Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Search for the Holy ... Grunt?

I am officially frustrated. Why can't everyone be like me. Wait, that sounds a little conceited. Why can't people be more like I want them to be?

I have had an abnormal amount of turnover this summer. No, I am not driving them away, they are getting promoted. I should be proud, and happy, and feel like I have done well in leading my people.

But I do not. I am frustrated by the crapshoot that is hiring entry level employees. They are tough to hire. Many look exactly the same on paper. All have degrees. All have advanced degrees. All have similar work experience. All have not had significant autonomy. Very few have had to multi-task. Fewer have continuously tried to improve themselves and be better today than they were yesterday.

That's what I am looking for. How do I find it? What questions do I ask? I do not know yet. I am still figuring it out.

For those trying to get in the business ... I do not want to hear "I just love college athletics." Crap. I do too. Maybe instead of a job, you should buy season tickets. I do not want to hear ... "I want to be an AD," but then not have any clue what that means when pressed. I want to hear ... "I am eager to learn" and "this career path is my passion" and "how do I see my career progressing", etc

More to come later.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Holy crap, Miss State changed their colors

This is getting ridiculous. College sports, by all accounts is stronger than ever. Right? Maybe not.

I was recently in a presentation by CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company) where they were discussing the college merchandise business being $3+ billion industry (say that in your best Donald Trump impression as is this were the Apprentice). But, I am watching the Miss State Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers battling it out in front of a very ... tan fan base. Tan because there are more empties than full seats. (tan is the concrete, sorry, bad joke)

So, what's up? MSU is in the SEC, great tradition, first African American head coach in the SEC, but nobody there to see them have a chance at the No 4 team in the country? Hmm. Very fickle. Sure, their announced attendance will be high, but my eyes do not lie.

Is it pricing getting out of hand? Are the much publicized errors of 18 year olds catching up to us? Now, if a tailback farts in church, it is on a blog and people will adjust the betting line for his flatulence. (sp?) It used to seem as if fans were in it all the way, good times and bad. Maybe now, you win, or you change your school colors to hide the empty seats. (ala, the Atlanta Hawks!)

Take care.

Allow myself to introduce ... myself

Ahh, what a great line. I sometimes feel as if I do not even have my own dialogue anymore. If it isn't a movie, famous quote, or an overused line from Seinfeld I don't say it.

My name is Eric Nichols and this is my blog. Whew, that was awesome. My first blog post. Exciting huh?

I am in my eighth year in the Vanderbilt University athletic department. I am currently the Director of Marketing for the Athletic Department. (yea, yea, yea, I've heard all the jokes before. YES, we DO STILL have an athletic department)

Our Marketing office prides itself on being progressive and innovative when it comes to marketing Vanderbilt athletics. I in no way am suggesting we are the best, at least not yet. But, we have to do things better, smarter, and more efficiently than almost any other school in the country. And we do pretty well at it. More on that in posts to come.

This blog is intended to appeal to those in or interested in the college sports administration field. It is not what it seems and too often I am confronted with young, wet-behind-the-ears interns who have no idea what this business is about. And maybe that is it, they do not understand this is a business.

I hope to provide an inside look at real issues, with respect to confidentiality, that are impacting Vanderbilt, the SEC, college sports in general, pro sports, and maybe a little pop culture.

I also hope to provide an online laboratory where I can post the beginings of an idea, and you can weigh in and make it better, or say shut the hell up - this is stupid.

In short, I want "you, to complete me". Make me better, make our industry better, and indirectly, hopefully make you better.

Take care.