Dave Brandon spending money on a marquee

Submitted by Vivz on July 16th, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Per AnnArbor.com he has proposed a 2.8 million dollar marquee on Stadium boulevard. The point? to promote non-revenue sports and other future events. 

Well the thing seems like it'd be nice, its pretty limited in being between the stadium and crisler, and seems like a waste. To me this is a case of Brandon saying we have money lets spend money. 





July 16th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

I don't see what's wrong with what Brandon's proposing. This sounds like an enhanced replacement of the message board that used to be on the old south-side scoreboard (see below). I'm all for anything that might get more people attending nonrevenue sports events.

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July 16th, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

I agree entirely.

My only thought was that for $2.3 million or more that is one heck of a sign.

I had been one of the ones to speculate two years ago that such a board would have been integrated into the back side of the South scoreboard as in the previous scoreboard renovation.  Oh well, at least this is 2 million bucks that can't be used for development of an acrylic fur mascot. 


July 16th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

This is Michiganfergodsakes. We just perfected a tractor beam for the sign to pull in any who happen to pass by. Why else do you think it would cost $2 million more than the average sign?

Next, we're working on a pressor beam to drop in the middle of Ohio's athletic department...

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July 17th, 2012 at 10:51 AM ^

Capital improvements have a way of attracting separate donor-funding.

That is why you can get the Junge family to fund a beautiful meeting complex with their name on it.  And that is how you fund two big concourses, with spots for a dozen of more dedications.  You can get interests like the Bill Davidson family to make large contrubutions to a basketball player development center.  You can get successful alumni, including some very successful baseball players (in major league baseball and major league business) to fund the renovation of Ray L. Fisher Stadium and the Wilpon baseball complex.

You can even get people to fund individual athletic scholarships with their names attached.  Sometimes even a particular jersey number. 

All of those things can find discrete, directed funding.

The hard part is funding jet fuel, insurance costs, utility payments, HVAC improvements, plumbing upgrades, staff salaries, etc.  That's where our general-fund payments go.  Not the special bells and whistles of athletic infrastructure.


July 17th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

So let me get this straight.  We're criticizing the guy who we hired to promote Michigan athletics and maximize profits for spending money to try and promote Michigan athletics and maximize profits?  I know we're not happy that ticket prices continue to go up, but not every dime DB spends is reckless and frivolous.

You can be sure if we went cheap on the marque and it came out looking half-assed, the board would erupt with outrage with Brandon foolishly trying to save a buck at the expense of this being Michigan fergodsakes.


July 16th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^


I don't really care what Brandon does with the extra cash, but will this actually increase attendance at the non-revenue sporting events?  I feel like the increase will be minimal at best.  Everyone knows they exist, and if they wanted to go they would look up when they could go.  Telling everyone there's a game going on that they had no interest in before is not going to generate interest.  The fan loyalty program will for sure, but this, not so much.

Also, I thought the title was telling me a marquee was going up inside the stadium and was preparing for the gnashing of teeth.  As I was thinking about that though, I decided I wouldn't mind it if they made it to further hold the sound in like the luxury boxes.  I want more noise.



July 16th, 2012 at 2:49 PM ^

People may be aware of the non-revenue sports, but I doubt many have the schedule memorized or check regularly to see what is going on.  I think a lot more people are likely to see a sign and go "Oh, there's a lacrosse game tonight, I think I might check that out if I don't have anything else going on."  than would go online and check the schedule and plan it all out in advance.

Not sure the move is cost effective, but I think it should definitely boost attendance/interest.


July 16th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

Letting folks know when a swim or cross country meet is or where they can attend the soccer or softball game may increase attendance significantly.  I don't think it's gonna change the economics of the non-revenue sports, but I do believe parents will ask thier kids (who may well play these sports) if they'd like to go check them out.  Small increases in attendance would be important and I applaud Brandon's efforts here.  Did I really say that about DB?  Holy shit I did.


July 16th, 2012 at 3:30 PM ^

I agree with this.  Having been a kid growing up in Ann Arbor playing various non-revenue type sports, I can definitely see my younger self pestering my mom to go to the soccer/swimming/etc. event I just saw as we drove by a marquee advertising it.


July 16th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

The should put the marquee all along the top edge of the stadium. And make it blue writing on a yellow background. That will go over real well.


July 16th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

Is the location is only going to be seen by those on campus already for Football/Basketball games. If it was over at the corner of Main you might get more traffic by it, but this seems like it is quite expensive for what it is going to be. (what else would it be other than a jazzed up sign like the MTSU one? no way it should be 3 million dollars)

As far as its effect, the people seeing it on a football saturday aren't going to come back on wednesday for a seperate game because of it, and the games that are going on the same day are already mentioned over the loudspeakers during the game.


July 16th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

Provided the following:

It cannot become a way to get around "no advertising in Michigan Stadium". I can see it now, "Well, technically it's outside the stadium, you know?"


July 16th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

You can almost hear Grapentine, closing off his post-game announcements... "And folks, don't forget to check the Hail to the V Marquee on your way out of the stadium for all the latest news and schedule information for Michigan athletics!"

Has a good ring to it, right? Right??


July 16th, 2012 at 3:14 PM ^

I don't live in Ann Arbor to drive by a marquee on a regular basis.

I regularly go to the UM website for schedules for other events.  Seems like there are cheaper options.  I'd like an App for this purpose.

Two Hearted Ale

July 16th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

I don't know if a marquee will make me go to more games but I think the idea is to get basketball and football game visitors to go to more non-revenue sports. I'm pretty sure the target audience is people who live in Ann Arbor, with an emphasis on students. Maybe some day a non-revenue sport can pay its own way.


July 16th, 2012 at 7:43 PM ^

Exactly. Similarly, why does Ford and Chevy and BMW have commercials when people can find out about their cars on the websites too?

That's what advertising is often for. The potential consumer who isn't already interested in your product.


July 16th, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

That's an awful lot of $ for a sign.  Either this is one huge sign with lots of light or something funny is going on that smells of kickback money.


July 16th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

You could hire a guy in a gorilla suit at ten bucks an hour for 7000 weeks; assuming the gorilla works 40 hour work weeks. That's 134 years of blissful advertising!


July 16th, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

For the pricetag, I presume an electronic billboard Is probably a better description of what this will be...I imagine something like a circular kiosk covered with LED's.

There's something sort of mesmerizing about the bending ABC/7 marquee on State Street in Chicago.  Something similar & sculptural would look pretty sweet out front of the stadia.


July 16th, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

It should have individualized hologenerators that create sporting event blurbs tailored to your specific interests and past ticket purchases/scans. Like Minority Report!

Also, at least 50% of the time should be spent on interviews and coverage of our men's tennis team which will resume dominating matches this January. Be there or be at Crisler/Yost.

P.S. Shame on AnnArbor.com for using a stock picture of the stadium with the old Split M scoreboards. Really you guys?


July 16th, 2012 at 9:11 PM ^

In the late 90's the Athletic Department installed a fairly large electronic marquee along Stadium Boulevard in front of Crisler Arena, but it never seemed to work properly. They finally removed it a few years ago. Hopefully this one is more successful.


July 17th, 2012 at 10:20 AM ^

I think mgoblog should have a weekly report on the AD's expenditures so that we can go line by line and debate the price and value of everything. Does this cost too much? Is this selling out on our TRADITION? Are non-rev sports worth anything?

It is the only way we can really evaluate if we are getting our money's worth with the increasing ticket prices.


July 17th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Over 250 comments on it. Let's get all more worked up about the Athletic Department spending it's own money than say millions of actual tax dollars gone into a parking structure that's still not opened almost a week after it's grand opening (and years of building). People love to pile on even if there's no basis in fact.