sports in the spotlight
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 20, 2011 11:57 AM
In some circles, there’s talk of nothing but a possible brand merger. No, not the can-they-or-can’t-they marriage of AT&T and T-Mobile, but a collegiate consolidation between two NCAA athletic conferences in crisis.
Over the weekend, the Big East Conference was blindsided by the announcement that Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh planned to leave the conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference, known as the ACC. If you can’t tell the Rose Bowl from March Madness, it’s like the Red Sox abandoning the American League and their rivalry with the Yankees. (Or, in a less accurate analogy, Pespi abandoning the cola wars to focus on sports drinks.)
As the Big East and their fans reel from the news, up to four other NCAA powerhouses plan to bolt their conference, the Big 12. The potential conference shifts – the main reasons for which, unsurprisingly, have to do with football and money – are causing tremors across the college-sports landscape, and are also stirring speculation that what remains of the two conferences will merge into a single entity.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 26, 2011 02:00 PM
The sports world has always had plenty of team names that lack an ounce of logic.
The Utah Jazz’s name made a lot more sense when the team was in New Orleans. It’s not as if Salt Lake City has produced many famed beboppers. And where is the lake that the Los Angeles Lakers are crowing about? Oh, right, back in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota, where the team played until 1960. And what about the L.A. Dodgers while we’re at it? The team was originally in Brooklyn and known for some time unofficially as the Trolley Dodgers, of course. As they say in the kids' classic book, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax? — exactly what are they dodging out there? Palm trees?
Well, add another one to the list. The NCAA’s Big 12 Conference has lost two teams this year. As any first grader can tell you, that means the Big 12 has slimmed down to only 10 teams. Despite this fact, the team refuses to rebrand. Time for a new kids' book: Big 12 - 2 = Big 12 (Trust Us).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 20, 2011 05:30 PM
Having lost out to Fox Sports Network years ago in the establishment of regional sports channels around the country, ESPN may be trying to make up for its mistake by telescoping its focus down to individual universities.
At least that’s how it looks from the deal that the TV leader in sports ESPN announced this week, to establish a new channel only about and for the University of Texas.
The as-yet-unnamed channel will carry at least one UT football game and eight men’s basketball games each year – crucial content for attracting the hard-core Longhorns fans that the network will need to succeed.Continue reading...
Posted by Caroline Smith on December 13, 2010 04:30 PM
The Big Ten Conference, America's oldest and largest division 1 college athletics association, today revealed a new logo to be used for all sports beginning with the 2011-12 academic year.
As with many new logos these days, immediate reaction by fans and observers was mixed, garnering reactions such as #designfail on Twitter, "could have done better" (an ESPN blogger) and and "looks like it took 25 seconds to make" by sports TV network NESN.
The new logo, replacing the "i" in "Big" with a 1, was deemed necessary following the addition of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln as the conference’s 12th member school, making the previous design's hidden "11" numerically incorrect. There's already a Big 12 conference, so a name change was out of the question.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 1, 2010 05:15 PM
Nine months ago Brandchannel examined the brand expansion aims of the Big Ten Conference for college athletics. We noted that "there are inherent challenges to the expansion. The Big Ten needs a school that fits its brand, which is characterized by enormous student populations like Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, and Ohio, among others."
We also warned that "If Michigan and Ohio State — which have been dominant in the division for as long as anyone cares to remember — were the default teams in the conference's championship game every year, college football fans may begin to see the Big Ten as the "Ohio-Michigan rivalry" Conference, a fate the conference already risks."
It turns out, there is a much greater risk. Michigan and Ohio State not playing one another at all.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 17, 2010 03:45 PM
Base your brand name on the number of organizations you represent and you'll be headed for trouble. That, at least, seems to be the lesson the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 10 Conferences are learning right now.
All three U.S. collegiate conferences were, of course, named for the number of schools in each conference. The problem is, every one of the conferences has a different number of schools. It's almost inevitable that a conference roster will expand; more schools participating means a larger fan base and more revenue associated with the conference.
The Big 12 has already been through at least one name change; it used to be the Big Eight before four schools were added in 1996.
But today the Big 12 actually represents ten schools and it is still called the Big 12. The Big Ten, on the other hand, represents twelve schools. The Pac 10 represents eleven schools and just invited another school to join the roster. Confused yet?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 17, 2009 12:44 PM
We all know college athletics is big business, sometimes too big.
Now the Big Ten university athletic conference wants its share of the business to be bigger, and it plans to accomplish this goal by adding another team. But does bigger necessarily mean better for a college football conference?
The Big Ten conference is already comprised of more than 10 teams, so the brand doesn't need to worry (anymore) about its name not technically representing its contents. Adding another team would bring the conference to 12 teams. More importantly, the addition of another school will allow the conference to host more games in two divisions longer into the season.Continue reading...