Friday, June 20, 2014

And Here They Are!!! Step Right Up and Buy a "Package"

This irks me on SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS that I’m not even sure where I want to begin….However, in the spirit of being objective, I will take DB’s side on this to show why this is an absolutely wonderful thing for the university of Michigan (having un-sold season tickets) and how they can leverage this “opportunity” to their advantage.

I guess I will fall back to the old numbering system to logically lay what Brandon has to believe is a “great marketing opportunity” and I in turn will spell out my perturbed-ness of this mess….

1.     DB” Pro - So, packages of tickets are now being put together with shirts and refreshments for particular games.  The casual fan now has the opportunity to see the Michigan Wolverines live and in person.   This is great for the many Michigan Fans that never, ever get a chance to come and enjoy Michigan in the Big House!!!  MMQ ConWell That’s Fantastic…The LOYAL long time ticket holders get screwed by having to pay not only for PSL’s and season tix with the likes of App State as part of the season package, but we also get to fight the university on any potential re-sale of our tickets for individual games we can’t attend or don’t want to attend…    RESULT:  Pissed off loyal fans that will quickly figure out that it’ll be better to just dump the regular season tickets and buy packages for games you want to go to, if for no other reason than to get out of the PSL’s….

2.    DB Pro   - Michigan will get to market itself to potentially new, loyal season ticket purchaser’s and other fans that they haven’t had a chance to ever sell to before due to the long waiting list that Michigan used to have….This will present a great opportunity to bring new money and fans into the Michigan Fold and let them see what the Big-House has become…
      MMQ Con   - My guess is that casual fan will see the product on the field and what they have to go through to get in and out of Ann Arbor on Football Saturday and without the tradition of “The Tailgate” and something to do before and after the game, they will quickly figure out that going to catch the Wolverines live simply won’t be worth it and you will see them once and they will be happy to stay home and watch them on their 60” screens…

3.    DB Pro  - We will have a whole new mailing list to send fans requests for contributions and possible season ticket opportunities… 
     MMQ Con – Yeah…Sure.   You think that a casual fan that is buying a package that includes a free shirt, hot dog and a coke is going to pony up a minimum of $150/seat for the “right” to buy season tix and then throw down another $500 for a single season ticket?  Exactly which casual fan are you hoping to entice with this?
So, you can see how I believe this will be the beginning of the end for Michigan’s “Continuous Sell-Out” record.  Granted, attendance figures have always been fudges and I’ve attend a couple of “less than 100K” games in my lifetime, even though Michigan still claims that is a running record due to Season Ticket Holder sales…

Maybe Hoke and company can turn it around and all of this becomes a moot point…the product on the field has always sold tickets and kicked up demand.  That’s just the way it is and will continue to be for any sporting event or sports team.

Yikes…Early lines are out…They are depressing, but sadly, probably very real. Michigan as a dog against Michigan State (they are +7.5) and Ohio State (+8). They're only +3 at the domers, which domer home field and all….

Michigan is a touchdown favorite against Penn State and –3 against Northwestern.  As for the rest…if they are anything less than double digit  favs against what remains of the schedule(well, except Utah – I expect a tough one at home there)…it will be a sad year indeed…

The NCCA – O’Bannon Trial
This continues to draw my interest and while I haven’tbeen following as closely as I would like, some of the stuff coming out of itjust makes you shake your head and wonder “who” the entitled people in thisoutfit are…Emmert was making arguments that if you lose “amateurism” in college athletics, the very fabric that makes college athletics possible by competing on a level playing field will be gone…and Alabama and SW Louisiana State are level playing fields????  And this coming from a man whose salary is $1.6 million annually and he’s making money off these “amateur” athletes?
Please…I want to throw something at somebody.  Of course…that’s probably why I’m not a judge.

Here’s another quote from Emmert:

 The lawsuit and other efforts targeting the NCAA have already had some effect, with the biggest five conferences moving quickly toward giving athletes more money and benefits. Emmert said he supported those moves, but said giving athletes more than the true cost of attendance would cause a free-for-all in recruiting and force many schools to give up smaller sports…
Excuuuuuse me…But isn’t college “about” studying and getting an education?  It’s only been about additional sports for men and women since Title IX came about…and who said any university “HAD TO HAVE” a sports program for field hockey just because someone else in the conference figured out a way to support one?  If the sport can’t pave it’s own way through ticket sales or private donations…welcome to the "Field Hockey Club" and the pay to play model. 

And the judge also got into the act with Emmert on the stand.  As the plaintiff’s attorney was wrapping up his questioning, Judge Wilken intervened with some of her ownquestions.
"If the money was held in trust until the athletes graduated," she asked, "would that have the same effect?"   The last thing the NCAA wants to hear mentioned in this trial is a post-graduation trust fund. It's an idea that makes a lot of sense. The money would come from merchandise manufacturers and television networks, it would not affect college budgets and it would make no changes in the players' lives on campus. It's also an idea Emmert and the NCAA will not consider…
…The judge was not done. A few minutes later, she again turned to Emmert, asking him to explain what he meant when he talked about the "exploitation of athletes" by commercial enterprises .

"I am talking about third parties who would take advantage of them, like agents and financial advisers, people who would use them as shills for products," Emmert replied.
Any payment to an athlete would be exploitation, Emmert said. (Judge) Wilken, obviously perplexed that additional resources for a college student could be viewed as "exploitation," was clearly incredulous.

"Do you think it's exploitation of them or something you don't want happening?" Wilken asked.
It didn't get any better for the NCAA when Isaacson produced several images of current and past NCAA athletes appearing in promotional materials for the NCAA men's basketball tournament and other NCAA-sanctioned events. A photo of Wisconsin's football players appearing at a Rose Bowl news conference -- in front of a Vizio logo -- also was presented into evidence. So was a photo of Texas A&M's football players celebrating a bowl victory in front of a table featuring the Chick-fil-A and Kia logos.

"And that's perfectly fine?" Isaacson asked Emmert.

"That's fine under the rules," Emmert replied. "It's not something I'm personally comfortable with."
Back to the MMQ:  The NCAA is sooooooo......F’d here.  I’m surprised they are going to go through with this all the way to the end vs. getting a directed verdict.  But with a ruling, the NCAA can continue to appeal and drag this mess out and continue to “waste” money that could be going to student athletes.  A lengthy appeals process would go so much further to protect the NCAA’s little kingdom.  Frankly, I hope Wilken’s ruling is so sound and logical that any appeal will be automatically thrown out on the grounds that any appeal is in fact ADDITIONAL EXPLOITATION by the organization that claims it’s protecting the student athlete FROM exploitation. 

That….would be perfect.

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