DB Says MSU Road Unis "Not a Marketing and Merchandising Strategy"

Submitted by Corey on October 21st, 2011 at 9:59 AM



"It's not a marketing and merchandise strategy," Brandon said. "It was to fire up the team as far as our own competitive edge. I'm glad we did it. It worked out well, but like everything else, some people love it, some don't love it."



Go Ugly Early

October 21st, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

While I think ultimately Dave Brandon has the best interest of the program at heart, he lets his ego get in the way of his decisions too much. Sometimes it's more about Dave Brandon telling people he's right/ he knows more than just apologizing for the mistake (Pop Evil, Clown Unis, etc.) and moving on. He seems to have surrounded himself with a bunch of yes men.

Go Ugly Early

October 21st, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

To me, it feels like it's Dave Brandon's mission to make "his mark" on the program while he has the power. Frankly, I'm annoyed, but it also does seem like we have been getting more national attention than in the Carr days (maybe this is a product of the Twitter generation/ 24 hr news cycle)


October 21st, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

Feel free to express concern.  That's the point of a blog.  Diatribes about how players don't really get tradition or how recruits enjoying jerseys is dumb seem petty and overblown in the greater scheme of things.

If Brandon is the only one pushing these jerseys and they become a constant theme of big games, then yeah, I'll be on board with the concern.  Until then, I'll trust the AD.


October 21st, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

You completely missed the point of my "diatribe" if you thought it was about how the players don't respect tradition or how recruits are stupid to like jerseys.

I suspect you do get the point, however, if the uniformzz come out of the woodwork for every big game and you start to hate it.  At that point, it won't matter to you that the players get amped up.  Which is the point.


October 21st, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

I didn't read your comment, to be totally honest.  I was referring to comments above that.  Now I can't read it as it appears to have been caved and javascript isn't working.

I don't even like either jersey.  I think the white jerseys are ugly and look like Georgia Tech took acid and stared at a Warhol piece.  But it's not really my place to be upset when the UTL version only came out once, the away jersey appears to have also been a one-off, and recruits/players seem to be having a damn good time with it.


October 21st, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

It was kind of a diatribe.  Here's the cliff notes: the idea that "the players like them" is a sham, because everyone will have their breaking point as to what point the Davebrandonization of the program is too much. And at that point it won't matter whether or not the players like what's going on, there will be one more name added to the rolls of the get-off-my-lawners.  Really, I wish people would admit they're the ones that are OK with it - you, for example, are OK with it because it's a one-off event, not just because the players liked them.

Besides, players will publicly like things but privately hate them.  Very rare will be the instance in which one of them comes out and says "man, thing X sucks."  That would be a media firestorm, discontent in the program, dissension in the ranks, the works.  I bet if you took a private, no-attribution poll, there's no way any of these things would be unanimous, but they can't say it publicly.

Deep Under Cover

October 21st, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

Yeah, that is kind of the point I was getting at about former players.  I think people focus way to much on the aesthetics and call it "tradition", when it is not necessarily, or when you deviate a bit from them you are destroying tradition.

The fact is Dave Brandon played at Michigan, and knowing several former players who played under Bo, I have not heard ANY of them complain about a single thing Brandon has done when he took over, least of all the jersey music or RAWK.  Some people think WAY too hard about the details of being at a Michigan game, and in turn forget that it is the experience OVERALL that is important.

Clearly this is my view on things, but here is how I order elements of our tradition.  First and foremost is winning, obviously, and if that is there nobody cares as much about the rest.  Second, the stadium brings an experience that is unmatched anywhere.  Third, the band and our legendary fight song.  Next is the uniform, starting with our famed wings.  These are the things that I believe make up parts of tradition we see as spectators.

But Michigan football isn't about fans or selling things, its ALWAYS been about the young men involved in THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM.  That is where the true, and frankly, most important tradition lies.  I have stated it ad nauseum, but Michigan football has always been about learning life lessons from sport.  Its about hard work, discipline, and doing your job while relying on the man next to you to do his.  These lessons can be applied throughout the rest of your life.  This is the most important part of the tradition, and it involves the players, not the fans.  It has nothing to do with RAWK or uniforms.

My dad was fortunate enough to play under Bo, and I can tell in how he speaks about him that he was a mentor and molder of young men.  Growing up I constantly heard Bo's famous line, "What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."  My dad believes in that, and believed that it is of utmost importance that the person behind the reins of the program understood this, and I certainly think Brandon understands this.

So everyone can cry foul over the jerseys because you think they are, uh, foul, and people can complain that DB is destroying tradition this and that... But they are all wrong, because the core of what makes michigan special is still there, RAWK music and bumble bee jerseys or not.

Oigh, I rambled and thus probably deviated from point, but its all in there.


October 21st, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

Whatever, Michigan etc. and he was probably right about going with Hoke and spending more money on coordinators but my god the man's a prick.


October 21st, 2011 at 1:52 PM ^

When I saw the players come out in those jerseys for the game my first thought is that we were wearing them mostly because of problems with our normal game jerseys.  You know the sort of problems that cause half the team to change uniform at halftime like we saw during the NW game.  I don't know, it might just be wishful thinking on my part that we had a possible reason for wearing those hideous bee costumes.

Ed Shuttlesworth

October 21st, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

Adidas is just so lame with the stripes and general clunkiness of the designs -- that's the fundamental problem.  I don't mind the white pants; hell, I wouldn't mind if they went to a sleeker, mix-and-match set of blue, white, and maize pants and jerseys in the spirit of before- they-went-off-the-rails Oregon.(**)

But unfortunately the guy putting his "mark" on the redesign was a guy who shilled cardboard pizza and direct mail coupons for a couple decades, a middle-aged midwestern middlebrow with absolutely no sense of style.     The uniforms are terrible; in five years, they'll be a punchline of Islanders fishstick proportion.  

It's hard to imagine a Nike Pro Combat redesign that would have been a quarter as bad.

(**) Our actual new road jerseys -- the ones we should have worn at Sparty -- would be a nice model.


October 21st, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

Doesn't this kind of fly in the face of every coach (including Hoke), who make comments to the effect of, "if you need something to get you ready for this game..."???  Shouldn't playing your in-state rival you have lost three in row to, who has a coach who makes it his personal vendetta to beat you enough???  Apparently no, we need special uni's also.  So we can be special just like MSU.

Ed Shuttlesworth

October 21st, 2011 at 3:56 PM ^

It's now clear in retrospect that Brandon's entire description of the UTL jerseys as throwback(ish) was a bald-faced lie.   They didn't have anything to do with honoring "elements of Michigan football history," or any such thing.  They were merely the home version of home and road alternate jerseys adidas had already designed for Michigan.  The roads didn't just magically materialize in the time between UTL and Sparty; they were always there.

His "strategy" was to sell the homes as "throwbacks" and souvenirs of the UTL game, then roll out the roads a few weeks later after the sales buzz on the homes (and the passion of the "haters") dwindled, as a "surprise" at Sparty.  Get all the controversy out of the way with the homes so the roads don't seem like that big a deal. 

All pre-planned, not remotely spontaneous, entirely "merchandising and marketing."

Not only did he lie about the UTL designs when they were leaked in early summer, he lied about the UTL designs being stand-alones.