Is there anything an athletic department WON'T sell now?
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A quick programming note before the newsletter: I am flying to Connecticut on Thursday, and will be in on the ground until Sunday morning. I am planning on site visits at Sacred Heart, Fairfield and Yale, but may have time to visit another school or two. If you're in town and would like to say hi, or want me to visit, I'm at [email protected].
Before the 1950s, school-specific media deals were still relatively rare. In Ronald A. Smith's classic Play-by-Play: Radio, Television, and Big-Time College Sport, he details what one of those media rights contracts looked like for Notre Dame, way back in the 1940s
Notre Dame understood the true value of media exposure before virtually anybody else in the country. The program knew what institutional values they wanted to share with the world, and they understood that certain marketing partners would compromise those values, even if they might bring in badly needed cash in the short term.
Of course, the 1940s were a long time ago. Notre Dame didn't have ten coaches to pay for, or a massive support department, or a state-of-the-art weight room back then. Nobody had a $200 million dollar budget. The school could afford to say, hey, maybe outwardly shilling booze and pooping pills don't align with our institutional values.
But in a world where schools do have to pay for all that stuff now, and where the rivals do have $200 million dollar budgets...do those same rules still apply? Is there anything a school won't shill for now?
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