Big energy woos the Big Ten

October 14, 2011, 1:00 PM UTC

FORTUNE — As the college football season kicks off, fans at Penn State University and Ohio State may notice the presence of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) ads. For some, the scoreboard signage at PSU, a campaign that started last year, will conjure up the brouhaha over the company’s gas fracking operations in the nearby Marcellus Shale. “We’ve turned up our education efforts everywhere so people understand how we do what we do with shale gas,” says a Chesapeake spokesman. The company, which has spent more than $10 million in recent years on athletic sponsorships, even sets up a tent outside PSU games to educate the public. Chances are most fans will be more interested in tailgating. –Daniel Roberts

This article is from the October 17, 2011 issue of Fortune.