I know this won't convince the diehard skeptics, but Michigan Athletics Department Chief Marketing Officer Hunter Lochmann had this to say regarding Michigan Stadium advertising in a recent radio interview transcribed at A2.com:
Lucy Ann: Will there ever be advertising inside Michigan stadium for a football game?
Lochmann: No. I’ve learned from Dave Brandon that you ask your fans what they want. They don’t want to see a lick of advertising in Michigan Stadium. I think my resume would be updated if I ever allowed it in there on my own. It’s not going to happen; I think there are enough opportunities emerging in this digital world and other inventory to satisfy partners.
Lucy Ann: But you have over 100,000 people in there, glued to it. You have the television coverage.
Lochmann: Sure. It’s a great opportunity.
Lucy Ann: There are elementary schools which have incorporated corporate advertising in their programs. Why not Michigan Stadium?
Lochmann: You know, it’s a great opportunity and anyone who doesn’t say it is, isn’t telling the truth, but the fans don’t want it. You listen to your fans and if that’s their No. 1 issue then we can come up with a thousand other things that they do want, that we can take advantage of.
Erskine: Just think of the money that someone would pay just to have their logo on the scoreboard.
Lochmann: There are other opportunities.
Lucy Ann: What are those other opportunities?
Lochmann: Digital. We have 100,000 people who come to these games. Guess what? We now have their e-mail addresses and we can market our own internal Facebook and Twitter and reach them differently through sponsors. Not spam them, but try to figure out what do they want to hear from?
So, no. There is no plan to introduce advertisements inside Michigan Stadium, including on the scoreboards.
Alright then. Two other areas of special interest to the fanbase. First mgoblue.com:
Lucy Ann: What about the MGoBlue.com website? Any transformation of that coming up?
Lochmann: Actually, that’s a great question. We are redesigning that as we speak. Hopefully a mid to late September re-launch or redesign. It’s going to be a lot more video focus. Video is where everything’s heading with the mobile phones, iPads, and anything else, so we’re working hard on that. It’s a popular site; that’s where our fans go, but we have some work to do. That’s part of the branding of Michigan Athletics. You look at every touch point and obviously MGoBlue.com is one of the most popular ones.
Hopefully that means that the video portion of the site will be less browser crippling. It also brings to mind the comment that was made during Big Ten Media Days that the conference was working to have BTN.com and the school websites more closely integrated.
Second, stadium announcers:
Lucy Ann: Any other changes that you have coming out regarding branding of the University of Michigan?
Lochmann: Event presentation and how people experience the brand at our events is a big part of building the brand, and we are in the midst of hiring some event presentation folks to really focus on making it a wow experience for our fans who go to basketball, hockey, football, soccer. It’s not just a PA announcement.
Lucy Ann: More entertainment?
Lochmann: Exactly. We really want to make all Michigan Athletics a destination for sports fans.
Time to sharpen those pitchforks everyone. Special K might be turning into Choclatey Delight Special K.