and then there were two

so picking teams based on their school's branding has proven to be a great way to beat vegas. now we know. on to assessing the championship game tonight between North Carolina and Michigan State.

like all brands, each university's image is made up of far more than formal marketing efforts. most were discussed in a previous post. (i'd link, but you should scroll instead - exercise is good for you.) here are a few more factors:

mascots: the michigan state spartans have sparty, a muscle-bound warrior from the great wars against the athenians. or an extra from the movie 300. either way, trés fierce. the north carolina tar heels, naturally, have a ram. ADVANTAGE: MSU

history: MSU was the nation's premier land grant university. NC's oldest buildings are national historic landmarks. since the land grant people haven't really done a good job of promoting the land grant brand, we've gotta go ADVANTAGE: NC.

place in the state's pecking order: it's an indisputable opinion of mine that universities which share the name of the state are 48 out of 50 times more likely to be perceived as having a stronger brand than universities which have an extra word in their name. Texas has a better brand than Texas Tech. Oregon over Oregon State. Arizona over Arizona State. Georgia over Georgia Tech. (Ohio State is an exception.) thus, North Carolina rules over North Carolina State, and Michigan has the upper hand over Michigan State, ADVANTAGE: NC

storyline: there are few things more important than a brand's story. NC's is clear. it's playing for a national championship. based on the media coverage of the state's economy, it appears MSU is playing to remind us of all the good in the world. they're playing for our children, for our independence, for our freedom - nay, our very way of life. and also a national championship. ADVANTAGE: MSU

overall: much as i'd like to support my alma mater MSU, the NC brand is stronger. a better logo, distinctive carolina blue, even their nike-supported clothing features the jordan jumpman logo instead of the swoosh because jordan went to NC. MSU switches uniforms every couple years, and their shade of green looks different every time they stitch a new uniform together. while they're doing better lately, brands are not built in a day.

ok, so i can admit NC has a better brand than MSU. i can also admit Apple has a better brand than Microsoft, and look who has a 90% share of the market.

prediction: michigan state by 3.


Anonymous said...

Good luck tonight. Rooting for UNC is like rooting for the Yankees. It's uncreative.

15 ideas said...

turns out, we needed luck as well as the head of tyler hansbrough served with a side of rice pilaf. sadly, we received neither.