Saturday, July 11, 2009

In case I haven't reminded you enough...

I know that I've discussed this on Vernon's program, but I will remind you that I love the Palladia channel (Comcast 857). And if you're as frustrated as I am about the quality of popular music as I am - this channel is what you need.

Because they show you... wait for it... MUSIC on television!! What a novel concept! Concerts and music videos! And they are even music videos for new songs - before Palladia, I didn't realize people still made music videos. Because they were never getting shown on MTV or VH1 anymore. I guess it is tought to squeeze a video in between a Rock of Love Bus marathon and the new episode of Brooke Knows Best.

I guess what I really enjoy about the channel is that it is refreshing to see GOOD new music being made and performed. Many of the Isle of Wight or V-Fest concerts shown on the channel have great new bands like The Zutons, Snow Patrol, Muse, and more performing in front of huge crowds - saving my mind from believing that if anything new comes out it will feature Lady Gaga and/or and auto-tuner.

When we do the Entertainment Segment (SHAMELESS* pres. by RIDall Pest Control *PLUG) on Thursdays during Vernon's show - I literally want to take a Slege-O-Matic to my forehead. An occasional good tune finds it's way to the Top 5 for a week before disappearing. Otherwise - it is headache inducement. Because he knows how much I hate it, I believe Vernon gets a guilty pleasure out of it.

But if you can, contact your cable/dish provider and see if you can score this channel. I think you'd enjoy it. If you can't get it, find a friend who has it, and move in with them.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Recommendation for Memphis Tiger Football - Make the Weekends Start Early

If someone was to accuse our radio station of 'under-covering' the Memphis Tiger football program, I'd say that would be more than fair to do. The problems with the Memphis football program run deep, and in the instances that we DO cover the Tigers - it usually devolves into a complaint-fest about lack of facilities, attention to the program by the athletic department, and a lack of media coverage.

We all know Memphis finds itself in the middle of SEC football territory, and that RC has gone on record saying that in his wishes to get Memphis into a BCS conference, that they should be in the SEC.

Well, that ain't happening unless Arkansas (the state) falls into the Pacific Ocean.

I've argued before about how Memphis would be a great fit for the Big 10, but let's not get into that here (even though it's a great idea).

Let's start small. For instance, one of the best ways to help grow a program is exposure. Like, television. I've gone through the Tigers' schedule this year, and along with opening weekend's Sunday game against Ole Miss, the Tigers only have one other non-Saturday game (week 9's Tuesday night game against East Carolina) this season.

Why is this important? Because college football sells advertising. And whether it's for simple entertainment, gambling purposes, or otherwise, when given the option to either watch college football or not - people watch it.

Now, let me say that I do not know exactly how these games get set up - in that who makes the call on the weeknight games (the schools, the NCAA, ESPN, etc.).


Use this opportunity to have the high school recruits check out the Memphis football program when there isn't anyone else to watch. Monopolize their time and attention. Isn't this always a recruiting pitch? "You get a chance to play on national television, son. Let the country and NFL scouts check out your skills on display."

Market the program - market the University. Whatever. Just get on TV. Only 2 games this year is not enough.

For a comparison, here are some schools of 'similar prestige' that are getting on television in non-competitive (weeknight) spots -
Tulsa: 4 games (weeks 1, 7, 8, 11)
Toledo: 3 games (weeks 2, 11, 12)
Boise St. (Yes, the same team that beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl 2 years ago): 5 games (weeks 3, 7, 8, 10, 12)
Colorado: 4 games (weeks 1, 2, 5, 12)
Nevada: 3 games (weeks 4, 6, 10)
Rutgers: 4 games (weeks 1, 7, 8, 11)

Surely Memphis is in the same prestige as this bunch... isn't it? We are in a top-50 television market, after all. And I know we all love blue turf, but Boise State isn't rolling out BCS matchups for primetime TV. Their opponents in these games are Fresno St., Tulsa, Hawaii, La. Tech, and Utah State.

My question is, why isn't Memphis in more weeknight games?

And please don't tell me that you don't want to fall into that 'mid-major category of teams that will do anything to be on TV' group. That's not a fall... that's where you are. Conference USA doesn't mean anything in college football. And, while we are at it, you're not winning the conference anyway.

And if you are afraid of having a half-empty stadium on television - get over that. Consider it a 'bump in the road' on the way to success.

Now, it may not solve everything that is wrong with Memphis football - but it's a start.

Memphis football, get on TV.

Make the fall weekends in Memphis start early.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Reboot of The Blog? We'll see...

Since my last post (17 months or so), the Tigers played for the national title (and blew it), the station made a brand switch from ESPN to Fox Sports, everyone in Memphis became a Titans fan, the Steelers won the Super Bowl, Tim Tebow continued to win at life, John Calipari left for bluer pastures, the Grizzlies drafted a Tanzanian, and now Allen Iverson wants to play for Memphis. I could keep going, but my head would hurt.

I actually just rediscovered my blog last night. I always felt like I was more in tune with what all was going on when I was writing, and I'd like to get back to that. It also helps when I am subbing in for Geoff and Gary or Vernon - so that I'm not 'cramming' the night before.

So, what's on my mind?

I guess I'll throw in my comments on the Allen Iverson interest. Vernon and Calkins had similar takes - that if you're going to bring in Zach Randolph, you might as well go all out and acquire as many troubled souls as you can. They are obviously joking, but let's entertain the idea - and maybe step back and reframe just what the true needs of this franchise are.

I was a big Rubio fan, but not necessarily of the player. What I mean is that I was a fan of the idea of a player like Rubio playing for Memphis. It was flash. Excitement. There would have been a chance that you might see something great at the game.

Lots of people in this town speak about the 'needs' of this team - a power forward / veteran presence / a backup point guard / where to play OJ... And while I find all of these to be true, perhaps it misses the point.

I address 'needs' for what they are. What necessities do I require in order to be successful? And what opportunities do I have to immediately address these necessities?

For the Grizzlies, in my outsider opinion, the real 'need' is... (wait for it)... selling tickets. If finances are as bad as they made to seem to be, then this is the immediate necessity.

And we all know that if the team was better (win 40+ games), they'd sell more tickets. That's easy. But the opportunity to make the team that much better is not immediately available. That would require increasing spending significantly, which as we all know by now - that ain't happening.

So, I would encourage the Grizzlies to take any opportunity they could in order to sell tickets. As someone who is in sales and manages a sales team, it is vitally important to have something you believe in when you are selling. So when the Grizzlies' sale staff is working on their season ticket, corporate, and group sales - what is their pitch? That's a message that I'm not sure has been developed by the organization (and with very little help from the owner's public '3 year plan' that seems to continue to be delayed). This could lead to your sale staff being unsuccessful - and when the sales staff isn't selling, they don't make as much money, and they go do something else so that they can. Sales people (good ones) follow the dollar. If the sales people leave, then money and time is spent obtaining new sales people, and potential ticket sales are lost in the meantime, and still nothing has been created that would assist the sales staff's product. It's not a good situation.

Let's reset - what options are immediately available that will help the Grizzlies sell tickets? If Allen Iverson is calling - I'd be listening. He is exciting, his merchandise would be flying off the racks, and he's a draw. AI sells tickets, and that's what you need.

And why not? What could you really lose? I don't see Iverson in the same mold that many people have put Zach Randolph. AI's older, and the only issue of any recentness was last year's refusal to play off the bench.

That's easy to solve - start him.

If we are concerned about the 'development' of our young players - I find that faulty, because it's still not addressing the need - selling tickets. Get some butts (and dollars) into that building - that can help you the most with improving this franchise.

So, I implore Mr. Heisley and Mr. Wallace to break out their revenue/expense breakeven graph on how many tickets Allen Iverson would sell you. If we're on the positive side, do it.

Give your employees something to sell. And your fans something to watch.