U of L advertising feedback

Reader Marsha Shriner writes the following . . .

Mr. Crawford………..GET A LIFE!!!! It would seem as a “sports writer” that you would actually write about the sport, the game, etc……..what a waste of time and effort if all you can write about after a game like yesterday is the amount of money spent on advertising…………it surely is money better spent than your employer is paying you to supposedly report on a game……..if the advertising is so offensive to you, why don’t you let someone who actually has an interest and appreciates the effort and heart put into a sports program, write the articles? You must surely be able to find something else worthy of your time, perhaps you could pick the lint out of your ears, take a journalism class, take a nap or watch paint dry………..I guess all those free tickets you snatch to ballgames, the courtside seat, the parking pass and the effort it takes to write about something that is actually of some interest is getting to you………..get a life and a new job, PLEASE!!!!!!!!

A few points:

1. This game was already staffed by U of L beat writer Brian Bennett and columnist Rick Bozich. Surely this 37-point blowout wasn’t begging for a third story. It was a nice win for the Cardinals, but one that really is only a prelude to the big games to come. To make too much of it just because of the margin wouldn’t have been responsible. In case anyone missed them, the links to the game itself.

Bennett’s game story: Neither shots nor Cards challenged

Bozich’s game column: Cards better be ready for prime time

2. To suggest that a sports columnist shouldn’t be discussing the business element of sports is, in this day and age, way off base. You won’t find a decent columnist at any paper in the nation who ignores business angles.

3. Other readers have said they’d have liked more stats on where U of L ranks in advertising revenue, etc. As U of L beat writer, I wrote a lot of those stories. This paper has documented well where U of L ranks nationally in basketball revenue. This column was more to show what the actual game experience is like, an experience available to only 20,000 of the better than 400,000 or so readers of the Sunday C-J. (Or whatever our Sunday readership is now.)

4. Some said that this is a non-issue, that every school does it. I did mention in the column that everywhere does it, to a degree. But I get to more college arenas than most people during the course of a season, and have been to hundreds of different ones in my years in this business. What you see at U of L is probably more extensive (and sophisticated) than anyplace outside the professional sports leagues.

5. An explanation of how I came to write the column, in audio form, follows in the blog entry below this one.

Thanks for writing. Opinions pro and con are not only welcome, but appreciated.

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9 thoughts on “U of L advertising feedback

  1. Since it was already admitted that the game was covered by Bozich and Bennete, then why have a 3rd column on the same game? A better column would have been on Freshman Preston Knowles. A walk on freshman who has shown flashes of talent, yet very few minutes played. A young man who was lightly recruited, but has become a fan favorite, and after yesterday, proven that he can play on a Top Division 1 team, and make a major contribution.Or several little stories: One on Preston; another on the students who came dressed in 80s garb; or the comment that Pitino fired into the stands after a Sosa shot was blocked.Come on Eric. Come on CJ. You can do better than this.

  2. Russ,Interesting you mentioned Knowles. If I had been writing the game column, he’s what I would’ve written about. Bozich chose a different angle, and it was a good one.At any rate, if you think the 80’s theme was more newsworthy than the more than 1,000 ad impulses that are shot out at fans at U of L games, then that explains why you’re not in a position of assigning stories in the media! Come on, Russ. You can do better than that.The Knowles story will be a good one, but let’s wait for it to develop. Give him another game or two.One problem with a team like this one is that just because it turns it on for one game, doesn’t mean it has turned any kind of corner at all. So to take anything from this lopsided win against a marginal opponent that was having a bad day by even its own standards is to be irresponsible.This wasn’t a column about the Rutgers game. I went for the express purpose of writing about the ads. I’ve wanted to do this column for a while, had no game assigned to cover yesterday and the opportunity presented itself, so that’s what I did.Yesterday was one of those “wild card” Saturdays where I just write what I want. And I picked this.You might not like it. But as I look at “Your top clicks,” it appears that this column was the second-most read U of L piece in the paper today and third-most overall, without prominent placement either online or in print.So don’t claim no one is interested.It was basically an attempt to do something a little different, which often meets with resistance, but I thought the subject worth going into.Thanks for the response, Russ!

  3. I respect your peice. I thought it was different, which is what readers are looking for sometimes. I did think however that it should have been put up during the week when a game isnt being played. Put it on the boss.

  4. It seems you have already gotten plenty of emails and comments about the topic of your Sunday column, so I’m not writing to talk about the timing or tone. I have seen just a few comments, but one thing I’m hoping other people are pointing out is the fact that the in-your-face advertising has gotten so much better this year. It is obvious to me and I would hope to other people that the athletic department has heard the complaints over the past several years and made a sincere effort to improve the atmosphere of the games. For instance:They have eliminated the absolutely dreadful Terry Meiners/Sam Swope shootout and replaced it with a one-on-one contest with a fan vs. a celebrity who is playing for a charity. We’ve seen former Cards, various Cardinal coaches, even Allan Houston. It’s still what it is–a promotion–but it is ten times more entertaining than the Meiners-emceed free-for-all it used to be.They have not eliminated all the canned music, but they have made a tremendous comprimise by toning it down quite a bit and gotten the pep band much more involved. The pep band has expanded its repertoire and plays at virtually every timeout. I thought this is exactly what people have been begging for!Several of the other promotions have been replaced with something much more fan friendly. They have eliminated the Texas Roadhouse shooting gallery ad and memory card game and replaced them with a “who’s the loudest section” contest that gets all of Freedom Hall and all of the cheer squads involved, and a trivia game, again focusing on fan participation. They also do the Kentucky Lottery ball race during halftime where it’s so much less intrusive.I’ve had season tickets since the early 90’s and have complained many times about the number and loud volume of the ads, and how they seem to choose the absolute wrong time during a game to hand out gift cards for burritos. I do understand that there will be advertising and that without corporate sponsorship I could kiss my affordable seats (and highly paid coaches, gorgeous facilities, etc. etc.) goodbye. But this year I can say that the athletic department has without a doubt made an effort to improve the atmosphere at the games. I certainly understand why you might want to write this article, I only wish you would have focused on the measures Tom Jurich and the athletic department have taken to make the games more fan-friendly and Freedom Hall the best place in the country to watch a basketball game.

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