football commercial, entitled "The Fan," a star-struck fan
 speaking words of praise, approaches Gandolfini, Ohlstein, Bellino, Richardson
 and Coach Schiano at the Rutgers University Red Lion Cafe.  The fan seeks a
 celebrity autograph, but the celebrity he asks is ultimately Schiano -- not
 Gandolfini.
     "The Fan" was created by DKB and Partners, a New Jersey advertising
 agency.  Michael Imperioli who plays Christopher Moltisanti on "The Sopranos,"
 directed the 30-second spot for Perretti Productions.  "The Fan" will air on
 New Jersey cable stations beginning Monday, April 16 and may be viewed
 nationally by logging onto http://www.scarletknights.com.
 
     Contact:  Kim Keating or Brian M. Lowe, both of DKB and Partners,
 973-993-5600.
 
 SOURCE  Rutgers University