Friday, June 6, 2014

John U. Bacon: The real reasons why students - and others - are bailing on Michigan football tickets

What David Brandon is doing with Michigan football Saturdays is taking something that wasn't broke and fixing it. (Editor's note: I wrote this line before I read Bacon's full article, so I'm leaving it in there - even though something similar was said in Bacon's article. Great minds think alike, eh?)

Hit the jump for Emma Glover, who also has a great set of . . . minds? Okay, that didn't work out so well.

Emma Glover

Emma Glover

Emma Glover


  1. Got to agree that this corporatization is a bit worrisome. I agree that some things shouldn't be turned into a business -- Michigan football included. I understand the need for money in hiring/maintaining coaches and keeping our facilities top notch, but Brandon also should think of the students. I hope Brandon learns from this.

    1. I don't know why everyone is up in arms about the University turning the sports department into a corporate style entity. Anything that has an annual budget of over $137 million should darn well be run like a business. The real problem is that the business model that is being used for the Athletic Department may not be the correct one, heck it isn't the correct one. You cannot run every business like it is Domino's Pizza and expect them all to work out. Pizza and football are very different creatures. Dave Brandon is a great business man, but he may have ultimately met his match in trying to develop a business model that isn't done after bankruptcy and forced sales in the corporate industry. I would like to point out that Dave has definitely put the Athletic Department on better financial footing, but he has also somewhat diminished a historic brand by not getting to know his "consumers". College football is a corporate industry that changes as fast as the technology industry. Just because you got the latest hot product this year doesn't mean that it will be the hottest product next year. Most technology companies end up with their two minutes of fame only to fizzle or be bought out. I do not believe that it is as easy to create this corporate model for College Football.

  2. Yeah, Brandon is a poor AD. As attendance struggles, Brandon will attempt to hold on to his job by blaming Hoke, the product on the field and the schedule. The truth is that the game experience has been polluted by the piped in sound, the commercials and the pricing and Brandon is the only cause.

    With regards to Hoke and the product on the field, everyone around here knows that while I'm not crazy about Hoke, and certainly don't think he's the second coming of Saint Bo, I do believe him to be a competent D1, head football coach, and further believe that competent, along with stability is all you need, especially at a place with the quality of facilities that we enjoy. Hell, look at what Dantonio has been able to accomplish. Nobody on this earth including even the most delusional of Spartys, with the possible exception of Mrs. Dantonio and their unholy spawn thinks he's anything more than competent.

    With regards to the schedule, if you are the Athletic Director of the University of Michigan and you somehow have to give up your turn for a home game against Sparty, you are also a moron and are far too weak for the position you hold.

    People hot to fire somebody around here should be after Brandon's worthless posterior rather than Hoke's.

  3. Everyone likes to criticize Brandon, but I never seem to hear any real and tangible suggestions for what should be done. About the closest anyone comes is "go back to the old days!" But that clinging to the nostalgia of yesterday would likely be just as criticized.

    So, presto -- you're the AD. First day. Blank white board. Go. List 10 things you'd do.

    1. I don't hate Brandon. I think he has had some good ideas mixed with bad ones, and like with almost everything, the bad ideas get more publicity and paint more of the picture than they should. The most recent issue (ticket sales, student tickets, etc.) has been a very poor campaign for him. It's going to be a very, very, VERY big deal if Michigan falls below the 100,000 attendance threshold.

  4. 1. Lose most/all of the piped in music.
    2. Feature the band walking the stadium in the second half.
    3. Reduce student ticket prices.
    3. Return student seating to the time honored system of freshmen in the end zone.
    4. Lose the event advertising.
    5. Unscrewup the the schedule by getting back to back home games against Sparty.
    6. Why schedule Appalachian State? Too late I know.
    7. Start advocating for a true round robin home and home schedule in basketball. To hell with meaningless non conference games.

    There's 7 in 35 seconds.

  5. 1) reduction in psls for repeat buyers, like 1%
    2) option to buy future years psls at current or discounted rates
    3) do whatever student group recommends for seating and tix
    4) buy out Sparty to get OsU and msu home on opp years, no matter cost. Season tix are hemoraging due to home schedule
    5) restore pregame band show with Hawaiian war chant and temptation instead of "let's go blue" ten times
    6) pregame first qtr halftime and third qtr are unlimited piped music times, second and 4th are band only or vice versa
    7) less spectacles (jet pack guy, eagle guy, etc)
    8) cancel pompoms forever

    1. Same person as above, but with more ideas:
      9) get some sort of ceilings in concourses, that fireproofing is ass
      10) get back on 760, even though its no the same as it used to be, having the entire state of Michigan and most of the Midwest hear michigan games would be nice
      11) do the wifi thing so that it's done and he can stop using it as an excuse anymore
      12) allow replays of replay calls on screens like OsU does
      13) scrolling score ticker during game breaks
      14) some sort of preface ritual like victors walk for band and some team and dignitaries. Sell that thing - donate to lead the victors parade!"
      15) is there a Brady hoke show? Is it on b1g network?
      16) make "all 22" films bail able for purchase with a press pass, or at least viewable at the facility
      17) quit sitting in on game film reviews - DB is not a coach
      18) give hoke an extension for a couple years. Stability is important and uM has the cash to buy him out if need be.

      This is just football, might be some other stuff for other sports

  6. In general some of the items that should have attention placed on ththem.

    1. Listen to Alumni and Current Students as to what they want in the Game experience for both football and basketball. If the younger generation wants piped in music and the older doesn't then you have to find a balance.

    2. Put a product on the field that doesn't need all the side show BS to make the "total experience". Let the Band play at halftime and let the game be a game. That is how it is supposed to work.

    3. Quit raping the fans to walk in the door and after they get in. The cost for an average fan to attend a game has climbed into the ridiculous level. Not only are you paying a $100 for a ticket, you then pay $20 for a drink and a hotdog. Your corporate sponsorship should stay off the field and be limited to the concessions.

    4. Quit messing the schedules. We are one of 2 or 3 in the Big Ten who really have multiple sports that have real competition. Quit letting the Big Ten run amuk and put some pressure on them. They have completely botched this who divisions thing and we sat back watching.....I know we often get tagged with an elitist attitude, but seriously....we got royally screwed with all of this. We also got screwed with the placement of the title games for Football and Basketball.

    5. Do we really need to rename every position on the coaching staff after an alumni donation? There has to be a better model than that It seems fake and not well thought out. How about a box in the Big House or a section of Chrysler Arena? Alumni only and not some random corporate sponsorship.

    6. How about some pressure on the NCAA to fix the long standing tradition of not keeping the field level. Punishments are random, the rules are not evenly enforced and they allow the conferences too much autonomy. The NCAA should be the governing body and it should even things out by keeping all rules and punishments at the NCAA level, not the conference level.

    7. Th AD needs to do better at putting together a PR machine to handle all media. Whether this is promoting sports, handling coaching changes, disciplinary issues or reaching out to alumni and fans for their opinion. He has done a terrible job with this and ignoring things doesn't make them go away. Quit allowing the media to make the Athletic Department look uninformed or disingenuous on major items.

    8. The Athletic Department needs to establish a protocol for punishment with student athletes who get into trouble. They also need to put pressure on the University to investigate and report all findings. This Gibbons fiasco gave everyone a black eye. Couple that with the reports about Lewan, McGary and some of the other athletes and this whole thing looks shady. There needs to be accountability.

    I will stop there for now. I think I have been long winded enough. Sorry if there are errors. Typed this on my phone.

  7. I wouldn't normally promote the other site here, but the quote of the week goes hands down to Brian Cook, "The problem with Dave Brandon is that he is a mediocrity in a suit with one skill, which is wearing the suit."

    Brandon is starting to make Tom Goss look competent.

    1. Please don't bring the "World According to Brian" here, that's why i left that site. I don't have the time or patience to deal with the crotchety UM fans who want everything to always stay the same...and then grip when other programs pass us by. Let's take one sterling example: Night games. All i ever heard before UTL1 was "football should be played at noon, moan, bellyache, moan" Meanwhile, every other fanbase in America is having crazy awesome night games in PRIME TIME. So, dunderhead corporate robber-baron Brandon gets the UTL going and, shazzam, everybody WATCHES!!! I know we don't want to be Oregon--why is that again???--but get off this Old School, glorydays horsecrap and enjoy change. Oh, BTW, it IS THE PRODUCT ON THE FIELD that puts butts in the stands...and, I, for one, really want to kick App State's ass. Quit being whiny woosies.

    2. How exactly does he make Bill Martin look? Like someone who had the job and was never present during the important times?