*Updated*: Brandon (and Hollis) at MSED Summer Tailgate Luncheon

*Updated*: Brandon (and Hollis) at MSED Summer Tailgate Luncheon

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 22nd, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Today, the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit (MSED) hosted their "Summer Tailgate Luncheon: The Business of Branding College Athletics" featuring Dave Brandon and Mark Hollis.

The event was livestreamed and is now available to watch at the MSED link above, but I didn't catch onto it until I saw a Kyle Meinke retweet of new A2.com Michigan basketball reporter Nick Baumgardner (give him a follow, BTW).

Baumgardner's article at A2.com focuses on the issue of paying athletes.

...Michigan’s second-year athletic director got right to the point when asked his thoughts on the pay for play debate.

“I’m flatly opposed to this notion of paying student-athletes,” Brandon said. “I don’t think you could possibly coach a team where part of them are being compensated and part of them are not.

“Once you start paying them as if they were employees, then you’re going to be 1099ing these folks, bringing in accountants and lawyers to work through tax issues which leads to contract negotiations and probably even a union. It’s just absurd.”

Meinke's article is broader in its focus with quotes about the lacrosse program, social media, revenue sources, what "wow" means, among other items.

Brandon said building brands — which is a primary reason why he took the job at Michigan — is about more than the product that is put on the field.

“We’re trying really hard to do some things with event execution that makes our events special. So, when you see people parachuting in with the game ball, when you see Lady Gaga tunes being performed by the marching band, when you see fans using technology in the stadium that afford people the ability to watch replays and keep track of scores, when you see fireworks when we host the largest hockey game in the history of hockey … our first (home) night game in 132 years of Michigan football Sept. 10, we’re working really hard to create events that are memorable.

“Above and beyond the competition, which is most important, we want to create wows for our customers, those fans and those reporters who make that programs work.”

Here are Baumgardner's and Meinke's tweets from the event. Caution, these are tweets that were made as the event unfolded. They aren't always exact quotes and they often lack context.

  • Meinke: Theme of banquet is branding in sports. With respect to Mark Hollis, Dave Brandon seems like a pretty appropriate speaker.
  • Meinke: Brandon: sports are the "front porch" to universities.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says if you want a strong brand, first up is 'you'd better run a clean program.'
  • Meinke: Brandon: the impact of NCAA violations on brands is "phenomenal." Pointed to example he "walked into" and at Michigan, situation at Miami.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon discusses importance of creating 'wows' for customers/fans. Night game, Big Chill, etc.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says adding lax was part of the department's 'grow in every way' strategy. Also, allows school to build brand, increase donors.
  • Meinke: Brandon on why he added lacrosse: strategic initiative to increase number of sports/athletes. Lax adds 85 athletes, 25 scholarships.
  • Baumgardner: Michigan received $5 million in lacrosse donor money in six months.
  • Meinke: Brandon said plans under way for fundraising, planning for new lacrosse facilities. Plans to invest millions in program.
  • Baumgardner: Hollis jokes with Brandon 'I wish I had your budget -- I wish I had half your budget.'
  • Baumgardner: Hollis jokes he's glad UM has vid boards this year, because MSU is doing the same next year -- and will make them 'bigger and better.'
  • Meinke: Hollis said he knows he has sports at MSU, such as wrestling and swimming, for which the school doesn't give its teams a chance to compete.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon: social media creates great opportunity for college athletics, but also brings a big risk factor.
  • Meinke: Hollis said he has two or three meetings ever week with athletes/coaches regarding use of Twitter.
  • Meinke: Brandon: 'I think every athletic director sleeps with one eye open because of the temptation that faces their kids.'
  • Baumbardner: Brandon states the obvious -- football moves Michigan's needle, and so he watches the program 'real close.'
  • Meinke: Brandon said he's fortunate bc as economy soured, UM's revenue has grown double-digits bc of Michigan Stadium suites. Expects same this yr
  • Meinke: Brandon said UM football accounts for 66% of AD revenue. "if you're going to put all your eggs in 1 basket, you better watch your basket"
  • Meinke: Brandon, on today's recruiting: "If I would have told Bo I was going to announce my decision at a press conference, he would have killed me"
  • Baumgardner: Brandon gives big props to @BigTenNetwork and its impact on the brand of every league program.
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says he's flatly opposed to notion of paying student-athletes.
  • Meinke: [Brandon] said almost every athlete has no "commerciality"
  • Baumgardner: Both ADs asked if it's time to come up with a new name for the conference. Hollis: 'No.' Brandon: 'Hell, no.'
  • Baumgardner: Brandon says he gets more advice than ever with his job, jokes that 'and I thought people were serious about pizza ...'
  • Meinke: Brandon: I used to think people had strong opinions about pizza. Now, if I piss off 20% of the people, I think I'm doing pretty good.

Lots to chew on there. Have at it.

Brandon Letter to Premium Ticket Holders

Brandon Letter to Premium Ticket Holders

Submitted by mvp on July 22nd, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Dave Brandon just sent out this letter:

<blockquote> Dear Victors Club Member,


We hope you are having a great summer and are looking forward to those eight special fall Saturday’s at Michigan Stadium. I know that Coach Brady Hoke, his staff and our student-athletes are working hard to make all of us proud this season. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some new information regarding premium club seat areas and suites and, make a request to you, our loyal fans.


This year, you will be allowed to move between the third and four floor club levels on the east side. You can simply use the elevators or the stairs. We hope that the new high-definition scoreboards will also add to your enjoyment of the game day environment.


Today, we announced a partnership with StubHub, an industry leader in the secondary ticket landscape.  This service will provide many of our season ticket holders in the bowl with an orderly, fair method to re-sell tickets to games they cannot attend.  We have had many requests for this service and we are pleased to offer it through a reputable company who has a great deal of experience in handling these transactions.


We will not be including premium club seats and suites in the StubHub marketplace. I understand that your purchase of premium seats and/or suite tickets is not only an investment in Michigan Athletics, but also an investment in the unique and special in-stadium experience that you expect and deserve.  Knowing that, I would like to ask you to not attempt to resell your season tickets on any secondary ticket platform. The premium seat and suite experience is a special one and we want to preserve the integrity of these areas for you – our loyal fans and donors. 


I want to again thank you for your support of Michigan Athletics and thanks in advance for helping preserve the premium seat experience for all of your fellow fans in Michigan Stadium.


See you at the Big House in 43 days.


Go Blue!


Dave Brandon


I actually like this idea.  There were some around us last year that obviously re-sold their tickets to visiting teams.

M signs deal with Stubhub for tickets

M signs deal with Stubhub for tickets

Submitted by Sambojangles on July 22nd, 2011 at 1:22 PM


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.

DB talks Branding with Adam Rittenberg

DB talks Branding with Adam Rittenberg

Submitted by Yostal on July 13th, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Not a whole lot of new ground here, but Adam Rittenberg gets an interview with David Brandon about "branding" and the Michigan athletic department.


Money quote for me:

People want Michigan to be on the national stage. They want us to be innovative. They want us to embrace our traditions -- and I do, I'm a part of that tradition -- but I also believe there's a lot of people that want us to be fresh and to be competitive, not just on the field through performance but also in the way we present our program to the nation.

M brand being devalued

M brand being devalued

Submitted by UAUM on July 8th, 2011 at 1:05 AM
So I constantly peruse MDen and other sites that sell Michigan gear for new cool stuff. However, after the recent post regarding MDen new site design up; 2011 gear designs revealed, and my subsequent viewing of the MDen site, I am thoroughly disappointed in Dave Brandon's marketing efforts.
Michigan, and in particular the block M, is an invaluable trademark, and DB is pissing it away. The silly stitched block M on the ND game jerseys looks like a total fad. However, the worse sin is the fact that the vintage circle block M in the yellow circle on so many decent looking shirts, which IMO do look cool, is totally overshadowed by the equally large Adidas logo. That's so disappointing on Dave's part.
That cool vintage circle block M logo should not be juxtaposed a massive corporate logo. M should have paid for that design outright and simply marketed it on its own. It's not like anyone goes to the Adidas website for M gear. Why do we need that logo plastered all over our sweet shirts? I for one refuse to buy anything with corporate logos so prominently displayed upon them.

Night Gamez, RAWK Music, and Maize Jerzeyz, yo

Night Gamez, RAWK Music, and Maize Jerzeyz, yo

Submitted by JeepinBen on June 5th, 2011 at 1:17 PM


Let me start off by saying, I’m not that old. I’m 24 (it feels really old compared to 2 years ago when I was graduating). Some of you might read the title and think “Get Off My Lawn” but that’s not what I’m going for. The more and more I’ve thought about the Notre Dame game this year, the more upset I get. I’ve got tickets, I’m going, I’ll love it… but it won’t feel like Michigan Football. I don’t care at all if we have a Fullback, or play a 4-3, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is the Game-day Experience. Yes, this will be the first night game, yes everyone else has night games, and yes, Prime Time exposure, etc. etc. this really seems like a net positive. But part of me thinks that with the whole thing we’ve sold out. I’m a 3rd Generation Michigan Grad, and I love that when I went to games from 2005-2009, it started just like when my mom and dad when to games in the late 70s, and when my grandparents went in the late 40s/early 50s. The Marching Band formed their block M,

the Fanfare M, they played the Victors, the team came out the Tunnel, and they looked like this:

 - is that Henne? Devin? Leach? 

 - is that Arthur Walker, Paul Seymour, Jon Jansen, Jake Long, or Lewan?

Their seats looked like this:


Now, I can’t help but feel that we’re all of a sudden every other team in college football. We’ve got skyboxes (granted, the construction ended up looking great, and I’ve taken the tour, and they’re amazing). We’ve got Lights. We’ve got Special K and we’ve got (allegedly) Maize alternate/throwbacky/cash-grab Jerseys.

So, all the things that I (we?) have claimed to hate throughout the past few seasons we now embody.

Michigan will Take the Field and it will be OMG MAIZE JERZEYS! I CAN BUY JERZEYS?


After Michigan takes the field “I Got a Feelin’“ I know what Special K will play (I feel like every time they went to commercial in this game the damn Black Eyed Peas song played, I know that the movie has AC/DC) - Dunno if embedding is working, but Iowa 2009, when Iowa took the field: (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsHF31w8-sU&feature=related)

The Fatcats in their Skyboxes will see the numbers, the ratings, the jersey sales and think that this was successful. And what’s next? Our old scoreboards looked like this

Will our new ones look like this?

Again, I’m excited for the night game, I’m going, I’ll love it, and I hope Denard gets 503 yards and we beat ND 77-0 (with at least 1 Mike Martin Pick 6). But part of me really likes that we’re (we were?) different.  I hope to really enjoy the Night Game, but come November, on a Gray Saturday afternoon I’ll bundle up, trudge through snow and slush to my seat which looks like this

to see Michigan play in The Game, hoping the sun peeks through the clouds, and our team will look like this:

And the band will play the Victors and it’ll just feel… right



Dave Brandon Discusses the Winged Helmet

Dave Brandon Discusses the Winged Helmet

Submitted by MGoShoe on June 5th, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Dave Brandon covers the iconic status of Michigan's winged helmet in his latest blog entry at MGoBlue.com.

As a kid being recruited by several universities, I remember seeing the maize wings and thinking it was the neatest football helmet in the world. I am not saying the helmet was the reason I came to Michigan, but I would say it piqued my interest in our school at a very young age. In fact, many of our football players and others alike believe the "winged helmet" plays an important role in our recruiting efforts.

Many college football programs would love to figure out a way to knock us out of our No. 1 ranking in the "battle of the best helmet competition." Some programs are even changing their helmet color/design during the season to create more interest and attention.

While the "helmet wars" are fun to talk about, the serious point is Michigan should never change from the winged helmet. This design is classic. It is representative of the winningest team in college football -- and when one is coming at you on the football field you know you are about to get hit harder than most other teams you will play. That is what Michigan -- and our special helmet -- is all about!

While we strive for growth and sometimes change will come with it, the classic "block M" and our winged football helmet represent our tradition and history -- simple and strong. These iconic symbols should remain for decades to come.

Feel better now? Wait, he didn't cover uniform color and design?

Softball coach Hutch saves life of recruit father

Softball coach Hutch saves life of recruit father

Submitted by MBAgoblue on May 14th, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Amazing story posted to Dave Brandon's blog: softball coach Carol Hutchins and assistants give recruit's father CPR and use an AED when he suffers a heart attack. The man was taken to UM hospital and survived.

Nice save, coach.http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/brandon/spec-rel/051411aaa.html

Dave Brandon: Possible Future Miami Neutral Site Game

Dave Brandon: Possible Future Miami Neutral Site Game

Submitted by MGoShoe on April 12th, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Naplesnews.com is reporting that Dave Brandon announced at a U-M Alumni Club of Southwest Florida event in Naples, FL that Michigan is exploring the future scheduling of a neutral site game to be played at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

Over 140 University of Michigan faithful gathered at the Audubon Country Club in North Naples on Monday night to hear the school’s athletic director, Dave Brandon, speak as part the annual “Maize and Blue in Paradise” event.

Brandon said he and the university are working hard to schedule more athletic events in the area, similar to the Michigan-Florida Gulf Coast University baseball game that was played in March. He said the school has also had initial talks with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alum, about playing a neutral site game football at Sun Life Stadium in the future.

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with Stephen Ross about whether or not it would be possible to come down here and play a game,” Brandon said. “We don’t have anything scheduled, but that’s something we’d consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well.”

When asked about another topic of great interest here, Brandon had this to say:

Brandon said at this time, the school has no plans to put the banners from the 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances back up. “The banners were taken down because of the fact that we had to forfeit [Ed: these games were vacated, not forfeited] all the games. If you didn’t legitimately win games it’s pretty hard to fly the banners,” Brandon said. “… It was a memorable, fascinating and exciting time for Michigan basketball but it also led to huge disappointment and significant amount of shame as far as things that were happening during that time, and we paid the price for it, and we’re still paying the price for it.”

Cue the hand wringing and outrage.