quick, name that team

i've long believed marketing a sports team is the easiest task in the world. partly because i haven't had to do it myself. but mostly because it's one of those rare categories when your audience is so passionate about your product, they can't get enough of it. your team will spend as little as 3 hours a week actually playing a game. yet, your audience will spend hours upon hours reading, blogging, and being a first time caller who loves the show and wants to talk about the 3rd string defensive end.

yet for all this passion, there's surprisingly little in the way of innovative marketing. here's a lovely exception. as any college football fan can tell you, that picture was taken at boise state's football stadium. this silly promotional idea of turning a football field blue has given a small school in a sparsely populated state a level of instant recognition that few national powerhouses can match. the school could've done something creative in the end zones like many other schools, such as tenessee's checkerboards. instead, they broke free of convention, and used the whole field itself. no focus groups, no nothing. just trusted their guts. 22 years later, it continues to be their brand's most recognizable asset.

soon after its introduction, the ncaa put a ban on colored football fields, making it impossible for other schools to duplicate. but then, it's sports marketing. and being innovative in sports marketing should be easy.

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