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ASU spent $70,000 on production for Amazon Prime Video show

While experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the University has spent over $250,000 on promotional content


Owen Dow, an incoming ASU freshman, watches "The College Tour" at his home in Glendale on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. In an email to The State Press, ASU said they paid about $70,000 dollars in production costs.

ASU spent $70,000 on its episode of "The College Tours," a Hollywood-produced series featured on Amazon Prime Video which tours college campuses across the country, Matt Lopez, associate vice president of Enrollment Services, said in an email.   

ASU's episode, released on Feb. 19 and the third in the series, features 18 ASU students who discuss various aspects of the University, including academics, athletics, extra-curriculars and more. 

The University was invited to be featured by the show's production crew, and the $70,000 price tag includes the cost of production, the release of the show and more than 100 hours of footage, Lopez said.

That footage is available for use by ASU in any other future video projects.

ASU believes the virtual tour, led by students and hosted by Alex Boylan, "aligns with our charter principle of making our university accessible to those who may have challenges accessing a college tour this year," Lopez said.

This project is the second costly video project ASU has financed, at a time when the University is facing COVID-19 related financial problems. The first project was a 49-second video created summer 2020, advertising students' return to campus for the fall semester, costing close to $200,000.

READ MORE: A financial breakdown of the millions ASU has spent addressing COVID-19

The episode is expected to help prospective students experience ASU in both a personal and professional way, Lopez said, because the current students who led the tour volunteered and scripted their own stories. ASU hopes students who may not have considered attending will be able to see the show, and as a result of its broad distribution, consider coming to the University.

Although the University acknowledges enrollment decisions are influenced by a number of factors, ASU aims to continue growing enrollment each year. To do this, Lopez said, "we design recruitment efforts that allow us to scale our outreach to prospective student audiences."

The University is hosting an hour-long virtual watch party on March 4 at 6 p.m. President Michael Crow, Provost Pro Tempore Nancy Gonzales, Boylan, and a panel of student guides from the episode will be present.

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