Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lessons learned

If you didn't know, Vanderbilt's outspoken maverick, also Chancellor, accepted the same position back at Ohio State where he was President from 1990-97.

Many friends and colleagues have been asking the obvious question related to athletic ... "will you be getting an AD again?"

Of course, I have no idea. Anyone who has an idea is a fool unless they are position on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust or the search committee.

I still am not sure whether or not the restructuring is the right way to go for VU, but there have definitely been some lessons learned throughout the process.

The much ballyhooed integration of the athletic department focused on student-athlete integration. But perhaps, in my opinion, the most important lesson learned through Gee was entire University integration.

I routinely have interaction with colleagues from the VU Hospital, Children's Hospital, University Public Affairs, and University donor relations. In most Universities, the tail many times wags the dog - Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, etc By working hand in hand, not only did the University community develop some new found respect for each other, we also realized the value in leveraging our assets and relationships.

So if I had one request from Chancellor (Fill in the blank), please allow/encourage cross departmental organization. It is for the good of the University and the employee.

Take care.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Naming Not Nonsense

What do the following have in common:
Which Wich
Venti Caramel Mocchiato
Cherry Garcia

Not only are the above very successful products or brands, but they are also incredibly fun to say. Are they not?

I mean, two weeks ago I probably had 30 people asking other folks what the heck a Flugtag was. I didn't know either, but after asking and discovering, I felt I had some sort of weird, event-name currency because not everyone knew what it was. It is this type of "currency" that is the foundation of Buzzmarketing.

Clearly the Flugtag was a pretty good event, but the more interesting thing was that not once did I see one mass media ad. Not one. Yet I wanted to go, many people I knew went. Why? I think a lot goes back to having a fun name.

So what in the world might this have to do with college marketing? That is what I trying to determine. Since I can't rename our University, let's look at some opportunities we may have.

Concessions, parking lots, ticket packages, seating sections, game personnel, etc. With our branding efforts centered around true student-athlete, social affair, Nashville tradition, collegiality, family entertainment, and the underdog below are some random attempts:
  • Buttonhook Burger (might allow a Dad to explain what the heck a buttonhook is to his son)
  • Hot Diggity Dog (stolen)
  • Me, Mom, and Pop Pack (family ticket package)
  • Yippi Di Do Da Dollar Days ($1 ticket games)
  • Tickle Me Tater Tots

You see where this is going. Join in, and send me your samples.

Take care.