Big 12 preparing a league-wide facelift

DALLAS -- The Big 12 will unveil an all-new promotional campaign at the Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City from March 7-10, commissioner Chuck Neinas told ESPN.com at Wednesday's conference commissioners' meeting.

"We’re in the process of retaining a public relations firm and we’re going to have a major campaign promoting the new Big 12," Neinas said. "We feel that competitively, we take a backseat to no one."

The new campaign would likely revolve around that concept.

"Our record shows that," he said. "You name the sport and we’re there. Football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, you name it."

At Big 12 Football Media Days in August, the Big 12 unveiled a branding intitiative focused on the league's new 10-team format and a new slogan: "How We Play," focused on the round-robin, nine-game "One True Champion" scheduling of the slimmed down league.

However, just months after emphasizing that initiative, Texas A&M and Missouri left the league. The $1 million investment with GSD&M, an Austin, Texas,-based marketing firm, was rendered useless.

"I don’t know that they spent it all," Neinas said of the past initiative. "The presidents and chancellors have put aside a substantial budget to help our campaign."

Neinas declined to discuss the specifics of how much money would be set aside.

No firm for the campaign has been selected yet, but Neinas said to expect some commemoration in July when TCU and West Virginia officially become the ninth and 10th members of the new Big 12.

The Big 12 plans to have TCU and West Virginia included in the new promotional campaign, however.

"The image has suffered obviously, because of institutions leaving the conference, so we’re going to celebrate the addition of the two new members on July 1st," Neinas said.

Neinas wants to celebrate the success of the Big 12, which recently executed the six-year grant of rights to make it official: The Big 12's 10 current members are in place through the league's next TV negotiations for the first-tier media rights.

A newfound stability and on-field success would be the focus of the new push to promote the Big 12.

"If you look at the preseason prognosticators, you’ll see six of the 10 members of the Big 12 are in the top 25," Neinas said. "I think that’s an indication as to how we’re viewed competitively and we just have to let the nation know that we’re in a good, stable position and everyone is working together to move forward."