Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Kinda-Sorta Maize Out

So I spent an hour on an entry about my thoughts on the "Maize Out" controversy that was being discussed on The Fort yesterday, but Firefox decided it'd be a good idea to crash (Stupid Sharebuilder making me upgrade to Firefox 1.5!) and I lost the whole thing about a paragraph before I was set to publish it. So here's the truncated version:

-It'd be nice if people would just wear maize on their own, but some people wear what they like to wear, some people like to wear the jersey they spent at least $50 on, and sometimes it's too damn cold to worry about putting a maize t-shirt over your winter coat (and it's not like most people have a maize jacket). Also, since the Maize/Blue Outs of the past have been colossal failures, I imagine that people just figure "No one's going to be wearing Maize anyway, so I'll just wear my David Terrell throwback". It's kind of a Catch-22 in a way. People would wear maize as long as other people are doing it, but no one will do it because most people aren't doing it. What's a good way to jumpstart that? Give away shirts.

-It doesn't strike me as a very good promotion when you depend on the fans to do everything. If your entire marketing campaign for the year revolves around "Go Blue, Wear Maize" then why not try to facilitate it? It's like they're trying to do things half-assed. They'll promote it, they'll put it on the schedule posters, the press releases, on WTKA, but when it comes down to it, they're depending on the fans to make it work. Either go all out, or don't try and have the thing every year.

-A press release does nothing to get the message out to everyone. A good portion of our fanbase is, how you say, old. I'm guessing they aren't checking mgoblue.com all that often. Hell, I'm as big of a Michigan fan as you'll find and I don't even go there during the offseason (and I hardly go there for football news--non-revs and hockey, yes). They finally wised up and put it on the ticket itself as a nice reminder before you head out the door--I've only been campaigning for that for like 4 years now, amazing they didn't give me a job down there...I wasn't "ex-athlete" enough, I guess.

-It wouldn't cost anything. They'd have a sponsor in a split second to provide those t-shirts. I suppose some people could view it as "Advertising" in the stadium, but I don't think it's anymore advertising than the Chevy shirts that they were giving away for signing up for a mailing list last year, or the Nike logos that adorn pretty much everyone's clothing. It seems like a convenient excuse more than anything to me. (Side note: I don't get what the big deal is about having advertising in the stadium. It's not like we don't have it in Yost or Crisler. But God-forbid we put a Sony logo on the JumboTron so we don't have to pay for them. Does anyone consider the Dell logo on your monitor to be advertising? They made the friggin thing.)

-I believe the real reason they don't give out 111,000 shirts is quite simply, the M-Den would be pissed. Who would buy a t-shirt that day if they were going to be receiving one for free anyway?

It's too bad, too, because Maize Outs look sweet. (See Yost photo. Now imagine that times 100 or so.)


Kenny said...

Definitely agree with everything you had to say. I'm going to start this year wearing my Maize alternate #1 jersey to the home games I do attend, we'll see how it looks on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

The Yost maize out photo kinda sums up everything you said because they've been promoting "Maize Out" at Yost for like five years and it wasn't until this past year or two when they got Fox Sports Detroit handing out free t-shirts that it was successful. The first few years they did it, it got terrible promotion, and the result was spots of maize in the crowd and that's it. I wish it could be like that every home game.

Anonymous said...

They should also think about having a specific non-student maize shirt. When I went to the M Den, I asked about the Go Blue Wear Maize shirt. They said "oh, the student shirt." I bought one anyway, but I'm an alum pushing 40 and felt a bit out of place buying a "student shirt".