this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
So the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs have mastered marketing to an extent I could not even believe. They've started a new uniform design marketing campaign called "Smell the Change."
The new Saturday jersey is amazing. It's bacon themed. We're talking a red shirt with Pigs spelled out and bacon underlining it. We're talking white pants with bacon piping down the legs. We're talking a gray hat with a slice of bacon as the logo. Bacon. Bacon bacon.
And we're not stopping there. They have a gray shirt with the bacon logo on it for $18. For just $4 more, we're talking $22, they'll sell you the same shirt that smells like bacon! For up to 10-15 washes! CAN I GET A DOZEN NOW?
In a previous UV, Brian called out one of Brandon’s chief marketers for saying that the players were the customers. In the UV of Oct 4, I commented that maybe the players ARE the customers. This got a few positive responses and a few negative responses. I want to expand on this idea a bit.
I work in marketing. I just returned from an internal marketing meeting. One of the ideas that our Chief Marketing Officer drove home was “there is always competition - know your competition and you will know your market.” Let’s see how this fits into the college football space.
Let’s define the customer as the end user of a product or service. Fans fit this definition. A fan can be a warm body in the stands, a warm body watching the game on TV, a warm body buying merchandise, or some combination. These are the ways that fans are customers. Let’s assume that you are a fan and you are starting to get very stingy with your entertainment dollars. You will begin to look at the competition. What does that mean in terms of college football? Does it mean you will start going to Eastern games because they’re cheaper? No. Perhaps it means you will not renew your season tickets, or you will buy fewer t-shirts, or maybe you will cancel cable TV. If you do anything, you will trim your spending. You will not forego your love of Wolverine football. Realistically, then, very little competition exists for customers as end users. This is due to extreme brand loyalty.
If you were to define a customer as the end user of a product or service, then the fans are the customers and there is no competition. But there is always competition. I define a customer as somebody who will react to changing conditions/competition. Here, the fans are not customers because their brand loyalty is basically certain. Let me give you an example. When UM hired Brady Hoke, Brian (seemingly) was pretty upset. He was a supporter of Rich Rodriguez and the idea of the RR experiment. He had previously denounced Hoke as a crony. Yet when Hoke was announced as the hire, Brian didn’t vote with his feet. He didn’t become a fan of Purdue. His loyalty is certain. He is a fan from his youth and an alumnus. He is not going to start supporting the Buckeyes.
So the question becomes who CAN vote with their feet and respond to changing conditions? The answer is student athletes. When RR was hired there may have been much dissent among the fanbase, but I doubt too many began rooting for Ohio. Yet when RR was hired Justin Boren went to Ohio. I do not know of one Michigan fan who suddenly switched their allegiance to Arkansas upon the RR hire, but I do know of one player who did.
In the business model of college football, the revenue does ultimately come from the fans as paying customers. Because of bowls and merchandising, and demand for seats, that revenue is directly dependant on the competitiveness of the product on the field. Dave Brandon knows the athletic department can count on the brand loyalty of Michigan fans. The athletic department is competing with other schools for the talents of the student athletes.
So the Athletic Department will now officially endorse ticket scalping through Stubhub, as long as they get a cut.
I've never used Stubhub, but from what I've read it's usually expensive and Stubhub takes a huge cut (which forces prices even higher). The part that makes me most nervous is this:
Throughout the 2011-12 Wolverine athletic season, StubHub marketing assets will be highly visible across football, basketball and hockey properties for the University. StubHub will host a football hospitality event for the historic, first-ever night game at Michigan Stadium, which is Sept. 10 against Notre Dame. Additionally, StubHub will be featured courtside, on dasher board signs, and via radio promotions. The partnership will round out with MGoBlue.com strategic placements and social media elements.
It's just one step closer to advertising inside Michigan Stadium. And if the Stubhub logo appears on the face of the (probably collectors items) Notre Dame/Nebraska/Ohio State tickets, there will probably be a riot toward Dave Brandon's office.
This is a job posting from Maker's Mark and I thought I'd post the link on here. The economy is horrible right now and I know there are many unemployed people on this website so I wanted to pass the information along.
Michigan is: History
Michigan is: Tradition
Michigan is: Advertisement Free Football
Michigan is: THE Band
Michigan is: Marketing…(Edit)[Read: hype, High School, lasers, smoke]
Michigan is: Becoming like the rest,ugh.
I’m all about stepping into this century, but if this is a taste of thing to come [in football]…count me out. [Context: I’m 27, I love R.R.]
So it's down time. A fine time to bring up a minor observation.
Watching the College Football All Star whateva thingy, Desmond Howard's glorious visage graced the targets for a QB drill, replete with the adornments of a Wolverine champion with his arms outstretched, awaiting his oncoming prize.
I have been becoming increasingly aware of how well the university has been promoting itself through these subtle methods. UM gets its name dropped in numerous television shows, movies, and such. This is, I think, deliberate and paid for out of the AD budget and I think it is just brilliant. This could pay major dividends in the long-run with recruiting, by building a positive image of the university and a common cultural awareness of it. Anyone else notice this pervasive subterfuge marketing? Thoughts?