UAB to UNC Charlotte

UAB’s AD and Provost Advised UNC Charlotte on Adding Football

UAB to UNC CharlotteWhen UNC Charlotte was exploring the addition of football, it reached out to athletic directors and provosts at other institutions for advice and asked each a set of questions regarding their own experience. This was done prior to UNC Charlotte’s 2008 vote to add football, so the landscape of major college football looked a little different.

Nonetheless, it’s still interesting to see UAB’s responses in light of yesterday’s news that the football program is being cut. In particular, the acknowledgement that the football program wasn’t built on the most solid ground at its inception.

Here’s how UAB’s athletic director Brian Mackin responded to each of the questions asked in the UNC Charlotte study:

1. What is your perspective on the implementation of the Football program (or lack of implementation)?

“At UAB, the President wanted football to help meet the university’s mission, therefore he supported (and current president does also) football with supplemental funding from the university. In the state of Alabama, the division of football you play is very important. (I-A) Conference Affiliation is very important. Identify who you want to be associated with. For UAB, it was important to be in a league with Southern Mississippi and Memphis, so Conference USA is a great fit.”

2. What were the consequences both intended and unintended with the implementation of football (or lack of implementation)?

“Unintended Consequences – On the front-end there was a miscommunication with the Trustees in regard to the goals of adding football. There is a need to have ownership from the “top down”—– total buy in. UAB has that now, but not sure we (UAB) did originally.

Intended Consequences – Start football, D I level and have a conference affiliation. Now we are “a complete” athletic program with football, that serves all sports. Conference USA is the perfect fit for us.”

3. Is there any advice that you would give as UNC Charlotte studies football?

“What Joe Gottfried did at South Alabama was smart……had a plan to sell a minimum # of season tickets prior to committing to start football. UAB just jumped in with no plan. You need a plan due to economic impact unless your President/Chancellor will subsidize the program at $4-4.5 million per year. I know you are aware of Title IX consequences.

Talk with marketing folks. We deal with ISP now-suggest you go external. We increased revenue from $200,000 to $1.4 million after we used external firm.”

And here’s how UAB’s provost responded to UNC – Charlotte, according to the report:

“The Provost commented that it seems to take a very long time to build a fan base. Attendance at games fluctuates with the wins and loses. He thinks that the size of the market is really important. Birmingham doesn’t have a professional team. There is a lot of allegiance to Alabama and Auburn football and UAB can’t really compete with them for interest. UAB has about 15,000 students total and a much smaller alumni base than Alabama or Auburn. But there is a real struggle in the state around student recruitment and with a generally younger student body, UAB has been trying to create a more traditional campus atmosphere. He did not have any comments on the impact of football on the academic programs except to say that having a marching band had been helpful to the music program. Other than speaking favorably about how the band was a cohesive group and seemed to function like a learning community, he didn’t have much to say about what football had actually contributed to student recruitment or the student experience. He had no comments on scholarships, fund raising or financing. UAB plays in Legion Field which is now old and in need of repair. UAB doesn’t have space on campus for a stadium.”

If you don’t know, UNC Charlotte did decide to add football. The 49ers played their first game in 2013 and will move up to FBS next fall.

New Mexico Naming Rights

New Mexico Secures Naming Rights Deal for Arena

The University of New Mexico announced it has a new naming rights partner for University Arena, also known as “The Pit.”

WisePies Pizza will donate $5 million over 10 years for the rights. It’s the largest donation in UNM athletics history.

How does that compare to other basketball arena naming rights deals? Check out our Naming Rights Database by clicking below.

Naming Rights Banner

Losses Cost Conferences

Mississippi State, Georgia and Marshall Losses Cost Conferences Money

Losses Cost ConferencesThe final games of the 2014 regular season were about more than rivalries and bragging rights. For several schools they were about securing a spot in the new College Football Playoff. With that spot, those teams would have earned millions for their conferences and themselves. We think three teams cost their conferences some major dough when they blew it on the field on Saturday.

Click here to keep reading my piece on Outkick the Coverage on

Want to know how revenue will be divided in the first year of the College Football Playoff? I’ve got the details here.

Oregon Duck on Tinder 2

Even the Oregon Duck is on Tinder

You never know who you’re going to get matched with on Tinder…but you probably weren’t expecting Oregon’s mascot.

I’m a couple of weeks late on this, but I loved it too much to let it pass without comment.

The winner got a date with the mascot at a women’s volleyball game, which included courtside tickets for her and three of her friends.

Oregon’s assistant director of athletics communications Joe Waltasti said he thought it would take some time to catch on once he created the Tinder account, but instead the Duck had his first response within just a couple of minutes. In fact, the first dozen or so women the Duck swiped right to communicate with swiped right in return and opened dialogue with the Duck.

Waltasti says several of the female students sent clever one-liners. The winner said something along the lines of, “You’ve been waddling through my mind all day.” She and three of her friends sat courtside at a volleyball game and were greeted by the Duck, who came bearing a rose for the winner.

One outlet chastised Oregon for resorting to “cheesy” marketing. But guess what? That outlet is in AUSTRALIA. In my book, if you’ve got an Australian outlet writing about anything related to your college football program, it was a success.

Waltasti agrees the promotion was a success, and Oregon will be doing it again for a men’s basketball game and a women’s basketball game this season.

2014-15 CFP Revenue Distribution

College Football Playoff Payouts/Revenue Distribution for 2014-15

2014-15 CFP Revenue Distribution

UPDATE: Conference-by-conference payouts based on bowl placements that were announced 12/7/14: click here.

Initial estimates for College Football Playoff payouts are posted on the CFPs website. Here’s a breakdown:

Base Amount

  • Power Five (ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12): each conference will receive approximately $50 million, which includes $300,000 for each school’s football team meeting the NCAA’s APR minimum for participation in a bowl game.
  • Group of Five (American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt): these five conferences will receive $75 million total, including $300,000 for each school’s football team meeting the NCAA’s APR minimum for participation in a bowl game). The conferences have decided among themselves how to divide this money, which is reportedly $60 million split evenly and the remaining $15 million divided based on how the conferences rank against one another based on team performance. (Note: Some other numbers in the linked article don’t match the CFP website.)
  • Notre Dame will receive $2.3 million, which is predicated on meeting the APR minimum.
  • Army, Navy and BYU will split a total of $922,658.

Additional Amounts for Participation

  • Each of the four teams selected for a semifinal game will earn $6 million for its conference. There is no additional payout for playing in the championship game (which was also the case under the BCS).
  • Each team selected to play in a “host” bowl will earn $4 million for its conference. In 2014-15, those bowls are the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
  • An expense payment of $2 million will be provided for each team for each game (semifinal, national championship, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowl), paid to the conference.

Similar to the BCS arrangement, certain FCS conferences will receive $2.25 million to split. Only FCS  conferences that provide the full NCAA-allowable complement of scholarships are included in the payout: Big Sky, Big South, Colonial, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, and SWAC.

Curious how this compares to the BCS?

Here’s how the BCS payouts broke down last year:

  • The base share for the six automatic-qualifying conferences (the Power Five plus the American) was $27.897 million each.
  • The other four conferences received a total of $13.168 million, which they split according to a formula they devised.
  • Each team selected to a BCS game as an at-large team received $6.3 million.
  • Notre Dame received $2.319 million.
  • The other independents each received $100,000.

By my math, the only conference who will see their revenue decrease will be the American as they move from the AQ/Power Five conference group to the Group of Five. Everyone else will see their fortunes significantly rise.

Contract Bowls

The figures above do not include revenue from the so-called “contract bowls.” The Big Ten and Pac-12 have a contract with the Rose Bowl for years in which the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semifinal which will provide $80 million for those two conferences to split annually. The SEC and Big XII have a similar contract with the Sugar Bowl for the same amount. However, since both the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are semifinal sites this year, those conferences will not play in those games and receive that revenue this year.

The ACC has a contract with the Orange Bowl for $27.5 million annually, which it will receive this year in addition to revenue earned from the CFP as detailed above. Its opponent each year will be Notre Dame or a team from the SEC or Big Ten, and that team will receive a similar payout.

SEC Rivalries

The SEC’s Greatest Rivalries

SEC RivalriesAhh…it’s rivalry week in college football. My favorite time of year!

Now perhaps it’s because I grew up in SEC country and attended an SEC school for law school, but I was shocked to learn that there were no SEC schools atop the list of the most intense rivalries in college football based on a study by Dr. Joe Cobbs of Northern Kentucky and Dr. David Tyler of Western Carolina.

Click here to read my piece on Outkick the Coverage on to find out who topped the list!

College Football Marketing - Week 13

College Football Marketing/PR: Week 13 Hits and Misses

College Football Marketing - Week 13

Although this week is more widely recognized as rivalry week, last week saw several rivals take the field, and three of them made our list of hits and misses. Want to find out which ones?


Click here to read our Week 13 college football marketing and public relations hits and misses to find out the answers to these questions and more!


Every week during college football season, my colleague Allison Banko and I will be blogging about marketing and public relations hits and misses from the previous week. See anything that should make our list? Let us know by email or tweet us: @SportsBizMiss or @AllisonBanko!


College football marketing and PR - Week 12

College Football Marketing/PR: Week 12 Hits and Misses

College football marketing and PR - Week 12

Which program created a gameday primer online that gives fans everything they need to know each week?

Are we going to start seeing more movie trailers on stadium video boards?

Click here to read our Week 12 college football marketing and public relations hits and misses to find out the answers to these questions and more!

Every week during college football season, my colleague Allison Banko and I will be blogging about marketing and public relations hits and misses from the previous week. See anything that should make our list? Let us know by email or tweet us: @SportsBizMiss or @AllisonBanko!

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