Emails regarding the band are being noticed

Submitted by double blue on April 20th, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Just thought you should know that the emails regarding the band not going to Dallas are definitely being noticed.   As a club leader I received an email specifically regarding this subject.  It was making clear that no one should be using official university or club channels to express their dissatisfaction.   I agree with them on that point, but it was clear from the tone and timing that the emails are getting to them (pissing them off maybe, but still getting to them).  



April 20th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I wouldn't pony up the cash. I'm sure his views are different than mine, but IMO this was an AD decision to sign the game contract, and the AD's responsibility to send them. This shouldn't be paid for by a rich alum, or the band member's parents, the AD should pick up the tab as a matter of principle.

Also, didn't I read that the AD is projecting an $11,700,000 surplus? The AD can't keep that, why not spend some of it?


April 20th, 2012 at 10:28 PM ^

They do for bowl games and conference games like State, Ohio, Purdue, maybe IU and NU and then ND in the nonconference (all the games they can bus to).

My position is really based more in the thought that this is a replacement home game than thinking the band needs to go everywhere. Well, that and thinking that Alabama can't have something we don't, although that's probably just the inner six year old talking.

Bando Calrissian

April 20th, 2012 at 11:29 PM ^

Reposting part of what I posted in response to this question in another thread:


The MMB is an ensemble of the School of Music.  Athletics doesn't pay for normal away game trips, though it has in the past offered to do so for bigger games (for instance, the MMB almost travelled to the 2006 PSU game based on the team wanting them there, but it ended up falling through when PSU couldn't give us seats).  Athletics pays for the MMB to attend bowl games.

Yet the point here is this is not a normal road game, nor has Athletics treated it as such until Dave Brandon feigned sticker shock on the cost of the band.  Yet as I pointed out yesterday, Athletics knows exactly how much it costs to send a band somewhere, as it deals with the costs of such a thing every year during bowl planning.  If they didn't intend to take the band for cost reasons, the information to make that decision was readily available before the contract was even signed and that could have been stated to the band far earlier.  Dave Brandon has acted as if it was some sort of surprise.  Not so much.

Abe Froman

April 21st, 2012 at 2:15 AM ^

Three days ago, I received an email invite from the AD and Phire Branding to participate in a survey.  I'm guessing I am not the only one who was invited, but neverless thought I'd share it with MGoNation in case it was not widely distributed. 

The body of the email stated:

"University of Michigan Athletics has contracted Phire Branding Company to perform the following brief survey. The goal of the survey is to provide Michigan Athletics with a better understanding of how to connect and build stronger relationships with their supporters. The information will be kept confidential and will not be used for solicitation. Results will remain anonymous and are not cross-referenced."

Please help do your part in supporting Michigan Athletics by responding with your suggestions on how the Athletic Department could better connect and builder stronger relationships with its supporters.


April 20th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

It was making clear that no one should be using official university or club channels to express their dissatisfaction.

What other channels should people be using?

I agree that people shouldn't be venting when they email, but that address is supposed to be for the general public, as I understand it.  It's not Brandon's private email address.


April 20th, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

OK, that makes sense. 

Of course, the fact that this is apparently happening drives home what a dubious decision it is.  We've talked for months about wanting to give our fans this "rare opportunity" on a national stage against the defending national champ, and yet when push comes to shove, we decide to get cheap.  If you're going to schedule a game like this, pull out all the stops.  Make it a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for the U-M fans who make the trip.

Mr. Yost

April 20th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

Yea...the people who hired Brady Hoke, finished huge renovations in Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center and Yost, pulled off the Big Chill @ The Big House and Michigan's first ever night game are complete idiots...

The nerve of some people.

You can be dissatisfied. You have every right not to agree. But to act like Brandon and his staff have done nothing, aren't qualified, or simply are a bunch of "dumb" people is absolutely ridiculous.

It's also ungrateful. Like Brandon as a person or not, he's done PLENTY of positive things at Michigan.

I for one give him a pass for making this decision if it is truly based on money. It makes PERFECT sense to me to not bring the band to a road (not bowl...ROAD) game when they rarely travel on the road anyway. Especially when it is going to cost twice as much as it does to get the team there and back.

If you don't give him a pass, that's perfectly fine by me...that is your opinion. But the name calling, the overlooking all the good this administration has brought, the acting like this is the end of the world (like cancelling the band during games in efforts for 100% piped in music would be) is simply not right.

Do better people, do better.


April 20th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

You are right in that people can have a tendency to overlook good when dealing with bad.  Its true - good people do make bad decisions.  That said, people that do more good than bad shouldn't get a "pass" for the stupid decisions they make. 

Its been made clear to everyone that Brandon's number one concern in his role as AD is the Michigan brand.  And his decision not to send the band is what I consider to be a not-so-insignificant dent in the Michigan brand.  Angering the majority of the fan base with a decision to save a few bucks is not smart (unless, obviously, the decision puts the AD in the red).  Does that make him a dumb person?  Not necessarily.  But it definitely makes it clear where his priorities really are and that does not necessarily jive with what Michigan people care about most.

Maybe your last statement should be changed:  You (meaning Dave Brandon) sleep in the bed you lie in.


April 20th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

I suppose a decision which put the athletic department into a debt that it couldn't service would make this a non-starter, but considering that just yesterday Brandon announced a projected surplus in the department of a little over $11 million, as well as the fact that, by all appearances, the band was part of the plan, I believe people have a right to complain about this decision. 

You are absolutely correct, however - it doesn't make him a bad guy. He brought us Brady Hoke and a wonderful football staff, a top-notch WBB coach today as well as others, and he's managed to keep the department in  the black despite financing major facility overhauls. He's also brought a very solid marketing campaign to the program, and this is where I go out on a limb and say that the band contributes to the brand, and to not have an iconic accessory to the program in Dallas will hurt, in my opinion. 


April 20th, 2012 at 4:41 PM ^

What type of press has this been getting in and around Michigan? I'm curious if it's just the MGoBlog/internet fans expressing displeasure or if it's more widespread than that. 


April 20th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

Its been a BLACKEYE for makes Mich look CHEAP and Brandon look like a greedy corproate CEO...this will haunt him and UM if they dont fix it and fix it QUICK..the anger will only grow and when the game happens and there's no" Hail to the Victors" people will be even more steamed...remember all that crap about branding? and then you do THIS?


April 20th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

I emailed DB. I also think that DB is absolutely crazy like a fox. In my tinfoil-hat world, DB has always planned on having the band go to dallas and not paying for it.

DB negotiates seats for band in contract. Months later (in the summer, right after spring football, when M football is out of the news, notice this didn't come out before the spring game) DB says "oh we have no money to send the band, it will cost $400k (twice as high as some estimates). Many push donations or suggest to wealthy donors that they cover the cost of the band. Let's say the AD agrees to match dollar for dollar so that they only need $200k donated.

Boom. DB kept Michigan Football at the forefront of peoples' minds and saved the AD $200k.

Crazy. Like a fox.


April 20th, 2012 at 5:34 PM ^

That might be a savvy financial move in a vacuum, but keep in mind that the goal is to market the program and make it successful, not just make as much of a profit as possible.

We shouldn't placate him by ponying up extra for things that should be included in the cost of a ticket. Where does that stop? Next year: "Oh, I know we have an $11 million surplus, but if you want the team wearing winged helmets on the road, the fans are gonna have to pay the equipment shipping costs or settle for the Arby's helmets." (Yes, I realize this is a somewhat ridiculous exaggeration ... I hope.)


April 20th, 2012 at 6:28 PM ^

Football team expenses do not equal band expenses. I don't see how this should lead one to reasonably believe he would do anything remotely similar with the actual team.


April 20th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

It almost kind of seems like Brandon is doing this on purpose. In the end, the band will go, regardless of how they get financed to go.

Either the University or donors will pony up the money for it. I feel like DB may have reserved band slots, and then pull the bluff of not sending the band initially, and then coming around to sending them. It keeps Michigan in the papers during a relatively slow time of year and then when the band eventually gets to go, it makes for a great story on gameday that I'm sure will be talked about repeatedly. The story will be either:

1) Michigan alums pull together and finance their band

2) UofM and Dave Brandon put tradition before money

Let's say this story didn't exist, and the band is there as scheduled to bd, nobody will talk about it. It becomes a complete non-story. Now that the band isn't being allowed to go, if DB comes around to authorize the band to go, he is kind of looked upon as a hero that put tradition first over money.

I guess it has potential to backfire on him, but if my suspicions are true, in the end it's a pretty brilliant move.

Just me .02


April 20th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Marketing studies have shown that a customer appreciates an establishment more after they err and then correct said error as opposed to the establishment not having erred at all. Staff on some high end hotels are actually trained to make minor errors that the customer may notice but then correct the error to rectify the situation to garner some customer satisfaction.

I may be reading too much into this, but just my theory. 


April 20th, 2012 at 9:07 PM ^

Yes it's true.  You are now invested in that institution.

Some of the most interesting career advice I ever heard was to not be a model employee.  You are too easy to ignore and take for granted.  The advice was to screw up a little, do something controversial but noticeable.  It gets your boss invested in grooming you, and your "turnaround" becomes his/her personal victory.




April 20th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I would urge the OP, as a club leader, to not heed their advice.  They are trying to suppress dissent and keep everyone in line by quieting any opposing opinion.  Speak up and speak often!