Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Economic Crimson Tide

I've always held onto the firm belief the Alabama fan base is a stimulus package all in itself. Cities and towns of Alabama's opposition and bowl games of all varieties love to see the Crimson Tide coming because of the economic boom that we provide when we get there. (even in the tough times for the football team AND the economy)
Politicians at any level wish for the stimulus the money that the Alabama Nation can collectively provide.

Dissatisfaction with the internal workings of the program have affected season ticket sales and attendance in the past but downturns in the economy never have.

Folks like the Auburn historian David Housel will confirm that the Auburn program was literally running on Coke machine money before the Alabama state Legislature forced us to re-start the Auburn/Alabama series. They needed us for the money. Just like they needed to get the Iron Bowl out of Birmingham and down to Auburn for the money.

Alabama people follow their team and spend big money doing it. We rival NASCAR in brand loyalty and have for years.

This misguided blog:

and the Mark Ingram S I cover led me to opine.

I read this piece and laughed, not because of the suspicion of Paul Bryant Jr. but because of the failure to understand how the financial windfall the hiring of Nick Saban works.

And please don't misunderstand my knowledge that Roger Shuler is a black helicopter conspiracist (if that's not a word, it should be) who believes that everyone this side of the Mississippi had a hand in his "unlawful termination" from UAB.

But it does provide for me the launching pad from which I can crow

The hiring of Nick Saban has paid off in spades for the Alabama athletic dept. not because of Paul Bryant Jr.'s money alone but because of ours. From the biggest skyboxer to the Joe Lunchbox fan, the hiring of Nick Saban and his subsequent success has spurred all Alabama fans to shell out big bucks whether it be big time donations to the program or sales of officially licensed shirts, caps and other memorabilia.

People think media members like Paul Finebaum make their living off the trials and tribulations of a program like Alabama's but Paul will tell you quickly the opposite is true. I've personally heard him comment that financially, things were never better than after Alabama's '92 national championship. Everybody made money, he personally did, his newspaper did, we all know Daniel Moore did.(not that there's anything wrong with that)

The "Tradition Continues" that commemorates the Tide's 12th national title has 19,920 "limited" edition copies, one of which hangs in my personal office. Moore's made so much money off commemorating, how shall we say......defining moments, (hope I haven't trampled on any copyrights there!!!) the University sued him for MORE money than their original licensing deal provided for. (the United States civil court system recently sided with Mr. Moore) Moore has done many paintings and sold many prints but none like the "Tradition Continues". Regardless, Alabama fans have made Moore a wealthy man. (along with many Moore wannabes)

Which begs the question: how does a cover like the Ingram cover - that Capstone Report recently posted about - or the now famous or infamous, however you choose to look at it, "'Bama's Back" cover from a few years ago affect Sports Illustrated's bottom line?

It's a known fact that S I made tons off the Alabama 1992 national championship special edition. Of course, I have no balance sheets to prove that but judging by the fact that before that '92 Sugar Bowl, Sports Illustrated had never done a "special edition" championship magazine and since they've branched off into special edition packages that include a leather-bound book, a fleece shirt with the S I logo, (of course!) memorabilia and the obligatory half-price subscription on everything from Chinese ping-pong to Bavarian tiddlywinks champions, I'd say the Alabama fan base that rushed to the bookshelves and newspaper stands to gobble up that mag that magic year opened Sports Illustrated's eyes to the potential financial windfall such a thing could be. (and we didn't get a dime for our troubles. Know a good lawyer? - that's a rhetorical question considering that if your hold a degree from the U of A, you probably ARE a good lawyer!)

So Roger, go fly your black helicopter elsewhere. We know who the culprit is paying Nick Saban's salary. We know from whencst the money comes. Did Paul Bryant Jr.s money play a role? Certainly it did. But we all look in the mirror every morning with the warm satisfaction of knowing the role we all played in bringing Nick Saban to Tuscaloosa, the financial windfall that has occurred since and the "rain" we make everywhere we go.

(next thing you know, Roger will be suing US for his "unlawful termination" from UAB!!!)

This time, we got us a winner in Nick Saban.


Raymond McKinnon (finebammer)

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