DeKALB – Northern Illinois University football players, cheerleaders and fans popped up in business windows Wednesday in downtown DeKalb.
As window clings, that is.
The new displays were installed just a few days before Corn Fest and NIU’s season-opener in Iowa City, Iowa.
In about 15 days, residents passing Ducky’s, 112 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, can expect a billboard on the building.
Organizers hope they will be a visible manifestation of strengthening partnerships between NIU, local businesses and the city.
NIU officials wanted to create a Game Day experience downtown, said Christian Spears, NIU deputy director of athletics.
“It’s really to stress the ties between DeKalb and NIU,” Spears said. “We’re working together and I know that it’s a big focus of Dr. Baker and our new athletic director [Sean Frazier] and our mayor of DeKalb.”
NIU President Doug Baker and DeKalb Mayor John Rey discussed several ways to bring the university and the city together into a kind of “communiversity.” At the State of the City address Aug. 1 in DeKalb, Baker mentioned the possible creation of a Communiversity Commons area in the city.
The window decorations are but one step, though. Rey said the displays will help keep the presence of student activities in front of everyone in the community.
“My hope is that it will generate some high energy for some of the campus activities,” Rey said.
Rey also hopes the window decorations will have a “dual effect” by causing students to appreciate what the community does for them.
Since April, the NIU Athletics Department, in cooperation with other university departments and local businesses, has worked on developing other kinds of decorations to promote sports events.
NIU Athletic Director Sean Frazier thinks the decorations have been well received so far.
“By putting these imagery up, it speaks of collaboration and a shared agenda,” Frazier said.
Window clings locations
• DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, 164 E. Lincoln Highway
• Eduardo’s, 241 E. Lincoln Highway
• Chilton’s Sporting Goods, 250 E. Lincoln Highway
• Armor Technologies, 143 E. Lincoln Highway
• Diamond Tour Golf, 203 E. Lincoln Highway
• Brown Law Group, 301 E. Lincoln Highway
• DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth Street