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Subject: Re: The Need For Football

Down East
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Date Posted: 16:23:29 01/06/17 Fri
In reply to: M3 's message, "The Need For Football" on 06:58:56 01/06/17 Fri

Football is the "go to" marketing campaign for any university, especially when they figure the costs, benefits and uncertainty with building their brand through improved academic excellence. When even Harvard feels the need to market itself through basketball, you know that no university in the country is immune from this type of thinking: Sell the academic brand through sports.

The logic is "I could spend hundreds of millions on top-notch faculty and academic infrastructure to become 'The Harvard of Birmingham' or 'The Harvard of Western Massachusetts' and I'm STILL going to need to market myself through sports. Jeez, why not just start by marketing myself through a football or basketball team?'"

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[> Subject: Re: Football brings alumni and the community back to campus.

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Date Posted: 19:42:13 01/10/17 Tue

This year Cornell drew nearly 17,000 fans for Homecoming in September. Granted we're not Clemson, but we're also not going to get many alums to come back to campus for a lecture or an art symposium. College football is a very social activity with tailgating, marching band, fraternity parties and other post game activities. For example, unlike most of the other Ivies, Cornell is a four to six plus hour drive or flight for the vast majority of our alumni. Most of our alumni only come back to campus for events like football games and reunion. When Frank Rhodes was president you saw him at nearly every home football game and he was often networking with alumni. That's why Rhodes was not only one of our best presidents, but also one of our most successful fund raisers.

In comparison today, our administration is usually absent at athletic events and then they complain our endowment is smaller than most of the other Ivies. In addition, our football team sucks a lot of money out of the athletic department simply because we do nothing to improve attendance for most home games. Like it or not, football and basketball are supposed to be "revenue producing sports" and while improving attendance may not have a huge impact, every dollar we raise in ticket, concessions, and parking is money we can definitely put to good use.

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