great article on Calipari and marketing


When he arrived at the 20,000-student University of Memphis in 2000, the basketball program was in big trouble. After a successful run in the 1980s the team, which hadn't qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 1996, had limped through two losing seasons and other embarrassments. One coach was dismissed after fessing up to an affair with an undergraduate. [B]The basketball team's graduation percentage was zero, the lowest in the NCAA. No wonder attendance for home games was 8,000 in an arena with 20,000 seats. And donations to the athletic program were a paltry $2.5 million a year.[/B] "We were struggling," sighs R.C. Johnson, the university's athletic director.
The team needed money. One of Calipari's first moves was getting a meeting with Frederick W. Smith, the chief executive of [B]FedEx[/B] (nyse: [URL=]FDX[/URL] - [URL=] news [/URL] - [URL=] people [/URL]) in Memphis. He persuaded Smith to become a team benefactor. He also asked him to help set up a paid summer internship for the Memphis players. Since then 25 basketballers have taken paid summer internships at the delivery giant; one former player took a full-time job at the company. Alan Graf Jr., chief financial officer at FedEx, has pledged $500,000 of personal money to the athletic program. Smith has become one of Calipari's trusted advisers
Taking a cue from the NBA, he believes marketing his basketball program in China, where 300 million kids play the sport, will help him recruit players there. Calipari met the Chinese national team when it toured the U.S. in June. He traveled to China in September and a month later hosted 15 coaches from the Chinese Basketball Association at a clinic in Memphis. One Chinese coach stayed on in Memphis as a paid intern."[B]We have to find a way to compete with the UCLAs and the UNC--Chapel Hills of the world[/B]," he says.

[QUOTE]One of Calipari’s first steps there was to recast the brand. When he arrived, the team’s uniforms spelled out University of Massachusetts in a mess of letters. Calipari shortened the logo to UMass. He opened a store, Cal’s Closet, to sell branded apparel. He would walk into a department store and order 20 UMass hats, to stir up demand. It worked: The university now goes by UMass.[/QUOTE]

This also caught my attention…

[QUOTE]This season there are 20 billboards promoting the basketball team around the city. All but $50,000 of the $2.5 million tab for the ads was privately funded.[/QUOTE]

Just saw a special about Calipari on ESPN about him forming special relations with China in order to bring players in from overseas to Memphis. He already has a Chinese Assistant coach (first in NCAA?) who has close ties with the China National Team. He sees the NBA marketing the product hard in the global market and wants a piece, truly one step ahead.

How he could make this happen academically I have no idea, but if he does bring in one of those 6’10 guards they have in China, lookout.

Although everyone on this board is a firm believer Calipari cheats, so if this does happen, no big surprise…