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Commercial showcases DeKalb County during state football championship broadcasts

DeKALB – DeKalb County Board Chairman Jeff Metzger wanted to showcase the county during the state football championships with a commercial that didn’t seem like a commercial.

He wanted it to feel more like a movie trailer.

“Who does it better than Hollywood?” he said.

The 30-second commercial will be broadcast 30 times Friday and Saturday to highlight the county’s economic development and to encourage businesses to come here. Although originally scheduled for two spots, Metzger said the commercial will air 26 times on Comcast SportsNet.

IHSA Destination DeKalb host committee members offered commercials to the event’s MVP sponsors, those who donated $25,000 to the effort to hold the championships at Northern Illinois University. The City of DeKalb and KishHealth System also will run commercials during the games, said Brad Hoey, host committee member and NIU director communications and marketing. 

“It was one of those things we thought would be a tremendous benefit to those who came at that very generous level,” Hoey said.

A small team of county and NIU officials developed the commercial for $710, and it debuted Nov. 20 at a county board meeting. Just like a trailer, it begins with an MPAA-like splash screen saying the preview has been approved for all audiences by the DeKalb County Board. 

Next, images of the county’s agriculture, entertainment, technology and university flash across the screen. The commercial ends with the neon, buzzing catchphrase, “Come grow with us.” 

“It’s very fast-moving and it succinctly gets the message across,” said Gary Hanson, county administrator. 

Hanson was one of the people who helped brainstorm the commercial, while Metzger provided the storyboards and script. The team also worked with HD Power Media, which provides video and photo production services.

Metzger said the commercial was fun to put together, since he has a background in videography and cinematographer. For about 30 years, he worked as the senior director of technology services for Elgin Community College and through that job developed educational videos. Production lasted for five weeks in late October and November.

They highlighted the county’s 140-mile fiber optics network, which Metzger said was a “big sales pitch” for businesses.

“The one thing we really wanted to promote is something we didn’t have before,” Metzger said, “which is the fiber optics.”


On your TV

The IHSA state football championships will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Games will be played at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

To watch the commercial for DeKalb County, visit

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