The latest brackets for the NCAA tournament will only be posted at my new website www.whistleblows.com Please take a minute to update your RSS feeds to the new site.

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Before you get started reading, click to this same article “A sponsorship that fits like a glove” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave

What sport sponsorships do well?  The ones that make sense.  The ones where there is congruity between the sponsor/product (think Pirelli tires and F1 racing), and where the ad fits with its delivery so that it sticks in the mind of the consumer.

Background:

  • For non-soccer fans:
    • Soccer is a game played to 90 minutes, but usually a few minutes are added on (due to injuries, etc).  To announce the amount of “Extra Time” added, an official holds up a lightboard with the number of additional minutes (aka “stoppage time”).
  • For non-followers of the prophylactic market:
    • The Durex Performa is a condom that desensitizes to help the man last longer.

With that in mind, gaze upon a perfect example of sponsorship fit:

A soccer official holds the extra time sign shaped like a condom wrapper

HT: Deadspin via The Spoiler via Sport Wereld


Before you get started reading, click to this same article “Why Fiesta Bowl shenanigans might benefit Jerry Jones” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave

The CEO of the Fiesta Bowl, John Junker, was fired for paying employees to make political contributions and then covering it up. This is in addition to a host of other offences, like using Fiesta Bowl money to pay for a strip club visit (pdf of full report). Junker was already a popular target for his nearly $600,000 per year compensation at a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Who might stand to win from this executive shake-up? Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.

Already talk has swirled about the Fiesta Bowl losing its place among the BCS bowls. Should that happen, the Cotton Bowl is well positioned to take its place (the game, not the facility). The Cotton Bowl Classic is played at the palatial Dallas Cowboys stadium, and prior to the BCS, was one of the highest prestige bowls.

From stadium.dallascowboys.com

Some (including your author) have felt it would work its way into the BCS mix somehow even before the Fiesta Bowl scandal – now it might have an even easier path. Or the BCS committee (made up of the six BCS conference commissioners and the Notre Dame A.D.) may just use its leverage to negotiate concessions from the Fiesta Bowl to stay in the mix, such as a more generous pay out to participating conferences.

 

The benefit of having the Cotton Bowl as a desirable alternative is the same benefit that professional sport leagues see to having “open markets” for teams: leverage. For example, the NFL benefits by not having a team in Los Angeles because it can use that as a bargaining chip when trying to get public funding for stadiums in existing locations. “If you Minnesotans don’t pay more in taxes to fund a new stadium for the Vikings, we’ll just move the team to L.A.” (hey, it’s happened before).

This idea, part of the larger topic of franchise free agency, is how one party can gain negotiating power (i.e., leverage) over another. If there weren’t viable places into which teams could move, the threat of them leaving town is an empty one. For the Fiesta Bowl, the threat of losing its BCS status is very real because of the attractiveness of the Cotton Bowl Classic as a bowl destination.


Before you get started reading, click to this same article “Notre Dame – National champions!” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave


Congratulations to the men and women of the Notre Dame fencing team. The Irish took first place at NCAAs, holding a consistent lead throughout the tournament and beating Penn State by 7 bouts. This is head coach Janusz Bednarski‘s third championship, and Notre Dame’s second national championship this year (women’s soccer).


Before you get started reading, click to this same article “Basketball isn’t the only NCAA championship” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave

As I’m sure you know, the NCAA championships in fencing began yesterday and continue through Sunday. The format is a round robin, so each athlete within a weapon (epee, sabre, and foil are the three weapons) will fence against every other athlete in that weapon, within his or her gender. That is, the men only fence against men, and women against women. The men’s competition takes place on Thu and Fri, and the women compete Sat and Sun; every year it flips, so in 2012 the women will fence first.

However, the format of determining the national champion in fencing is unique in that the men’s and women’s scores are combined. By aggregating the scores, it means that schools must have a strong men’s and women’s team in order to win.

This seems like great system to encourage equity between male and female student-athletes. Concerns about Title IX can be partially alleviated when performance by both sexes is required to achieve success. The women are just as important as the men in terms of winning a national championship. On the other hand, a school like Northwestern will never win a title: it has a very strong women’s team, but its men’s program is only club level and thus does not compete at NCAAs.

Is this a good system? Is it fair to Northwestern? Are there any other NCAA sports that operate in this fashion?

Notre Dame Fencing LogoBy the way, to follow scores live, go to http://www.prisedefer.com/NCAA. Halfway through the competition, the Notre Dame men have a 6 bout lead over Penn State, as well as an individual champion (Ariel DeSmet in foil). It should be an exciting two-day finish in Columbus.


Before you get started reading, click to this same article “Excel basketball brackets for 2011” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave

The new March Madness Excel bracket and pool manager file are available for download! Click on the “Brackets” tab above, or go to https://whenthewhistleblows.wordpress.com/brackets/

New this year: In addition to supporting the expanded NCAA field of 68 teams (it actually supports 128), the Excel bracket file includes the option of showing the date, time, and television channel for the round of 64 games. The dates are available for other rounds, but the TV broadcasts will not be announced until the tournament is underway.

The pool manager file is missing some of the features of past years. Those features will be back, but not until the 2012 edition. Sorry, just ran out of time.

I hope you all enjoy the brackets! Please share your thoughts, and any bugs you find or enhancements you’d like to see, on the Brackets page.

Update: If you want all the functionality from last year’s bracket and don’t mind not being able to pick the First Four games, you can download last year’s pool manager file and bracket (already with 2011 teams). They must be used with each other (i.e., you cannot use this year’s bracket with last year’s pool manager file).


Before you get started reading, click to this same article “Should the government ever spend money on sponsorship?” on my new domain, www.whistleblows.com.  I’ve got a lot of posts and ideas to share, but my newest writing will only be on the new site.  Thanks!

-Dave

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) has introduced a bill designed to ban the military from spending money to sponsor NASCAR (HT: From the Marbles).  Her chief of staff states,

“The question is, why are taxpayer dollars being used to sponsor NASCAR race cars? We’ve got two wars going on. Can we afford it? This is not an attack on NASCAR. There are a lot of private sector businesses that support NASCAR. The Pentagon is in the war-fighting business and not the race business.”

I believe this comes down to one’s fundamental belief in the efficacy of sponsorship. If you think sponsorship is effective, then spending money in this way is fine. If you think sponsorship is just a waste of money and a way for decision-makers to get good seats at sporting events, you’re not going to like sponsorship no matter how little money is spent. The Congresswoman hasn’t released a comment as yet, but her chief of staff’s statement above makes me think they’re in the latter camp; further, it appears to be a very myopic view.

Click to read more…




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