December 18th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

LSU and Alabama both gained revenue and value from 2 extra confrence teams in bowl games and one more in a BCS game.  Michigan would have been higher if Penn State and Ohio State had been in Bowl Games.  I'd prefer Michigan ranked 5th, on a list of hypothetical team value, and watch OSU go undefeated and not be able to play for a National Title.


December 18th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

Texas is Texas and will always be no 1.


2-4 have won or been in national titles games in the past 5 years.


Its a testament to DB that he has us at no 5 despite all the negatives that we've endured in the past 5 years. 


So I ask again, Dave Brandon haters, where you at?


December 18th, 2013 at 5:54 PM ^

1992 title vs 1997 title. 2 Hesiman winners in the 90s vs zero for Alabama.

11 years removed from a title vs 6 years removed. CFB is becoming what have you done for me lately. They are one of the bluebloods, yes, but my point was that we would've been ranked higher in value in 2003. 

Blue in Yarmouth

December 19th, 2013 at 8:56 AM ^

You give DB credit and say "DB haters, where you at" because we are number 5 and implying he has helped to get us that high. Someone asks you if it would surprise you if UM was number 5 ten years ago, which would mean DB isn't the cause of us being where we are and has done nothing to improve our position over the time he's been here. 

Your response is about Alabama not being as good 10 years ago so UM is probably HIGHER on that list a decade ago (number 3 or 4 you say). Thus you now believe DB has helped cause us to FALL one or two spots since he's been here...I'm not sure I'm following your rationale as to why DB haters should feel silly? You're arguing against yourself here.


December 18th, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

double negative. Are you trying to say they hate DB for sqeezing out every penny?

If so, I disagree. Its the mark of a good businessman to know what he has in his product and he did what was necessary to maximize profits to update infastructure.

As a consumer, vote with your wallet if you are displeased.  


December 18th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

Thats the value of our team. DB is ruthless but he is calculated. He knows what he can and can't get out of our fan base. 

An AD has nothing to do with the value of our biggest revenue generating sport at our school? Might want to rethink that.

Sure we're 5-10 regardless, but my argument is that DB has put us at 5. The best we can do in our situation. 


December 18th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

You are an enthusiastic supporter of Dave Brandon and his performance as AD--as measured by the net financial gains the Department has enjoyed thus far. DB's plan of aggressively monetizing every possible facet of the Department has proven he's a winner.

People dislike Brandon because he has clearly prioritized wringing profits out of the fanbase--and doing so in ways that reverse some of the formerly "fan-friendly" policies that helped grow & maintain a massive fanbase.

One dimension relates to ticket policies and how they reflect priorities. The GA student ticket policy, overall net cost of season tickets (incl. licenses, seat cushions, "dynamic pricing"), and student basketball tickets are examples.

The other major aspect is his refusal to make minor expenditures/compromises that might negligibly lower the AD's profit margin--but should certainly be incurred no matter what, as a means of preserving the atmosphere/tradition of Michigan athletics. Refusing to pay for MMB to go to JerryWorld because he knew he could extort donations & refusing to send the band on other roadtrips are good examples here.

The problem is the CEO mindset he refuses to abandon. He will not make a revenue neutral (or negative) decision for any reason whatsoever--even if it is better for the long term health of the school (as measured by loyalty, viewing, merchandising, other support, giving, and goodwill). 

And to the extent he's done facility upgrades (NOT football or baseball), great. Keeping up with other schools falls under "not sucking at your job," not "let's throw a parade."


December 18th, 2013 at 6:18 PM ^

Really? I was beginning to think my point wasn't getting across. 

I can't make excuses for some of his most glaring mistakes, not sending the MMB to games and not having the band at the Arizona game. These mistakes stick in the minds of those on this board because we have unrivaled passion when it comes to all things Michigan. To the great majority of fans that are not on this board, these are issues that they would not even be aware of or issues that they forget about in a months time. 

We all want to be the best on the field and off of it. You say that he has made no decisions for the long term health of the school? Where do you think all this money is going? Into his pocket? Have you seen the renovation plans he has inherited from his predcessor and those he put into play himself?

Sure they have been oversights on his part, the fans have not liked his policies and he has alienated some of the alumni. He has also not used the money wisely in one instance, the huge screen next to the stadium that has some controversy. But the rest has gone into investing in the program. What good is fan loyalty and happiness if the athletes are not happy? If the athletes do not get the top of the line facilities we lose a critical aspect of our recruting pitch. Without good athletes and succesful athletic programs we bleed fans faster than some financial policies. 

DB is smart enough to reign the cost of tickets when he is heading towards a wall. For example, student tickets will not go up next year. 

As for the GA policies, we were one of the few schools not to have them in the first place. Without a doubt students were unhappy. But give it five years and GA becomes the status quo and there will be barely any opposition. Assigned seats were flawed too. I cannot speak to the dynamic pricing and the seat cushions. 

DB has prioritized revenue and profits for the right reasons. Like I said above, if you don't like it, vote with your wallet. 



December 18th, 2013 at 7:59 PM ^

So, your defense is "DB had made a bunch of critical mistakes that have irritated passionate fans, frustrated students, and alienated alumni--but look! Money!" Well then.

I never said he made "no decisions for the long term health" of the school. I said he will not consider making decisions that, although not directly "revenue generating," benefit the long term health of the institution by preserving a sense of tradition and reverence for those traditions.

Saying that noxious policy changes that actively frustrate fans and have made it economically unviable for some to support their team in person will "eventually be accepted" doesn't really do much to save DB here. The point is, his policies have actively driven fans away (anectdotal evidence, but this is an instance in which anectdotes are significant) or made them at least seriously rethink their financial support for Michigan Athletics.

This is bad for the long term health of the institution. Full stop. Not debatable. Driving away longtime fans and setting higher barriers to entry for new fans is bad for the institution.

And of course we should spend on facilities...which is what I said. Programs attempting to remain "elite" should obviously spend to, at a minimum, keep pace with other elite institutions--if not outclass them entirely. But you also don't need to leave a real bad taste in everyone's mouth in order to do so--the renovations are funded in large part by gifts. (see:…  at pg. 11.)  But this is also "doing the job," not "being an exceptional visionary."




December 18th, 2013 at 9:06 PM ^

Ah you have a fantastic gift of summarization. Kudos. 

You have brought this up twice now. What traditions do you want to see upheld and not cast aside?

I never said that the financial policies would need to be accepted. I said the GA for the students will be accepted. 

You say he is pricing out some individuals who cannot make it to game. I forsee that these policy changes will not last forever. Do you think that after all of this money is used to improve infastructure that they will still keep charging extra? I don't. If they do, then it is time for a change. Either way, prices will come down. At that point when it becomes economically feasible for the aforementioned individual to come watch a game, do you think that person does it? I say yes. Some people will obviously not due to the lasting disgust they have for the previous policies and DB. 

MY ENTIRE POINT. All of it. Is that DB is a good AD. Not an exceptional one, because that would mean not alienating fans and making less mistakes. No one, save a few sane individuals, thinks that DB should even be considered as a good AD.

He watches film with coaches? blah blah over stepping his bounds

Constructing buildings? His name is going to be on them.

No MMB at Jerry World? He must be extorting millions from fans. 


December 19th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

"Do you think that after all of this money is used to improve infastructure that they will still keep charging extra? "


Yes. Once the bar goes up, it will never go down unless there is a mass mutiny from the fans. He will find reasons to keep prices up and new uses for the winfall revenues. It will never go down unless fans mutiny en mase and even then, it is not 100% for sure that prices would come back down because the tv revenues are growing to be a much larger percentage of over all profits for AD's all over the country. Ticket prices will not drive this bus for long.


December 18th, 2013 at 8:31 PM ^

I am... and my per game average ticket prices have gone up 8% or more each of the last four seasons. And there is no doubt in my mind they would be going up next season if we would have had a highly succesful season this year OR if our home schedule wasn't so craptastic.

Our average football ticket prices are third in the country behind only Notre Dame and Ohio State.  Think about this for a minute.  We have the largest attendence, yet our average prices are well above programs that haven't been miserable over the past half a decade.

DB is pricing out the backbone of the Michigan fan base.  For what reason?  To have us in the top 5 for AD revenues?  To have his name on every shiny new building on the athletic campus?  New facilities do help with recruiting.  Some of our facilities desperately need upgrading.... but is it really necessary to start new costly construction projects while others are still ongoing or while large notes are still being repaid?

DB's short term successes are undeniable.  It's the long term ramifications that worry me.



December 18th, 2013 at 8:54 PM ^

Would you suggest updating or constructing a building every 10 years? So by the 22nd century we will eventually have all new buildings for our sports? You have to multitask and with that you need money. And yes, he gets his name on every single building you are right. 

Reading this blog I didn't think there was anyone of the opinion that DB was a success. 

"We have the largest attendence, yet our average prices are well above programs that haven't been miserable over the past half a decade."

Thats what he sees. He sees that we have such a strong core of fans that are willing to support the team and is using them to the SCHOOL's advantage. 


December 18th, 2013 at 10:12 PM ^

If you think they're going to lower ticket prices at some abstract point in the future when we're "done with investment," you're absolutely insane. CEO's are not automated supply & demand curves.

A "CEO mindset" is a lot more likely to be focusing on year-over-year bottom line & revenue growth. If you think a former CEO is going to elect to reduce his revenue stream now that "we're updated," this conversation is even more pointless than I originally thought.

See: airline fees (on everything). During periods of lower fuel prices, did airlines nix baggage fees because they weren't needed anymore? How about the fuel surcharges?

I will eat numerous hats if DB decides to lower prices (not just leave the same) for football tickets, barring a catastrophic 9 loss season.


December 18th, 2013 at 10:25 PM ^

Ah yes, let us now discuss the numerous similarities between the airline industry and CFB. Maybe all these ticket price increases are actually a result of the increase in the price of footballs. God knows we need them lots of them to play the game. 

Why would he choose to keep the same revenue stream? Are we going to invent new sports to create new stadiums for? Because that would be awesome. 

OR let me guess. He is going to pocket the profit? Yes, that must be it!!

You might want to read the question that I answered. Bosch asked if DB would decrease prices if/when DEMAND went down. You really think that he is that blind to the market that he would keep charging the same prices if there comes a time (and I never, ever hope it comes) that we dip below 100,000 for attedance?

Since you brought up an airline analogy let me phrase it this way: if the demand for airlines went down, the prices for airline tickets would go down. 


December 19th, 2013 at 8:25 AM ^

He'll never lower ticket prices. He'll just offer more tickets to current season ticket holders willing to pay for them. The rest will be sold at the face value price (or higher). After that you will see more packages and deals offered by the athletic department giving the fan the perception of more bang for their buck, but they will still get more than $65 per ticket (season ticket price). I understand that more and more fans enjoy the at home HD experience these days, but our alumni base is growing, football games have a great family atmosphere (bringing more kids into the stadium) and the AD is working its butt off to improve the stadium experience.


December 19th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

"Where do you think all this money is going? Into his pocket?"

A large chunk of it is....have you seen his salary? Have you seen the budget for the AD growing massivley since he took over? He created a number of new positions in the AD and is paying them above average wages for roles that aren't proven to be necessary. This is not Domino's Pizza where you need an army of marketers to convince people to buy your shitty product. Michigan Football, by and large, sells itself.


December 18th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

We will always be in or near the top 5. There's not much that sells better nationally at a collegiate level than the winged helmet to people.  Its a hard piece for the eye not to catch. Dave Brandon is doing well, always venturing out for new oppurtunities for the program, cant ask for much more.