...gd it, that's not who i replied to.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
...gd it, that's not who i replied to.
very much this. any time it's gotten to the point where i've felt compelled to email, Brandon has reversed himself. he seems to me to be very willing to push the alums to see how far they'll let him go and this isn't just through direct statements. he seems to understand how to float ideas in the press via anonymously sourced leaks on top of the usual direct quote stuff. he's very savvy and good at what he does...i just don't happen to like a lot of it.
he seems exactly like you'd expect a Dominoes CEO to be. very capable of handling media, very quarterly report (or the equivalent) oriented. can't/won't play the long game because there's no incentive to/he never learned.
his experience under Bo doesn't seem to have taught him much about Michigan, but a lot about what it means that he survived/thrived under a guy like Bo Schembechler. i.e. "if i can play under Bo, i can do X. i'm the shit, y'all".
God I love you. There is nobody I hate more than Dave Brandon. Seriously, I absolutely hate the guy. I feel like he's a slimeball out for money without caring about what others think. I feel like he's destroying something I love. I feel like he's a bad guy changing a classic program for the worse.
Edit: Glad I got tagged as flamebait for saying that I hate DB and that I think he's bringing Michigan down. At least be 'man' enough to comment and explain why you disagree. It's a sad day when I think that other Michigan fans actually like the changes he's making. Yayyy for mascots and advertising!
"I don't care what it is, any change that's been proposed, this has been a culture that wants to resist it, because we all want to go back to the way it was when we were there because that's friendly and that's comfortable." - Dave Brandon, in the article
Like quite a bit of organizational change across SE Michigan, I imagine that some of this is driven by a goal of remaining profitable as an entity (which Michigan athletics can do), and the expanded and reformed marketing department is part of that. I work in a regulated environment and even we have done something like this because of the economic landscape.
He has a point here simply because culture shifts and a different generation is defining what that culture is at our fair university - some of us remember Bo, for example, or at least were around for the tail end of that era (I have stronger memories of the Moeller and Carr years myself) and that was an great era of Michigan football (I'll confine this to football for simplicity). It is this era which, for the majority of those living right now, built Michigan's mammoth brand equity. There is the future, of course - if I wanted to make Michigan appealing to my kids, whose first football memories would likely be from the Hoke years, it's very difficult for me to rest on the laurels of previous eras of the program because they would never REALLY get it.
You could make a similar argument for most of the other varsity sports, but the overarching point from from a business perspective is remaining relevant and not necessarily being satisfied with the "this is simply Michigan" attitude. I understand where he is coming from - you can do nothing and eventually exhaust all that equity you have if the definition of "Michigan" becomes indistinct in a different cultural landscape. A responsible organization would continue to ensure that it remains distinct, making the changes necessary to ensure maximum success in the current environment.
In an era where change is accelerated and things become viral in the time it will take me to finish my current beer, argumentum ad antiquitatem seems especially futile.
So, from a business standpoint, I totally get it. Now, I don't want to see a single damn ad in Michigan Stadium, Dave.
I never broke it down like that but this is right on the money. I've been through four megers, three downsizings and read every stupid-business-culture-soup-de-jour-for-the-minions book in the last 15 years. Brandon embodies this bullshit, and yet the sad fact is a lot of that bullshit works.
Michigan is glorious because it breeds people who have a strong opinion and are adept at backing it up, and we love questioning authority. I love to question authority and yet I have yet to see Brandon make a truely bad business decision.
There are those curmudgeons who oppose change in all its forms. What I, personally, am opposed to -- and what I see most strongly represented on this board -- is the imposition of change that might benefit some but not the majority, and an apparent diregard (or contempt?) for fans' interests.
Brandon has, on the whole, made Michigan a more expensive brand. Is this good for the AD? Yes, it brings in the cash moneys. Is it good for the fans? I would argue not so much. Everything is more expensive, from ticket prices to concessions (including any portion of drinking water during a heat wave) to more products being put on the market to entice our dollars. But what do we get? What is our proportional increase in benefit from the increased cost?
A strong bottom line for the AD is very important, naturally, for long-term success, which we fans benefit from. However, there is an additional consideration here, in that the UM AD is not a for-profit entity. They are not selling widgets, they generate a product that has a "deeper" bottom line. Not a charitable mission per se, but it is something that transcends dollars: a tribal affiliation and a history that goes along with it. Maintaining the integrity ot this must be the focus of any decision, from a fan's perspective.
The question is, where is the point at which that tribal affiliation becomes devalued? Is a marginal increase in revenue worth the emotional cost of a large portion of your market getting less enjoyment out of the product? Shouldn't that be important? Where is the break-even point? How do we know when we've hit it?
...And this is where the alarm bells start ringing. Maybe Michigan fans are curmudgeons; maybe we resist change irrationally; maybe we are hard (read: impossible) to please. Maybe so. But you know what? That's the market! That is who the brand is being sold to! If your audience is booing and jeering you, do you pull a Charlie-Sheen-in-Detroit and start deriding the audience as being a bunch of morons? Or do you take a look at your product/performance and consider how to make it better for your audience?!
Brandon has admitted to having unpopular ideas and making unpopular decisions. Unpopular decisions based on principle can be healthy and envigorating; if they are made based on self-serving interests, well, you can describe that as you see fit.
Dave Brandon has had his successes, I will give him that. But if there is one thing my Dad said that was always right, "If it ain't broke don't fix it!". When Don Canham became the athletic director in the early 1960s, change was needed. The program was slumping on and off the field, fans weren't enthused, and college football wasn't as profitable as it is now. Brandon is messing with a program which has proven it is the top athletic department in the nation for decades. Would you all be so supportive of DB is the team had gone 5-6 last year? Hell no. We're being jaded by the success on the field and willing to allow such blasphemous additions like ARBY'S patches on jerseys. Are you kidding me!? And what was it, 7 or 8 uniform changes last year? I'll let you folks in on a little secret, Michigan football isn't world famous for being innovative off the field, the team is about winning and TRADITION. I don't know about you, but leave the costume changes and field designs and gimmick games to classless programs like Oregon. Michigan made a name through continuity, not conformity to the winds which are sweeping college football. All of you who are in support of this crap can appologize when Wally the Wolverine charges into the Michigan Stadium Wolverena presented by Ford in 2013. Fools. Brandon proved one thing to me in the past few months, his most important priority is profit. Look at the band! Don't you realize he was willing to leave the damn marching band behind to make some money playing a game in Jerry Jones' monstrosity? Makes me sick, just like Domino's pizza.
Brady Hoke has done more to "fix" the program than Brandon! I'll give him credit where credit is due, for hiring Hoke (albeit after an overly strenuous process) but the reemergence of the football program as a national star has very little, if anything to do with Brandon's wacky ideas. Likewise, Brandon hasn't really touched basketball, I think we can all agreed it was a slow rebuilding process culminated by Coach Beilein. And if anything, your point about the student section not being filled lately, has more to due with Brandon and the athletic department's policies than anything else. Who the hell wants to listen to the crap that is played more than once a game? And the restrictions against bringing things into the stadium are simply a ploy to force people to buy the overpriced concessions.
But the concessions at Michigan are in line with concessions at most major venues. You gotta get out more buddy.
You're quickly becoming one of my favorite posters Herm. This is exactly right. Brandon brought a UTL game and hired Hoke. The hiring of Hoke could've gone the other way obviously but it was a good hire (so far obviously, you never know what will happen and it's been one season). Other than that, he's talked about mascots, new uniforms, lots of piped in music, etc.
It has nothing to do with an age gap or anything of who likes the new change. I'm 20 years old and hate it. Some recruits might like the new uniforms but I'm sure some recruits don't like it either. Nobody is going to get commits because of just the uniform and the only thing changing the uniform will do is break tradition, something that WILL affect recruits. Alabama, Texas, and USC haven't had any problems recruiting with their traditional uniforms. Never, ever should we wear what we wore against MSU. Notre Dame was bad enough, but those MSU jerseys are just on another level of terror and I'm afraid that more is to come.
The trite line about "recruits loving it" or "players loving it" has nothing to do with the new jerseys. The logic is simple:
Create more jerseys, sell more jerseys. People are more likely to add jerseys to their collection if there are more types of jersey to buy.
It is a simple ploy to increase revenue -- nothing more.
I know that but the "recruits love it" is what people spew when people say they hate them. It's all a money ploy in reality but people here love to pretend that as long as it's in the name of recruiting, it's okay.
Thr marching band issue was a criminal offense. We will need them there considering it essentially an away game. Also, at Jerry World....WTF? Iw old have preferred Giants Stadium for personal reasons and for leveling the Fan base playing field.
An Arby's logo would never fly. It goes against tradition. However, a Burger King shoulder patch, with a cool looking crown... well, now your talking.
and we should replace the wings on the helmets with the golden arches....oh and some more uniform numbers, like 14 different random uniform numbers on each helmet
Whoever delivers us from the perils of High-lighter Yellow as an official color earns my allegiance. Oh, and a home-and-home with Georgia, Clemson, or maybe Texas would be great as well.
Love Herm's "Wolverena" comment.
Removing the walls you could make use of in the bathrooms. A part of me dies everytime I have to sue a urinal at Michigan Stadium.
A close second? Scheduling the team he should not schedule ever again.
DB had absolutely nothing to do with the urinals now populating the men's rooms in lieu of the old trough-style tiled walls...plumbing code prohibits communal toilets. Besides, I believe all of those changes were constructed or at least planned when DB came aboard.
I don't think many of us cared if he did the major things that actually help you win football games like spending more for recruiting, bringing in one of the most respected DCs in the game but is it really necessary to wear alternate unis for every damn game.
"Vintage" my ass. No Michigan Wolverine has ever worn a football uniform like those concoctions he dressed them in last season. They were complete fictions, developed by picking and choosing and combining disparate elements from various uniforms over the years until he got the Frankenstein monsters he wanted. But they were "contemporary" so it's all good.
You can be assured that there will be a mascot on the stadium grounds before the 2014 season finishes, if not before.
I have Dave Brandon's e-mailing address and I am sending him a letter right now about this issue. Is it okay to put this up? I had to look it up on one of the letters the athletic department sent me after I bought season tickets and I'm not sure if anyone is allowed to e-mail him. I would certainly pass it on to you, Don.
His email has been posted to this site plenty of times before. In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone who has ever visited this site emailed him to get the damn band to Dallas.
If I needed it, it wouldn't be about the possibility of a mascot. I know I'm in the tiniest possible minority here at MGoBlog, but that's one thing I just can't work up hate for. Especially, as I suspect, Brandon is smart enough to initially confine Willy the Wolverine (or whatever the hell he'll call it) to the grounds outside the stands. The mascot will not be seen in the stands, let alone down on the field, until his presence is taken for granted in general. He'll wander around the grounds pre-game and post-game, having his picture taken a billion times with little kids and teenage girls and Grandpa and Grandma, and all the local TV stations will be fighting with each other to have their on-the-spot sports reporter do interviews with him.
The despondent and meaningless figure you describe could very well be the mascot for an individual human's place in modern civilization.
If we have to have a mascot why not bring THIS guy back........I'm good with it
Yeah, but say it was like 2006 and Michigan and Ohio run the table in say 2013. We may beat Ohio in the final game, but play them again and lose. Then they send Ohio to the championship game along with a random SEC school. This is why we should be in the same division.
Does his job involve public relations, like, at all? Or is he simply trying to maximize revenue? If the latter, then he should be selling advertising in Michigan stadium because that's a free source of income for the athletic department. If there's even an ounce of public relations in his job description, then calling out naysayers for preventing Michigan from "being relevant" doesn't help him accomplish this goal.
Change is not bad in itself. I don’t think many people are arguing that it is. When people make the argument that people who are opposed to a proposed change are actually just opposed to change generally, they are being at best unfair. For example, I can dislike the addition of piped in music to the Michigan football experience without disliking all change. We can, as rational and reasonable people, disagree on things. I really don’t like DB’s approach here, because he seems to be suggesting that people who disagree with him are simply afraid of change, which marginalizes large factions of the fan base. Perhaps I’ve interpreted his comments incorrectly, but I don’t like what he seems to be saying.
a lot of things people hated as well. Some of those things are the very traditions which UM alums love so much.
Nothing becomes a tradition until its tried at least once.
My favorite part of this is that the resistors think they can change things by complaining about it on the internet. I'm sorry, but I fully support Brandon and he's completely right. People are still gonna pack Michigan Stadium no matter what. The sooner you guys understand this. If we don't adapt we will die. It's that simple.
I think there is definitely a strong enough history and amount of tradition to keep the name, the brand, whatever you want to call it going. "Michigan" is a national name.
Just a few years ago you had people complaining that they didn't want to see suites added onto the stadium because it would do away with the traditional Big House but take a look at it. It's an amazing venue. Everything looks great, it was done the right way (imo), has both style and function to it, and I haven't heard anyone complain about them since before construction started.
"I'm sorry, but I fully support Brandon and he's completely right. People are still gonna pack Michigan Stadium no matter what."
So, you support whatever Brandond wants because, no matter how much he dilutes the brand, principles, etc., Michigan will continue to be a successful commercial product? This is called "nihilism." Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos!
Die? I'm pretty sure we weren't dying except for 2008-2010. Even Carr's last years with only decent coaching and recruiting we weren't "dying". It's all about winning. Winning brings in money and fame, not adding mascots and tacky uniforms. Yeah, people probably will pack Michigan Stadium but that doesn't mean you should take advantage of that necessarily.
And nobody honestly thinks they can resist the change by complaining on MGoBlog. People think they can do that through email, phone calls, etc. which HAS worked before. Just because people resist changes though doesn't mean we're resisting change in general. I really, really hate some of the changes he's trying to push but I'm all for UTL games, stronger OOC opponents, etc. I'd like to see improvements on Michigan tradition, not things that not only won't improve it but could undermine it partially...
I wonder what DB's Borg designation is.
Mercurius of Borg.
"Resistance is futile. Your money will be assimilated."