it's time for a marketing breakdown of this week's opponent of the Beloved Spartans of Michigan State.
Northwestern at Michigan State
Opponent's Marketing Overview:
- northwestern is often considered the stuffiest school in the big ten conference, and it's inherent in their brand DNA. the school's beginnings are traced to a meeting of 9 lawyers. one read a resolution that stated the following: "The interests of sanctified learning require the immediate establishment of a university in the Northwest under the patronage of the Methodist Episcopal Church." go team, indeed.
- the school's team nickname is the Wildcats. the following schools had the same unique idea: Abilene Christian University, Baker University, Bay Path College, Bethel College, Bethune-Cookman College, California State University-Chico, Cazenovia College, Central Washington University, Daemen College, College of St. Catherine, Culver-Stockton College, Davidson College, Fort Valley State University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Johnson & Wales University (all 6 locations), Kansas State University, Linfield College, Louisiana College, Northern Michigan University, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, State University of New York-Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, University of New Hampshire, University of New Hampshire-Manchester, Villanova University, Wayne State College, Weber State University, Wheelock College, and Wilmington University. i'm guessing there's more. that's just off the top of my head.
- their original team name was the Fighting Methodists, so perhaps Wildcats isn't so bad after all.
- even the name of the team mascot (willie the wildcat) is shared with kansas state. thanks to ear implants, northwestern's willie is far more noticeable than kansas state's willie.
- if northwestern's brand were defined by its football team, it would be a sad, sad brand. the school has more football losses than any school in the country. the last bowl game northwestern won was the 1949 rose bowl. and northwestern was on the losing end of the biggest comeback in college football history (at the hands of the Beloved Spartans in 2006).
- thanks to its academics, northwestern's brand is not defined by its football team. its students' favorite chant when their team's losing: "that's alright, that's ok, you're going to work for us someday."
Prediction: we can bag on the history of the Mildcats (get it? Mildcats? instead of Wildcats?) (is this thing on?) but the fact is, northwestern and michigan state are 7-7 in their last 14 meetings. michigan state by 1 or 2.