Sunday, September 16, 2007

More Than Numbers

Any business student knows the simple formula: Revenue – Expenses = Profit (Lose). That said there is more to the impact of college football than this simple equation tells. The BCF has long contended that the public relations and promotional value of college football is grossly underestimated. Jane Stancill and Rachel Carter put forth in Small Colleges Adopt Football the cost of starting up a football program. The article has the unusual element of balance giving the motivation for pushing forward into the capital intense world of college football and some real world reasons motivations. For example:

1. At UNC-Pembroke, football is one way to attract students and keep them happy, said Chancellor Allen Meadors, …

…," he said. "There is absolutely nothing for students to do off campus. If we don't provide activities, it's just not there."

Last weekend, in a revival of a long-dead program, the UNC-Pembroke Braves stormed onto the home field for the first time in 56 years. The students did the wave and reveled in pre-game tailgating outside the sold-out stadium.

"It was just a huge sense of community," gushed Student Government Vice President Barry Burch Jr.

2. Fifty-seven percent of the nation's college students are women. St. Augustine's President Dianne Boardley Suber said her college is bucking the trend with 55 percent men on campus; the college plans to study the trend to see whether it is related to football.

The observation made in the article about having your team’s score on the ESPN ticker rings true to any older college football fan that can remember the Prudential College Football Scoreboard where the score of the Drake (Do you know where Drake Univiersity is located?) and Holy Cross games were reported weekly and etched into your awareness. Or for you younger folks, how many of you the likes of Boise State, Florida Atlantic or Troy State ten years ago?

The accountant will point to the balance sheet and tell you how much money is going out the door but the profit formula is more complex than the formula would lead us to believe as sometimes you need to address the revenue side of the equation through building awareness of your product. And as any marketer will tell you awareness is half of the battle.

(Drake University is in Des Moines, Iowa).

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