Over the last few months and even years, we have bemoaned the pathetic marketing job done by the Morgan Center when it comes to its revenue sports.
The most blatant such failure to me really has to do with the failure to use our three straight Final Four appearances into a marketing bonanza. Of course, that is partly due to the severe dip in performance by the team, but no other elite team has left the casual fans' hearts and minds as quickly as UCLA.
I bring this up now because there is a cool event coming up, a great opportunity for exposure and promotion...and UCLA is not even considered in it. Follow me after the jump.
On Veterans Day, Michigan State and North Carolina will play basketball on the deck of an aircraft carrier on San Diego Bay. The game will be dubbed as the carrier classic. It will supposedly be very exclusive and not really open to the public. A court and stadium seating for about 7,000 fans will be set up on the flight deck.
Photo Credit: AP; 2011-04-25
All I can say is that this is just an awesome idea!
Why does this matter? This is why:
The game was the idea of Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis.
This is just one example of an athletic director thinking out of the box and promoting a program that essentially had the same kind of year UCLA just had. So the excuse of performance is simply not valid. And you can't tell me that Michigan State has a better basketball history than UCLA.
This is even more pathetic considering that the game will essentially be played right in UCLA's backyard!
Well, that's not all...to show you how low our program has sunk, consider this:
Michigan State has an option to play in the 2012 game, possibly against Duke, Whalen said. Other teams that could play in future games include Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Navy, San Diego State and Notre Dame.
(Mike Whalen is the Organizer of Morale Entertainment Foundation, who was approached to help stage the game.)
UCLA is not even mentioned in the same breath as the likes of these teams...
That is just utterly embarrassing and pathetic. Dan Guerrero couldn't promote a water bottle in Death Valley. In summer.