In last Thursday’s edition of The Skiff, I blamed the football team’s attendance woes on Gary Patterson and the cult of personality he has created on campus. That article was received with a certain degree of hostility, which leads me to write this article.
This week’s column is about sports business—all the economics, marketing and strategy that works in the shadows of players and coaches.
This is not a sports column.
This column is not about the x’s and o’s, the matchups or friendly competition.
The business of sports is competition on steroids and the purpose of this column is to help you understand that competition. Through this column, I hope readers will better understand the business game, its players and, ultimately, how to win at selling sports.
Over the past week, two quotes have been on my mind.
The first quote that came to mind is from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. If you’ve never heard of him, I highly recommend reading his book titled, “See You at the Top.”
Ziglar once said, “Little people with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts smugly resisting all changes that would jar their little worlds.”
If that isn’t on your list of quotes by which to live, add it.
The essence of business and the essence of sports business is this: dream big, be big.
When reading this column, don’t let your standard be “Winning on the field on Saturdays.”
Dream bigger than that.
Dream of Amon Carter Stadium filled with 50,000 of the loudest and proudest fans in all of college football.
Dream of 100 percent graduation rates.
Dream of a team comprised completely of scholarship athletes.
Dream of people halfway around the world sporting your Arch TCU across their chests.
Dream of The Horned Frog Network.
Dream of all that, then dream bigger.
For me, it isn’t enough for the Frogs to win a national championship unless every person in the world is cheering for us when we hoist the trophy.
Mine is a business mindset, not a sport mindset.
This past year, the Horned Frogs fought 13 hard teams, they fought the media, they fought themselves and they fought the Bowl Championship Series rating system, but they overcame all those obstacles to become Rose Bowl champions.
But in business as in sports business, there are no Rose Bowls, no champions, no landings on the stairway up.
In business, there are no victories, only new games.
As long as fans have something else to do or somewhere else to be on Saturdays, the game I pay attention to will never be over.
The game of sports business—the competition for fans’ time and money—is being played on more than one field.
The second quote that has been on my mind comes from TCU’s very own great, Dutch Meyer.
This quote is painted on the wall of the tunnel leading to Monty & Tex Moncrief Field and it’s written in the favorite quotes section of my Facebook profile.
“Fight ‘em till hell freezes over, then fight ‘em on the ice.”
Horned Frogs, hell froze over a long time ago.
The fight is no longer between the endzones, it’s on the ice.
It’s in the homes and workplaces and minds and hearts of people who can choose not to witness the team that Gary Patterson puts on the field.
This column is not about the fight for rings or trophies.
If the Horned Frogs win a game and no one is there to see it, did they really win?
David Shaver is a junior marketing major from Canyon, Texas.