Seems to be some varying stories on whether the "Go Blue" over East Lansing was supposed to be a target or not.
UM Ath. Dept Paid for Skywriting on Saturday
I like to think that the pilot was just a bit bored and decided to do some impromptu trolling.
That is what I was hoping for, too, but these days, almost nothing is free.
Frankly I could care less where they did it.
What I'd like to know is why the hell is the Athletic Department jacking up our ticket prices and going on a massive fundraising campaign and sending out donation requests left and right if THIS IS WHAT THEY'RE SPENDING IT ON!!!!!!
Seriously! I have no beef with building new facilities, paying coaches and assistants ridiculous salaries, endowing all the athletes scholarships but pissing away money on SKYWRITING!!! I somehow believe this money could be spent better. Think there are a few deserving students who could use that money to defray their ever increasing tuition over a dumbass expenditure like skywriting.
I'd hope Brandon would've out sourced this to a donor like he did with the band vs. Alabama.
This stuff is cute and all but when we go out and do this kind of stuff to our rivals, we sure as hell better back it up on the field and win or else we'll just look like jackasses. Thinking about the Go Blue banner at Ohio Stadium (or was it Irish Stadium) too.
sack up because I want to win our rivalry games?
Sack up because u want to win your rivalries and because writing go blue above Spartan stadium is awesome. The game will be settled on the field...not in the clouds.
The skywriting is not awesome. Its f-cking stupid and bush league. Its a waste of money and has resulted in terrible press that MSU has now compounded by using the opportunity to raise money for cancer, which is totally awesome and makes the AD look even dumber. So, talk about your all-time backfires.
Yet another stupid Dave Brandon PR stunt gone bad. Unprofessionalism is unprofessional.
So you are against all things Dave Brandon.
No, just most all of his extracurricular efforts that do not directly involve balancing the budget. IMO, an AD is someone who should be present but never seen. Or at least not seen because they are working at drawing attention to themselves like I believe Brandon does. He's got a big "me" complex, IMO.
Agreed... How many times have we seen him on the field post game hugging Hoke in front of all of the cameras?
feelings on Brandon but agree that this was stupid. It makes Michigan look as though they have a Michigan State complex, which is weird and off-putting.
...a very tacky move by Brandon. What the hell was he thinking? Idiotic decision taken to do this.
...stop over thinking things.
agree. What is up with these friggin people?
pull the sticks out of your arses. If you thought it was dumb, no need to lose your mind.
I probably wouldn't be that upset about it either if I lived 1,000 miles from any Spartan fan. It's an entirely different scenario when you have to deal with Sparties on a daily basis.
So people around M are pissed. Whatever. If a plane writes something in the sky and it is no longer there, did it really happen? Does it really matter? Its all quite silly.
You're not the boss of him. He's entitled to his own opinion. No need to try to mastermind how everyone else feels about things like this.
No...he is his boss.
Whatever man. Be pissed. Its a verrrrry serious subject. My bad.
My comment to the OP was that the sky writing is bush league but not the end of the world. So I'm not actually pissed, but thanks for the permission anyway.
You, on the other hand, appear to be freaking out over other people's reactions, even while commanding other people not to freak out. Luckily it is Friday, so hopefully you will have a chance to decompress over the weekend and stop worrying so much if other people see something differently than you do. Good luck!
What I meant was you sound scared, like if we lose to MSU (which we won't), we're going to look soooooooo silly. Well, the "GO BLUE" thing occurred before the game this year and after a win against them last year, so it's justified.
of being logical. Because. . . these two obscure-ass things. . . this other lame thing. Carl Cohen is rolling in his grave.
You must be confused. The people who play on the field aren't the same people who do these stunts.
Tending to agree with you. Pretty surprised to hear the athletic department did this - would seem different coming from some anonymous fans.
We look like jackasses anyway.
Those 1,500 extra student basketball season tickets have to pay for something.
Well, I'm glad the University of Michigan Athletic Department is taking the profits from my ticket payments and putting them to productive use.
We're better than this.
Because finances are always this simple.
Good thing you're not in charge of the AD funds . . .
Where they have too much money and need to lower prices if they can afford to do stupid shit like this.
Of all the Brandon/marketing/money bashing, but this is just solid ammo for that crowd. I emailed Ablauf, Lochmann and Brandon, FWIW.
shake your head. AD does it? We're all twelve years old? Money. . . literally. . . up in smoke.
Yes! Exactly. We have no say or right to say what individuals do with their dough. If some rich alum or fan wants to pay for that, so be it. I'd freely criticize as there are better things to do with it but totally his right.
NOW...that changes dramatically when you talk about an athletic department that jacks up prices and goes on fundraising campaigns talking about their desire to keep up with the joneses on facilities and salaries and then you see them piss the money away on skywriting. They are absolutely open to criticism.
....if Brandon responds. I sent him an email after he stuck my endzone seats with the PSD when I had thought that people who were season ticket holders prior to the initial PSD and who chose to stay in the endzone would be exempt. He responded, to my surprise. We went back and forth a few times and he basically called me a bad fan because I didn't want to "keep up with OSU" and that I had the choice to "forfeit my season tickets."
He is an egotistical asshole. It doesn't surprise me one bit that he used AD funds for this prank.
Doesn't DB have better things to do than to pick fights with alumni and fans?
I honestly didn't expect him to respond to me (see below), or if he did, to be fake nice. Instead he talked down to an alumnus. Stupid.
But the response I got from Ablauf was so obviously a prepared form letter for the shitstorm I don't really mind:
Thanks for the email. We hired a skywriter to display multiple slogans around southeast Michigan prior to our game on Saturday. They canvassed major areas coming into Ann Arbor and surrounding counties.
Here are some of the slogans and numbers that they wrote:
M Go Blue
804 (# of wins)
134 (for Team 134)
76 (for Steve Hutchinson)
79 (for Jeff Backus)
For your information, skywriters work more than 10,000 feet in the air. The words “Go Blue” in the sky are over 5 miles wide by 1 mile in height and it can be seen for over 20 miles. The same goes for an “M” which is 2+ miles by 3+ miles and can be seen from the same distance. According to the skywriting company, you would think that it would be directly over your house and really it could be many miles away. The other factor that needs to be considered is the wind direction … and that is something that can’t be controlled when writing text or numbers in the sky.
This is one of the best marketing vehicles that we do all year in terms of impressions. The cost per written piece is estimated at $100.
We are glad this has turned into a positive story for a noble cause.
Hope this answers your question.
I know it was a form message, because I didn't actually ask any questions in the email. Just a couple of statements on how it is an embarrassing misuse of funds and how it made MSU look better than us. And I got the Wiki history on skywriting it seems. Sent it to him and Lochmann; only Cc'd Brandon. I figured he's not sitting there making decisions on hiring skywriters, but he should know how people feel about what his marketing people are doing.
"804 (# of wins)"
I really hope the AD actually got the win number wrong, because that would be priceless.
And I figured pointing it out to him would just sound like douchey snark rather than making a serious point. But yeah, I noticed.
I hadn't considered the possibility that he might have cut and pasted it from the instructions given to the skywriting company. That would have been...unfortunate.
They got it right at the game, but they sent the email that you got to the Detroit News as a statement and got the number wrong there as well. Link
I got a press release.
So no problem printing it, I guess. That's the point of a press release, no?
Did he REALLY say that skywriting is one of the best marketing vehicles in terms of impressions???? WTF is going on there??? That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.
Even if that's true, I don't think he should be accepting congratulations for this year's effort. It made them and U-M look stupid.
I fired off an email and Brandon responded (twice). It was not a form response, because he quoted back to me some of the language I used in my email. (/Tin foil hat medals: Maybe we have some really smart email bots at Michigan. Hmmmm.)
Anyhow, allegedly less than $5K spent on 50 sky messages to be spread across the state of Michigan. E.L. was allegedly not directed to be a target. I'm personally no longer bothered about the amount spent (i.e., $100 on the E.L. "GO BLUE"), but remain a bit bothered about the class aspect. Assuming that they were spread across Michigan, I'll bet that it was cool to see something like this in Muskegon, Jasckson, Flint, Battle Creek, etc. Would have been much cooler to see this in NYC/CT this weekend.
I e-mailed Brandon about advertising in Michigan stadium (post "noodle") and got a very hostile, condescending response from DB.
I sent the same e-mail to Brian Townsend and got a really nice response.
OR we could double up and fly over every big game and just etch "Go Blue" everywhere. Like those people who carry around the WSU flag at every Gameday. Tell me it wouldn't be slightly hilarious for ABC to pan out to the stadium at Alabama-TAMU and see "Go Blue" in the sky?
But yes, definitely worth the price increase on soda and water to troll MSU.
This bush league psyche-out stuff!!
I don't fucking care.
I think it's bush league of the company to disclose who paid for it!
(And that gaseous area closer to the Earth.)
DAVE BRANDON DELIVERS THE WOW EXPERIENCE
If it was hashtag #goblue twitter deal then I would blame Brandon immediately but just plain old skywriting? With no multi-media synergy?
Maybe Brandon is slipping???
drawn right above my house in ann arbor (although after reading up on that email DB sent, I guess it coulda been miles away from my house...).
Interesting. So this is probably why DB hiked up the football ticket prices again. Glad to see that profit is being put to good use.
Seriously, though, we'd better back up this trolling on the field, otherwise we're just going to look like a bunch of jackasses. As if MSU didn't need any more motivation for their upcoming Super Bowl.
David Brandon sux post ad nauseum.
Ugh. I love rivalry and I love rivals jabbing at each other on non-rival-game weeks (the billboards needling OSU a couple of years ago were great) but from the official Athletic Department? Cheesy. It should be beneath them.
This is embarrassing.
It is also a good way to assure you never get any more business from someone when you talk to the media about your client's affairs.
Great point. LOL about that bonehead move by the skywriting company!
We can't fund the band going to Dallas for the Bama game (yes, I know it was probably a ploy that worked)? But come on.
I mean...he really squished the O in there between the G and B.
When he can do “This is Michigan,for God’s sakes!"....I'll be impressed
Maybe someone in the AD is an Arrested Development fan and its supposed to be GOB Bluth and the skywriter screwed up
Squishy "O" = REFUND!
Increased ticket prices for this crap. Come on. Wait till the UM-MSU game to at least do it.
Who cares about the east lansing aspect of it? The "Hoke" over Michigan Stadium was sweet.
It looks like a lot of people care about it, wouldn't you say?
This is literally the most 'Little Brother' thing i've ever seen....
Pretty embarassing, actually....
No, it's literally not the most little brother thing done.
The Athletic Department is going to hire a bunch of kids in Ohio to toilet paper Urban Meyer's house! It'll be hilarious!!
(As others have noted, this skywriting business is really embarrassing. With luck a well-heeled donor will strongly suggest that we not engage in this sort of bush-league behavior in the future.)
Hoke, Mattison, Borges and Brandon should recreate that scene from Billy Madison where they light a bag of shit on fire on Meyer's porch.
Paging all you GIF creators!!!!!!
This is pathetic. If some fan did it or commished it, that's a bit funny and a bit silly, but the AD doing it is just petty.
Nothing wrong with adding a little more fuel. On a separate note, my cousin (msu grad) is marrying his sweetheart (msu grad) on Saturday. Even the invitations were green and white. Please keep me in your thoughts.
If it's a formal event, wear a maize and blue tie. Informal, wear a blue polo. Nothing loud, just classy. If anyone notices, act surprised.
That sounds like a plan.
Obviously not a fan? Scheduling the wedding on the day they play ND? I bet his friends are pissed...or not going to the wedding.
Hypothetically speaking, can I donate $3000 to the Athletic Dept and designate that it can only be used to hire a skywriter to do this for the MSU-ND game?
I love the trolling but leave it to the alums and/or fans. Coming from the AD is pretty weak. I mean I would atleast with limitless pockets that you'd have a fire works show to accompany it.
bawk bawk bawk bkaaw..bawk bawk bawk
ND is 100% right and a perfect example of the reaction that everyone is going to have (including a bunch of Michigan fan/alum). It was a stupid idea.
This made me laugh.
Nice come back.
Board would be if we had actually lost to Akron.
Very embarrassing for Michigan, and with MSU turning this into a cancer fundraiser it makes us look even more petty. Very rarely do they ever take the moral high-ground, but they win 1000x over on this. I think someone should get fired in the athletic department for this.
I was really hoping it was Stephen Ross' great grandson's expenditure with his first allowance check, or something.
""It's a multi-thousand-dollar job," Asbury-Oliver said. "First, it's $2 per mile for how far we have to take the plane, then the lightweight oil we use (to skywrite) is expensive, and we use about a gallon and a quart each letter. Then for these kinds of jobs you have to throw in hotels and all that."
Yeah, if the athletic department paid for this and East Lansing was the target, then I can't help but be a little embarrassed by it sadly. Hopefully, we make up for it and take up Scott Westerman's challenge to our Alumni Association and beat the MSU donations to the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. That is a great use of the rivalry, in my opinion.
Even if it were 2500 miles, we're talking about $5k or about 4.5 cents per ticket per game.
I would guess that Ablauf is telling the truth when he says East Lansing wasn't specifically targeted. It's funny that it was, but these skywriters are from the West Coast - the department probably just said "southeast Michigan" and the writers figured they'd hit all the football stadiums, because football fans are football fans, right? It's at least plausible that people from Oregon would have no concept of either the rivalry or what "southeast Michigan" means.
That said, if the department has money to spend on this, THEY HAVE WAY TOO MUCH OF IT and I'd rather they stopped pushing the limits of what fans will accept in terms of hiked-up ticket prices and advertising and noodles and Arby's and stuff.
I don't think it's plausible. First, they're pilots -- they better have an idea of what SE MI is. Second, the Civil War in Oregon is huge -- they are more likely than not football fans and given the years of Pac 10-Big 10 alliances, I would think they'd have some idea of that UM-MSU don't like each other.
Except they're not from Oregon, they're from Arizona—and they're not sports fans.
Asbury-Oliver said she noticed from media reports the uproar it caused among Spartan fans, although she had no premonition of that beforehand as she's not from Michigan and didn't understand the nature of the MSU-UM rivalry. . . .
"My husband and I, we're not sports fans. We didn't know what it all was about," said Asbury-Oliver, who lives in Tucson, Ariz.
I ordered Michigan meat-branding irons for my groomsmen, and when they came in the mail they were all MSU. Customer support said they had just discontinued the Michigan version, so they sent me the "next best thing." It can happen...
have a new slogan.
If you go to the boathouse for women's crew, there are gorgeous candid photos of the team. They were taking by a professional photographer that MSU hired one year, when MSU went to nationals. The photographer took all his photos of the Michigan team instead because he didn't understand the difference.
I guess when MSU refused to pay him, he made an offer to UM (or maybe he donated them, I'mn not sure).
1. They should have paid for it to only be done in Ann Arbor.
2. That is not a fiscally sound use of money anywhere.
Are skywriters so rare that we have to bring them in from Arizona to do this job? I guess I just find that extremely odd if that is the case.
And the kick off was delayed for some reason. No one could figure out what the delay was. Then they just went ahead with the pre-game and kick off.
Later that evening on the news they said four guys parachuted un-announced into the Duke football game with UNC chutes. They jumped into the wrong stadium.
So, it would not surprise me if some dudes from Oregon mistook a football stadium in East Lansing for a football stadium in Ann Arbor.
Durham and Chapel Hill are like 10 miles apart. East Lansing and Ann Arbor are 60 miles apart.
...but when you're flying an airplane, it's a totally different sense of scale up there. The difference between 10 miles and 60 miles isn't nearly as obvious as it is from the ground.
Although I think the skywriting is stupid, I'll concede that it is possible that the writing near Lansing was a mistake of ignorance by non-sports fan pilots...especially if they were tasked to write a bunch of things over the southern half of the state.
If a parachute lands in a stadium and no one is there to see it, did it happen?
First, they're pilots -- they better have an idea of what SE MI is.
Yeah, but they're not, like, commercial airline pilots. Their job doesn't involve having to be intimately familiar with the nation's regions and airports. I think "SE Michigan" is sort of like "northern Virginia" - if someone says they're from northern Virginia, they always mean the DC area, never some place like Winchester which is also in the northern part of the state.
Regardless, writing GO BLUE in the sky all over the state is a really lousy use of money. Whether it's in Lansing or Southfield.
Especially if it's the AD funding it. You tell them "oh, don't do it over Spartan Stadium, by the way." It's not that hard.
The AD keeps making these "mistakes", it makes them seem incredibly incompetent and greedy. How that thought could not have occurred at any point is...well, amazing, really. I don't blame the pilots necessarily, they're the ones performing a job givena set of instructions. The guys who give out the instructions are to blame.
And really...how freaking embarassing would it have been if Akron had completed their last pass? Really.
Edit: Not to mention this is a gross misuse of athletic funds, if the AD did fund it. Which is even more baffling to me.
Especially if it's the AD funding it. You tell them "oh, don't do it over Spartan Stadium, by the way." It's not that hard.
Stipulated. Incompetence is a very reasonable explanation. I doubt the department actively decided to troll Spartan Stadium. Brandon thinks like a CEO, not a fan, and it takes thinking like a fan to do something like that on purpose.
It would be pretty funny if a Sparty alum pays up for a skywriter to do "Go Green" but it's during our bye week or a road game so no one sees it.
You can't post this enough.
Why didn't DB pay for the guy to spell this!!!! That would have been hilarious!
Someone get this guy more than 11 points.
He now has 12. Ta da!
There's just no reason for childish shit like this. What an embarassment. It's like a drunk frat boy is running the AD.
I'd get it if we were PLAYING there. Then it would make sense.
It is a well known fact that former bros run this world.
Yes completely lame. I get that UM is overflowing with money out of every orifice but rather than doing stupid things like this give $1500 to a deserving non scholarship student-athlete to help pay for those sky high tuition costs that are pricing out many of our middle class. This just looks bad and childish... and the karma almost got us. Pathetic.
Im pretty sure they wont allow the athletic department to gave a $1500 scholarship to a non-scholarship student athlete ...fairly confident that would then be considered against your scholarship limits...
the scholarship is not based upon athletics ability and it is given to someone who was not recruited as a high schooler, it doesn't count against scholarship limits.
The athletics department routinely transfers in excess of $1 million of its annual surplus into the General Fund for exactly that purpose.
I see what you did there. Lol.
The AD is self-funded. The monies don't flow from the University to the AD or vice versa.
Also, who gives a damn? Would it have been better if M was playing in East Lansing? Absolutely. It happened and the AD didn't tell the pilot to do it over East Lansing.
Fire Dave Brandon.
Yes, I'm goddamn serious, and yes I know this post would get downvoted to oblivion if the voting thing was still around. All my student ticket prices went up for this garbage??? Infuriating.
I look forward to the day he's no longer our athletic director.
What'd I do to you?
Brandon should take his clown show elsewhere. Maybe a minor league baseball team would be a good fit.
It may have cost everyone $0.03.
It's not the cost, it's the thought process.
"Gee we need some more money, let's bump up the student prices again."
"Well now that we have the money, Mr. Brandon, what should we spend it on?"
"...let's go write shit over Spartan Stadium. Yeah. Let's do that."
"Really Mr. Brandon? Why not use that money on something that benefits our student athletes or the fans? There are many other things we could do."
"Nope. We're going to go with writing shit over Spartan Stadium. Wow experience right there."
to make sure that students would feel invested enough to use the tickets.
Which sounds like a better usage of funds?
Time for Dave to take "the future" elsewhere. I will eat Domino's pizza exclusively for the rest of my life if they'd just take him back. And I LOVE Cottage Inn.
If the AD literally paid money to make this happen then someone should step down or be axed. And I never say that sort of thing. I truly believe this is an embarrassing misuse of donor funds. Gross.
For it takes the fun out of it and makes the school look lame, IMHO.
Would have been nice for Dave Brandon to pay this Suzanne Asbury-Olivery person a little bit extra to keep her mouth shut and not talk to the media about it.
And I see 20,000 got raised for cancer awareness for the direct result of this. If I were DB, I'd make a statement saying it was the master-plan to get Sparty so fired up that they'd do something like this, therefore the UofM will be taking credit for this money.
Would have been nice for DB to not do this in the first place.
Unless the MSU alumni pres that organized the cancer thing comes out and says it was a joint effort from the start (extremely unlikely), there's no way to justify this.
I haven't had too much of a problem with DB in the past but the basketball tickets and this are both complete bullshit.
If I had to guess, I would think that this might be something related to ongoing dares /pranking between the two Athletic departments. Like how MSU got a Domino's franchise to spell out an "S" on a pizza in green olives for their annual golf outing last year.
Obviously the pizza thing is smaller scale, but you get the idea. These guys like to mess with each other.
I'm not saying this from personal knowledge, it's just that my spidey senses are tingling. I doubt our athletic department would pull something like this without an interesting motivation. I suspect there is a backstory, probably one that goes very high up, and that we won't ever hear about, unfortunately.
If it had been revealed it came out of Dave Brandon's own pocket. But for the department to do it? The money would have been better spent on golf lessons for the staff so they could actually win one of those things.
Green olives on pizza? Gross.
Next time this happens I hope some deranged State fan does not try to shoot down the plane.
This makes that whole seat cushion thing seem rather inconsequential now doesnt it.......
Wow. Truly mind-numbingly stupid use of funds. And pretty dickish to boot.
First the chicken dance now this?
Bush league crap from the Ath Dept. Yay Dave Brandon.
The chicken dance is a little different. It was in our house during the week of the actual game and we just beat them. If they played it after a loss that would have been embarrasing.
This was pointless.
I'll disagree with you there. The chicken dance was meant to mock Notre Dame. Neither the players nor the ND fans had anything to do with the series being cancelled and they shouldn't have been subjected to listening to that as they were leaving the stadium or walking back to the tunnel after defeat. It was disrespectful, imo. At least the Go Blue message wasn't disrespectful.
Dave Bradon is trying too hard.
tripled it's admin/marketing staff since Brandon was hired?
This smacks of underlings throwing out il-conceived ideas to justify their jobs.
It's an embarrassment. We should be above such (expensive) stunts.
here seriously need to lighten the fuck up. It was a funny prank, and probably cost 2k. So Ticket prices have nothing to do with this and we didn't "lose" the moral high-ground - just take it for what it is, a fun prank with a rival and go about your day. Way too many panties getting into binds here
You are not right. Brandon has clearly been concerned about protecting the Michigan brand and he went (or someone under his control went) and did something that directly affects the brand in a negative way. It was stupid. Not fun. Not funny. And its embarrassing to fans like me who pride themselves on not being douchebags (or, like me, at least trying to not be douchebags).
to disagree. I just don't think it was that big of a deal. I think it was a lighthearted prank and people need to chill out.
Agree....Lighten up Francis!!!
All this was was a fun poke at our instate rivals. Ill bet anything you loved when our boy mike hart verbally insulted them as "little brother". We didn't vandalize anything or hurt any one... We posted a temporary sign in the sky.. Not saying F YOU or anything.. But saying GO US!
Its not a game when stupid pranks like this are endorsed by the AD itself. Its fun when a former/current player does it, or coaches joke about it, or fans/alumni. But when a body that is supposed to be professional and removed from this kind of stuff does it, then I'm embarrassed about it. Its not about what was done, its about who did it. Like I said above, unprofessionalism is unprofessional.
But like he said above, agree to disagree. At the end of the day its a dumb little thing. I just don't like Michigan being associated with dumb things, big or small.
I'm not saying that I liked it. I'm just amazed by some of the posters here saying "Fire Brandon! I'm super embarrassed... etc etc". Just don't understand how something like this evokes that much of a response.
But hey, the good news is our friends in ND will make MSU forget about this pretty quick after they pound them into the ground this Saturday.
For someone who prides himself on noy being a douchbag, you are not doing a good job. This entire thead is much more of an embarassment to the university then skywriting go blue in E. Lansing ever could be. Oh my god they wrte GO BLUE in the sky...the shame.
If the cost of this is funded by ticket prices (which is what several people seem to allege and are very chapped about) it averages out to $.02 per seat, right?
It's not that big of a deal. $5,000 divided by the 115,000 people who attended the Michigan-ND game would amount to a little over 4 cents a ticket going towards this trolling.
Just this past weekend we were laughing at how epic this was. Now that it cost you a penny it's an outrage.
But I think it was generally thought to be pretty stupid before it, but chalked off as fans being fans. We expect the Department to be better than our dumbest fans.
But if it was just the student section ticket price that got increased to pay for this stunt, people here would be saying "Student prices are so low, they need to pay an additional dollar to show their dedication to the program." When it's you paying, there's OUTRAGE.
No one is complaining about the cost, it's the misuse of funds. Whether it be season ticket seat license increases OR student ticket price increases the money no matter how little or big should be spent on something better than this. Take my .03 cents or whatever it is; just don't waste it.
For me it's not the cost (although I think it's a terribly wasteful use of funds) it's the fact our Athletic Department thought this was a good idea and sanctioned it. If State did this to us (had somebody write Go Green) over the stadium and we found their AD did it we'd have an absolute field day mocking them for it.
I didnt think it was all that funny then and I certainly don't think it's all that funny now. We're better than this.
This is a sad day for me. A Michigan Alum who's passion since he was 5 years old has been Michigan Football. Seems pretty clear the athletic department targeted East Lansing. What a lame thing to do and a complete waste of money. I will never forget this Dave Brandon. You betrayed me.
He may be shrewd, driven, obsessed with the bottom line, and arrogant, but one thing he is NOT is dumb.
Says the person spending his time on a blog whereas Brandon is making millions. Seriously, you people and your insanely illogical hatred for Dave Brandon is disturbing.
His post was completely logical, and void of "I knowz pplz" crap I read from every 12 yr old with an Internet connection. Unlike yours.
Ergo, your are most likely a huge douche.
Glad you caught that. Homie.
The guy could have just done it on his own after he was done writing in Ann Arbor.
I've never been more embarrassed as a Michigan fan. The ridiculously crass halftime band performances were embarrassing enough (last year's show that had the Horseshoe as a toilet, or that craptastic Bond show from the CMU game). I've always thought we're above shit like this, but not only are we not above it, we've become the leaders in it.
You guys and your fire and brimstone! I love this shit! And I happen to like most of what DB does (except the noodle). He knows how to sell a brand and from an outside perspective, the M brand is exponentially stronger than it was when he started and for the years prior-- largely due to his decisions to shamelessly self promote the University of Michigan and it's programs. And if you want to credit Hoke and winning football games, remember it was Brandon who ignored the calls for all the big names causing half of us to clamor "da fuq is a hoke!?" Brandon is largely responsible for saving a Michigan brand that was tanking harder than blackberry and (with the exception of the noodle) I tend to have faith that he knows what he is doing. And stoking an instate rivalry to draw attention to ourselves and the out dated, out marketed, and out played B1G is a positive move. Just my thoughts.
Comparing Michigan to Blackberry???
People are embarrassed cuz of this? Why is society in general so sensitive? No one got hurt...it's a friendly prank. I'm sure they'll prank us too. We have a rivalry with them...this is common among rivalries...at least this rivalry didn't include trees being poisoned.
I don't 'like' that we did it...I just really don't care. It's a sibling rivalry after all.
Personally I'm not embarrassed. Just annoyed that Mr. We Don't Have The Money To Send The Band To Dallas has the money for skywriting. Hyper-aggressive revenue generation only to spend the money on a stunt like this is obnoxious.
Sounds like someone is still bitter about something that happened last year…
As was discussed around the time of the band, Dave Brandon, when creating the athletic department budget for the year did it with the agreement that the band would be busing down to the game. When the band refused that, it required additional funds to fly them down, additional funds that did not exist because they were already allocated elsewhere in the budget, flying the band down would have meant taking money away from somewhere else in the AD it had already been promised. Is dave brandon blameless? no he and the band director didn;t communicate well but I don't believe the AD just has some slush fund of money lying around, chances are that brandon when creating the budget built in a cost for sky writing because it went over well last year and since we were already hiring them to fly all over south east michigan thought it would be fun to do it over east lansing too. Dave Brandon isn't perfect but the vitriol for him on this blog is unwarranted as he has responded to fan criticism in the past and is never entirely to blame for what many people on this blog pin on him.
But if you're doing the budget and are doing the line items and you say "fly band to big bought for tv game = no money; skywriting over MSU's Stadium = money" you're doing it wrong.
How is that what I said? That clearly wasn't his decision, in the budget last year he had the band at the game, just at the cost of busing down, not flying.
Clearly they believed the cost of sky writing was worth it given the thousands of people who look up at the sky and see it, it has a pretty big reach on a nice day.
It was estimated to cost $3k, that would have got about 3-4 band members to Dallas.
What probably happened is as we near the end of Q3, they were probably under budget. If any of you are actually in business, you understand the phrase "use it or lose it". With that in mind, I am a-ok with this.
The entire University utilizes a budget year that spans from July 1 to June 30, so it's actually the end of Q1. Then again, Athletics earns enough from revenue sports to return 1-5M annually to the University, being one of the few such departments around the country that doesn't operate at a deficit. It just makes Dave Brandon look like Shooter McGavin, which is how I will recognize him forevermore. It was cool when the skywriting was local and repped UM- nothing wrong with 'building your brand', as the suits say. Writing a message like that in EL is a different thing entirely. UM would like to pretend that MSU is not a 'real' rival like OSU, but a stunt like this, underwritten by Athletics, makes it a lie, and cedes the moral high ground to State.
For what it's worth, I'm staff here and work with budgets a lot, in an auxiliary just like Athletics. If I had greenlit a 3-5K expense for something like this, I would have been fired before even having an opportunity to reconcile the charges. I say that to give an idea who might've authorized this.
You're welcome for that, btw.
Again though, here's the point: Regardless of the behind-the-scenes process with the band, you have a decision made entirely based on money and with zero thought to fan experience. That's not how the department should operate. Nor should it be as hyper-aggressive as it is in revenue generation (again, at some point you're just alienating people) if they're getting to the point where they have money to spend on out-there frills like this.
Regardless of how well the sky writing goes over, I think most fans would trade it for not having the experience peppered with revenue generating things like giant noodles and Arby's stuff.
How about DB matches (with his personal funds) whatever Sparty raises for the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Also, I applaud Scott Westerman, MSU Alum Assoc Dir, for spinning this thing around to something good. go green....kinda...a little?
Right on. THAT is how a professional business person should respond. In the corporate world - Brandon treats the AD like a corporation - THAT is how an AD should act. And State looks great at the end of the day. Good for them!
You all cry so much. I don't know if they really paid for it... but if they did, maybe someone has a sense of humor.
Right, because its SO funny.
My issue is not even with respect to paying for it. It was just a dumb idea sanctioned by someone/thing that should be above that stupid stuff. I'm sure there are a lot of people with great senses of humor in the AD. Maybe just don't use your sense of humor on things like this, eh?
How is it stupid? Did u go to college, Did u have an ounce if fun? This is part, albeit small, of why college sports are so much better than pro. The rivalries are better, along with harmless pranks and ribbing
It's simply a reaction to Izzo mentioning the "putrid yellow that reminds me of Michigan".
sparty making a bfd about it, insinuating M is scared of them is even more funny.
Probably the funniest thing that came out of it was the Sparty in the original thread about the skywriting who came in and said "55-17, bitches." (Or whatever their score was on Saturday.) Sincerely bragging about your Youngstown State score is one of the most quintessential LB things I can think of.
hilarious (the freak out responses). There is clearly not a lot of living going on to lose your mind over something like this.
Are there any plans to show up Staee by tripling or quadrupling their donation to charity?
And, coming up after these words from our sponsors..... Chrome Helmets!
and obtuse. The hiring of Hoke, Crisler renovations, and the two UTL's were outstanding. The uniform experimentation, the seat cushion contrempts, the dynamic pricing, and now this crap. Brandon needs to bmore judicious with his decisions.
Maybe not, but he gets paid a lot of money to own the responsibility for stuff his department does.
End of the world? Of course not. But just looks stupid, and yes, amateurish coming from the unit that is trying so hard to show THIS IS MICHIGAN. THAT ain't Michigan.
Such fucking bush league. Thanks Brandon. You've given msu more attention than they deserve once again and they're basking in it.
Relax. Relate. Release
relax... breathe. .. I'm sure this is consuming and all but maybe go hug your kid or parent or puppy. If you want to take things so seriously maybe focus on the things that really matter.
The concept of "coolness" is one of those elusive things that nobody can quite define. But some anonymous fan just deciding to fly over Spartan Stadium and write "Go Blue" in the sky would have been cool. It's not the actual words, so much as the idea of some guy deciding he's going to do that and then actually pulling it off.
Having the athletic department hire a professional skywriter really isn't the same thing.
It was better for me when I thought a fan did it. The act loses a little luster, for me, knowing the AD paid someone.
like a rational response. Some people are getting so pissed about such a minor deal. But the awesome thing about it is how appaulled sparty is. That is tremendous.
That the athetic department paid for the skywriting over EL is hardly a "minor detail." It goes to the heart Michigan's identity.
Is Michigan a school that pays airplane pilots to write "Go Blue" over Spartan Stadium? Or is Michigan a school that doesn't give a rat's ass what's happening at Spartan Stadium?
We're supposed to be the latter. That's why we don't do sophomoric bullshit like paying skywriters to taunt the Spartans (or why we shouldn't do it, anyway).
It said "minor deal".
Its pretty minor. Yes. A minor deal.
Talk to me about murder, starving kids, Detroit being broke. This is SKY WRITING, people! Its sports. Its rivalries. Its silly. The pot is stirred.
Michigan-Akron is a pretty minor deal. But you're on a site that just spent a week dissecting it and hand-wringing about it.
Michigan hasn't won a Big Ten title since, what, 2004? We also recently beat State for the first time in a few years.
We need to focus on ourselves and rebuilding the program so it is truly a nationally power again -- and stop worrying about "trolling" other schools. Particularly if that other school is State, which isn't exactly a national program we should consider our benchmark.
I responded to both these emails, but it's really not important. What is important, is that although they point to "waste of money"....I counter, that it's college football, and although it's semi-juvenile, it has brought attention to the rivalry, and good has come of it, in the form of donations.
"The athletic department did that and paid thousands. That is a DBag move of epic proportions and if I gave money to my university and found out they did that I would be pissed they wasted the money. Maybe they should have focused a little harder on Akron and not need a botched referee error at the end of the game to win the game. "
"The great part is I new all along who was responsible but kept my mouth shut to respect those involved... Thus the "matter of time" comment. Trust me, you are about the only UM Alum making light of this, especially since the UM Alumni Association has been challenged to match the donations to Ovarian Cancer that the Spartan Alumni Association raised mounting upwards of $30,000. As an Alumni, paying thousands out for a pointless prank derived by your own University Athletic Dept...? This isn't sitting well with Alumni Assoc donors nor any Alum for that matter. I am good friends with an Alumni board member and he has had better days.... Brush it off if you will, make light of it being harmless and say what you will but, with UM's performance against Akron coupled with #Skygate...Ann Arbor has seen better days "
What officiating error is being referenced?
On 97.1 they said the ref messed up and Akron should have had 1st and goal at the 1, not 3rd and goal.
is one of the worst sports talk radio stations in the country. I think most of the people that work there hate Michigan more than Dantonio does.
This is a pretty Little Brother email. Putting "DBag move" in writing while claiming the moral high ground, name-dropping as if anyone gives a shit, and spewing outright falsehoods (what "botched referee error?") is quintessential Sparty.
new all along, eh?
staee making their point flawlessly
I'm surprised Sparty fans knew it was an airplane and not just some strange cloud insulting them.
God hates the Spartans.
Thoughts on the timing? I would be fine with it on the day of a game against us. We do look really bad because of how it was not turned around us (not that it's a bad thing) and because it seems like a sort of Sparty thing to do.
and if one of our students sprayed temporary paint on any object anywhere, they would be facing a misdemeanor. If a scholarship athlete, revocation of same. The AD should be proactive here and dismiss whomever paid for that. The price alone should make it easy to find the perpetrator of such juvenile behavior. It's a childish act and one hopefully not condoned by someone too far up the ladder. That money would have put to much better use gasing up the vehicles for midwestern recruiting trips or the airplanes for trips to the coast and the east. Embarrasing day for M athletics.
Some people are going a bit overboard.
I wonder if they could have spent that money on not getting their ass handed to them by Akron.
How do you think we were the beneficiaries of the officiating error at the end of the game?
But seriously, I think the error was not calling defensive holding on the last play.
Calling defensive holding on a textbook chip would be pure nihilism. There was no officiating error; the whining is pure Spartan sugar-flavored tears and ignores these things called "rules."
I realize that in the scheme of things it doesn't amount to a lot of money, but with seat license fees and high tickets prices for shitty opponents this expenditure rubs me the wrong way.
I laughed. I liked it.
Lame and douchy as to Sparty. Actually, I think it would be funny at Ohio or the chickens. Why is that?
Dave Brandon is turning into Vince McMahon. Soon Michigan will have a mascot and will charge and beat up the other teams.
What, you're not looking forward to Wally the Wolverine knocking Bucky Badger out with a blow to the head from a six-foot tall Kraft noodle, and then tying Bucky up in Arby's curly fries?
During my last couiple years in Ann Arbor I remember seeing that in the sky a number of times. It just wasn't this publicized, since it was in Ann Arbor on a game day. Is it only a waste of money if it's done in east lansing?
You both state why (to many people) it is a big deal:
- It was done in East Lansing (or darn close enough that people thought that's what they were doing). No one would have a problem if this was done in Ann Arbor.
Not the end of the world. But more rinky-dink stuff that makes UM look like a minor-league baseball affiliate.
Sucks we spent money looking like idiots. I guess I do too sometimes but man, it still sucks.
This is simple:
One school looks silly.
One school looks classy.
Our Athletic Department made us look silly. Boo on them.
How anyone could defend this is beyond me. This is beyond childish.
Leaders and Best. It's time we acted like it.
Let's do a Kickstarter campaign to have the same company spell out "GO STAEE" during the Mich-MSU game. That would be a hilarious troll! If it costs $4,000, I think at least 200 people would be willing to chip in $20 bucks each.
I'd go in on it. Wonder how complex they could make it? Perhaps a stick couch with stick flames?
Except that nobody would get it. It's not like the entire State fanbase knows about the one idiot that can't spell.
Anything that trolls Spartans and MGoIdiots simultaneously is fine with me.
Where have you been, Shirtless? Yesterday or two days ago or something I was wondering what the hell happened to you.
After either a loss or a win of this fashion, I avoid posting. I still scan through for particular avatars to read their thoughts, but there's too much anger and butthurt. You can't change anyone's opinion on anything and trying to do so is a waste of time and effort.
It'll be tough to convince me that Saban wouldn't be a good option for Michigan, hopefully with Rich Rod as quarterbacks coach with a $1 salary.
In all seriousness, though, I completely understand. There are some other things at play but I haven't posted much at all this week, and I've been on more or less as much as usual.
Hope the lawyer'n and everything is going well.
Kudos to MSU for turning it around and making something positive for them. I thought it was really dumb at first too, but that was operating on the assumption someone paid to have the skywriting within sight of Spartan Stadium. Now we know two things: it was paid for by the AD and the sky writer was just given general directions, not specifically told to do something near E. Lansing. Not a big deal really.
If they could do a Troll Face or even U MAD BRO?, now that would have been worth it.
Drew Lane just interviewed the owner of the skywriting company live on the radio. Apparently the Michigan Athletic Department gave them a list of phrases and a list of cities with no specific instructions as to which phrases would be written where. The cities included Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, among others. He said they wrote 40 phrases over 3 days, which is what they do as an advertising company. No specific instructions were given to write anything over spartan stadium, and the writing wasn't even directly over spartan stadium, even though it was visible from the stadium. He said the phrase "Go Blue" is 7 miles across from the "G" to the "E", and it can be seen for 20 miles. He said the word "stadium" never came up in their conversations with the atheltic department aside from specific instructions to write someting that would be visible from Michigan Stadium. So there you have it, folks. Mystery solved. This was nothing more than an ad campaign by the athletic departmet, but MSU's little brother mentality got the best of him and he felt like he was being singled out and picked on. But I suppose the positive here is that they totally overreacted and ended up donating a bunch of money to cancer research they would not have otherwise donated, which was somehow supposed to "show Michigan".
That's a rosy interpretation.
What valid reason does Michigan have for getting football-related slogans skywritten above Lansing on a football Saturday?
Frankly, why is skywriting Michigan football-related slogans anywhere a priority?
of Michigan fans in Lansing. As to the priority of advertising the U of M, for that answer you need to contact DB.
While I nolonger get behind the yokes, I am a private pilot with an instrument and multi-engine rating, with 600 hours. Most of which was acquired flying from the northeast to the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Generally west bound flights were between 7000 and 9000 feet, and east bound was at 15000 feet. My point is that I have a modest amount of experience about what a pilot at those altitudes can see on the ground. Further one of my CFIIs held ratings up through an ATP. Though he never flew an air transport, he did tow banners, haul caskets, dust crops, teach flying at all levels, and did a stint in skywriting. In other words he touched many aspects of commercial flying. I never was a skywriter, but I was the beneficiary of his knowledge in that and other areas of flying.
When one writes in the sky, you are fully aware of the winds. You want to choose a location so that what you write will drift across areas where there are a large number of people on the ground. Ever notice that often when you see skywriting you are on a major interstate many times approaching an intersection with another large interstate? Skywriting is very common over summer beaches when the weather is clear and hot, not so often over winter beaches. A skywriter's goal is maximum exposure. Period.
A football stadium is an awesomely easy landmark to find from the air. Further at 10,000 feet you can see it and the full parking lots miles and miles away. If I am writing in the sky and there is a football stadium with full parking lots that means that there are 10s of thousands of people who are not going anywhere for quite a while. I'm going to write my nessage so that ideally they watch me write it and watch it drift over them for many minutes.
Now I doubt that anyone in the Michigan Ath. Dept. knows anything about the decision process of where a pilot will write a message in the sky. They probably did just give them a list of cities and leave it up to the professionals. I also have no doubt that the pilot in the plane looked down and saw a stadium with tens of thousands of eyes who would see his message and made sure they did.
The folks who booked the work had no insight, and the guy flying the plane was maximizing his results.