Illini AD Mike Thomas would like to dye the Chicago River orange

Chicago River dyed orange
Original photo by fourth photography. Photoshopped dramatization by Dan O'Brien.

In about a month, the Chicago River will be dyed green for the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration.

If Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas gets his way, the river could soon turn a different shade.

"There's certainly things we can do to brand and market our program better to create a much greater presence up there," Thomas told on Thursday, "whether it's on billboards or whether it's dyeing the river orange. I know that may not go over well with the powers-that-be."

An orange river certainly would attract attention in Chicago. And that's the goal for Illinois, which is trying to penetrate the Big Ten's largest market, one filled with Illinois alumni and fans but also saturated with other sports and leisure activities.


Filed under: Illini Basketball, Illini Football


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