Had some issues this morning; apologies for the late content.
Mock Rock impending. Michigan's annual all-singing, all-dancing athletes for charity spectacular is Wednesday. It's at Hill; tickets are just ten bucks. If you can't make it you can still donate.
Ambivalence at maximum. Michigan now has a Chief Marketing Officer, which is a development I meet with trepidation. On the one hand, maybe he'll think that Michigan's main asset is not being a pro sports team and he'll put a replica of Special K's head on a pike outside Michigan Stadium and we will never hear "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" at a Michigan sporting event ever again. On the other hand, he used to work for the Knicks and might think the thing that's missing from Yost is Saliva.
I have to say the guy's quotes do not fill me with joy:
"Digital marketing is a huge emphasis in the social media world," he said. "How do you take that to the next level?"
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN I LIVE ON THE INTERNET AND THOSE ARE NOT WORDS OF SENSE
There's more like that. Hopefully the guy does more to fill Crisler than to explore "revenue opportunities."
As a side note: There's been some chatter on message boards from people who saw Brandon speak at one of those alumni things about Michigan charging for admission to the spring game and plastering ads all over Michigan Stadium for the event. We'll see if that actually comes to fruition or if it's just idle talk but it sounded convincing, and it was on the internet. So definitely true.
Impending largeness. Michigan's got five games left in the regular season, one against a Minnesota team that escaped Crisler with a narrow win earlier this season. There was a hockey game at the same time so I have no idea what transpired in that game but if it was anything like what happened against Iowa, it was large and lumbering:
That's the zone they played; 45, 50, and 32 are Colton Iverson, Ralph Sampson III, and Trevor Mbakwe, who are all at least 6'8". With 6'7" Rodney Williams getting a bunch of time and Al Nolen out for the rest of the regular season, Minnesota is just an enormous basketball team. They're 7th nationally in Kenpom's "effective height" metric. But wait, there's more: Michigan plays #1 Illinois next. Outside shooting is going to be important, as will the ball movement to exploit some plodders.
This film does not exist. The Fab Five beatiing Illinois in 1993:
The striking thing how Michigan just forces stuff up that goes down, but that might be an effect of Wolverine Historian clipping out possessions that don't end in scores. Also: remember when Chris Webber could jump?
They were totally voluntary, for real. Houston Nutt Roster Katana UPDATE:
Ole Miss releases scholarship numbers; Nutt says departures were voluntary
[Nutt] encouraged me to try to talk to the players and ask them if he ran them off. I have tried, of course. Haynes wouldn’t comment when reached on Thursday. And attempts to contact the other players have been unsuccessful.
But soon after losing the competition for the starting job in late August, Bailey was approached by Nutt and (then-Arkansas special teams coach James) Shibest, who told the kicker he would have to pay his own way if he wanted to play football. As they explained at the time, they didn’t realize that Bailey’s partial academic grant would count toward the team’s 85-scholarship limit. …
Bailey and his family couldn’t afford the out-of-state tuition, room and board. His father, Gary, is a production technician at Metal Container Corp. who suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. His mother is a wedding coordinator. So Bailey returned home before Arkansas’ 2006 opener and stayed there for several months. Here was the class valedictorian at Yukon Southwest Covenant, just hanging around doing nothing.
The Bailey case is a great illustration of the human cost of over signing. The SEC is to college football what the assembly line was to American workers. The mechanization of the human being. These kids aren't assets, they're kids.
I think the Fab Five is exactly the opposite of a John Belein team. If the effective height Kenpom metric existed in the early 90's, my guess is that the Fab 5 was probably pretty high up in that metric. 6'8'' point guards like Jalen Rose have a tendency to do that. Man I miss those teams. It's a shame I would absolutely hate the Fab 5 if they existed today anywhere else in the country.
I would think twice -- or maybe even three times -- if I had to pay for the spring game. It's a glorified practice. Charging for a locker room tour might make sense. But charging for the spring game? That'd be stupid.
DB's Kirby vacuum cleaner sales pitch (you know, block the slamming door with your foot and throw a clump of dirt on the customer's floor) to foul our holy sanctuary with commercials. Once we get used to the ads, BAM!
Before I go on an anti-DB rant, let me ask a general question: Do other major university sports departments have a CMO?
Assuming that the answer is "no," rant: This is yet another example of DB not recognizing the difference between being the AD of Michigan and running a wall street company. Sure, branding is important, but I get the feeling that he just can't get away from his CEO roots. Even his approach to the whole coaching change - done the way that the CEO of a corporation would handle it - with a process, that is religiously followed, so that he could say, "see, I had a process and I followed it like I said I would do so you can't be upset at me." At the end of the day, I was happy with the RESULT of his process (even though the timing hurt us), so maybe the new marketing guy will work out fine, but I doubt it.
Agreed. When the unfortunate shift takes place, and all programs are run like corporations, DB will be seen as a pioneer. A marketing officer is not necessarily a bad idea, because, as you said, branding is important, but I have a real hard time equating a college football program with a corporation. I have no foresight, but it seems like it could be a terrible idea for a variety of reasons.
james voskuil, rob pelinka and eric riley, michael talley, maybe demetrius calip, were still hold overs from the great teams of the late 80s and had a really rough year the year before when i think they were 14-15 or something like that. solid veteran depth plus the energy of the fab five was a fun team.
of Brian to ask that Brandon work to fill Crisler when he goes on to say that he wasn't even at the game. And yes. I do realize that he was at the hockey game, but don't complain about something when you don't even go to the games.
The new staffer was the one that said he had a personal goal of getting Crisler filled, Brian didn't set it for him or call him out. He's just hoping it's more than just money-making schemes and involves getting a larger fanbase in the building and not just watching on TV.
I do not think "hypocritical" means what you think it means. Do you think Brian actually does not want Brandon work to fill Crisler? Really? Perhaps one of the things that Brandon can try to do is ensure that basketball and hockey do not conflict with each other. Would a person be "hypocritical" for advocating that?
Sorry if this comes across like a grammar nitpick, but accusing somebody of being "hypocritical" seems to have become the go-to argument on the internet, when it is not really an argument at all.
Also, count me as somebody else who would like to see Crisler sell out, but who does not regularly attend basketball games. So there.
Sorry; I had responded to an earlier post that you took down. I have to edit my post as well.
I am not trashing anything; I just don't like basketball all that much. I am happy when Michigan is successful in it, though, and I don't see anything wrong with that. I remember being vaguely pleased when Michigan won the NCAA field hockey championship even though I don't follow field hockey.
I guess I wasn't clear. Of course hypocrisy exists and arguments can be hypocritical. What I am saying is that calling somebody else a hypocrite is not an argument against anything that they have asserted. If I am a hypocrite, you may call me out for hypocrisy, but my hypocrisy does not make my statements false or your statements true.
The idea of a marketing officer is terrifying, because he's a gonna leave his stamp on "the brand" by hook or by crook, and dollars-to-donuts it will be based on dollars.
But I did like the following quote from the CMO:
"I want to sell out Crisler," he said. "That's a personal agenda. I've got to get to the bottom of why that doesn't happen. I want to get into the data on why people don't come to the games." via MGoShoe's Diary
The lack of attendance might have something to do with years and years of the program being, uhm, bad and the venue being, uhm, worse. But the overall lack of attendance is surprising even in light of those obvious factors.
"Of course I care about that stuff. To the point of irrationality. It will always be Michigan first, cancer second." Jim Mandich (RIP)
They wouldn't sell out for those Fab Five teams except for big games. There's just a lack of interest. It's a football school. Hockey wouldn't be any different if they were trying to sell 20,000 seats. If they couldn't sell out then, it's not a shock they're not close to selling out for a team that hasn't mattered for over a decade and is probably headed to the NIT this year.
Also, paying for something ascribes more value to it in a person's mind. If I were the AD, I'd be marketing the tickets to area youth groups, Boys and Girl clubs, and local schools. If you can get the kids, you''ll get a lot of adults too.
Watching that video and thinking of the bitter disappointment that was the national championship game that year - not to mention the NCAA sanctions - I realized one of the reasons that I just don't get that down about the football and basketball team's recent struggles. Nothing* could be as painful as the end of the Michigan-UNC game...We Michigan fans ought to be able to ride out a few bumps in the road.
*Within the context of sports, of course.
"All of the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes."
Webber called timeout... tears welled up as I proclaimed how stupid a rule can be that penalizes a team for calling an extra timeout.... I was 9. You take the good with the bad though. It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.
Minnesota didn't escape Crisler with a win. They outplayed us, bigtime. We were fortunate to keep it close. They outrebounded us 38-13, which is just beyond description. That was the game that prompted Beilein to go to the "Big men block out so the guards can rebound strategy" since then.
Sure, the quote doesn't make sense, but that's probably because most marketing trolls tow the line on the perceived super awesomeness of social media, and in so doing fail.
Nevertheless, Michigan athletics is a huge brand. Having someone in charge of that brand, messaging (through all channels, including social media) and advertising isn't just smart, it's normal. College sports is a big business, for better or worse. Having someone who's responsible for the marketing of a brand is ultimately much more rewarding than pushing out some half-crocked marketing soup. Especially when a brand is still recovering from angry factions and embarassing losses.
It's harder than you might think to have consistent sellouts
It's easy to think that as soon as you have a good team that the stadium or arena will be sold out every game, but for whatever reason, it doesn't work that way, at least in Ann Arbor.
In the 20 years prior to Bo's arrival in 1969, Michigan Stadium had capacity crowds only for MSU or OSU, with the only exception being Army in 1955. Even during good seasons like 1964 and 1968, it was common to have crowds under 70K; in '68, the attendance for the Navy, Illinois, and Wisconsin games was under 60K. The Wisky game saw a 7-1 Michigan team ranked #4 in the polls, but only 51K could drag themselves out to the game.
Bo blows into town like a hurricane, and quickly establishes Michigan as one of the two dominant teams in the conference. From '69 through the '73 season, UM was a cumulative 48-6-1. Regardless, for those years, the only capacity crowds were for MSU or OSU. In '73, for the November home games against IU and Illinois, the attendance was just a bit north of 76K, and that was for games when UM was undefeated, ranked #4 in the country, and headed for another huge winner-take-all game against OSU.
The first game against a team other than MSU or OSU that one of Bo's teams drew a capacity crowd for was in 1974 with Navy. Still, Michigan went into the November Purdue game that year undefeated and ranked #3, and yet only ~89K showed up. In '75 we were 4-0-2 and ranked #7 heading into the homecoming game against IU, and 93K showed up. It was only after that Indiana game that we started the streak of consecutive crowds over 100K, with every one of them after the '76 Navy game being listed officially as a capacity crowd. So in other words, we had to have seven consecutive top-notch seasons—'69 through '75—before we started selling out each and every game. And that was even with the widely acknowledged marketing genius of Don Canham at work.
It wouldn't surprise me if we would need a similar streak of consecutive successful seasons in basketball to sell out Crisler every time.
“Experience is a hard teacher, but fools will have no other.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Chief Marketing Officer. take it further Marketing, what the hell do Marketers do? Oh! wait I'll answer that. They find ways to sell you shit and if you don't want that shit they will find a way to convince you that you need that shit. How do Marketers ultimately determine their effectiveness? By how much shit they can get you to buy wether you want it or or need it or not.
Having said that in an inappropriate way, If a marketer tells you that he is not a Pimp and that he will not whore your traditions, values, and sacred culture then disguise this lie in language that only other Pimps understand then will do the opposite.
Rant over! Go back to your regularly scheduled programing.
That being said, according to MGoShoe's diary, only the very last bullet point had to do with marketing with sponsors and that was the only mention of it, so I think it's pretty fair to say that if the transition occurs, it won't be so much the new CMO. Either way, if he decides he has to consistently fill Crisler before working on sponsorships, we might not have the above doomsday scenario until 2222...
i went to a Indy Colts game this year at Lucas Oil and the Adds were non stop. Before you could watch a replay on the jumbo tron to see if a catch happened or a fumble or a Int you had to watch Lucas Oil adds. The stadium was awsome, but i feel like there is to much "other" stuff going on. This is why i don't usually spend my money on the NFL to watch a game. They have sold out so much that it is not enjoyable. Give me a no frills stadium, urinals you can continuously pee while you walk around the bathroom, and some nachos and i'm good.
Height is definitely over rated. Man, Brian, you should have seen M hoops back in the days of Ricky Green, Phil Hubbard and Co. With 6'2'' Wayman Britt starting at small forward. The opponent that scared me the most was none other, than the big and talented Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota's team was huge and talented, with the likes of Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson, Flip Saunders, donning those ugly uniforms, playing in that ugly arena. My youthful stomach would be in knots when M would have to go up against the talented and bigger Gophers. I worried for naught, because the quicker and speedier Wolverines always came out on top.
Speed and skill are great equalizers on the hardcourt. That being said, I don't expect M to make the Big Dance, but hoping to be proven wrong... Again.
Count me as one of the apparently few who are in favor of the CMO idea. UM seems to have been fighting a tide of negative PR for a few years here, and I think it's a good idea to attack that. I understand the fear of Special K and turning the game into a non-stop commercial, but I think it's a risk worth taking. I think you can already see the effects of the basketball marketing this season with the crowds at some of the recent games. They managed to get essentially a sell out on a Tuesday at 2pm for the Purdue game. Sure, they were practically giving tickets away, but it made a much better atmosphere. Plus, if you get people in the door once, they may come back.
"Digital marketing is a huge emphasis in the social media world," he said. "How do you take that to the next level?"
When I read this I thought of something similar to what the Pistons do. If you follow the Pistons on Twitter, they always have "in game deals" that are actually pretty decent. If I ever get the desire to drive up to Auburn Hills to watch low quality NBA action, I will definitely wait to get in on one of those deals. I think it's similar to the way they gave away the free tickets to the NW game on Twitter.