An Open Letter to Ohio State

By Ramzy Nasrallah on April 16, 2014 at 11:15a
Ohio Stadium rotunda stained glass
99 Comments

Hello, The Ohio State University. I'm a Buckeye for life.

I should start by introducing myself as a stakeholder, enthusiast - and most importantly - a donor - just so we get off on the right foot. People generally don't read anymore, so holding your attention is critical: I give you money. South of Wexner but north of Hoke; formally and informally. It feels good.

I've transferred chunks of my income from my bank account to yours ever since a W-2 has bared my name. I hold favorable if not overtly biased positions on both the university and my home state, sharing them on a weekly basis in this space going back well into the prior century. My alumni association status generally slides between inactive, active and inactive again, which probably doesn't make me too unusual on your rolls.

I view my Ohio State affiliation and contributions the same way I view my blood: Happily donate when convenient, but even if I miss a round - I cannot change my blood type. It's unwavering. Changing it would radically alter who I am.

2014 spring game
Buckeyes taking the field last Saturday (Kirk Iriwn Photography)

So here's why I'm writing a letter to you this week instead of poking Michigan in the eye or whining about Thad Matta's frontcourt or endlessly championing Jim Tressel or lauding your efforts to bring a national title Columbus: Gwyneth Paltrow.

I casually loathe Gwyneth Paltrow for all the same shallow reasons we blithely revile certain celebrities, but with just a little extra vigor for being pridefully tone deaf about goddamn everything. Paltrow dispenses heartfelt "lifestyle guidance" for what appears to be a parallel universe where time and money are both infinite; recommendations such as $1,209 napkin sets and spring wardrobe essentials - that word means something - that cost nearly half a million dollars to name just a couple of her must-have items. (I don't think she donates money to Ohio State yet - hey, you should call her.)

Anyway, I was traveling abroad and thus forced to catch up on the OSU spring game online when I abruptly discovered you had designs on charging $20 to attend a scrimmage. It's not quite Paltrow imploring working moms to hire celebrity trainers and stylists while dropping $2500 on a coffee maker to feel better about themselves but it's still tone deaf as hell.

The largest expense you have in hosting a football game isn't the cost of electricity, security, staffing or paying players (LOL) since those costs are all contractually fixed already. It's the enormous payout to the visiting team which - when Ohio State is playing against Ohio State with nothing on the line - is zero.

So when Gene Smith says that the university has "huge gameday expenditures" he's telling the truth. He's just omitting the parts about 1) the Spring Game costing less than half of a regular season game and 2) the university making well north of $4MM in profit every time the Buckeyes host someone else despite those "huge expenditures."

There were a couple of basic business principles that were completely ignored here, and considering the Fisher College of Business is only a 3-wood from Ohio Stadium it's alarming that they were abandoned. First, pricing: It's not some superfluous concept; educated people in your email directory - some of whom are currently paying tuition - could have helped you with this. It's the second P in Porter's five forces analysis. Only Product comes before Price.

You did not build this brand. You can only damage or improve it.

The 2009 game with nearly identical weather brought in 95,722 fans paying $5 each. Five years later you jacked up that price 300% and noble beneficiary LiFE Sports very likely received less money because of that decision. Pricing matters. Don't use a dartboard - and never take your customer for granted (this involves actually knowing who your customer is, which we'll get to in a bit).

You had an 11th hour 75%-off sale while cheerfully citing good weather as the reason for the sudden price drop. Buckeye fans will buy almost anything - we have generally lousy, franchise-driven, mass-manufactured taste - but we won't buy anything. Your underperforming spring game tickets are proof of that, and sunshine didn't have a thing to do with it. By the way, if you pull my other leg - it plays Jingle Bells. 

Second, and more importantly, the brand: Ohio State does not belong to you. You just happen to work there at this moment - you're stewards for a rich inheritance you're passing along to someone else that no one will ever cash. That's what Ohio State is. You did not build this brand. You can only damage or improve it.

And you should find as many ways as possible to give it away for free. Businesses do this all the time because it gives them a great return and it's terrific exposure for future buyers. Future buyers. This is where we talk about the children who don't have wealthy parents or opportunities to embark on a wallet-crushing fall Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

2014 spring game
Postgame Carmen Ohio (Kirk Irwin Photography)

Your youngest fans and future students do not currently view Braxton Miller as a college student. He's a superhero who to them only exists on television (never mind he wasn't even part of the practice you wanted to charge $20 to attend). 

When I was a kid Keith Byars and Chris Spielman were immortal - even lumpy Jim Karsatos and his 80s perm seemed almost mythical. Getting to see them in that stadium that you take for granted is absolute magic. Your mouth hangs open, your eyelids freeze in position and you'll never hold your parent's hand tighter.

My folks worked at Ohio State, so I was lucky and got to see, like, all of the games in the stadium - and I was reminded every time we entered about the less fortunate kids who were starving to death, and worse, not able to sit in Ohio Stadium, our beloved state's largest church with by far the most unwillingly absentee parishioners.

They are why the spring game exists: It's Buckeye football for the people who can't even gobble up FAMU tickets on the street. It's for ordinary mothers and fathers who have more than one child, making a family outing at the stadium under regular season circumstances a fantasy. It's a gift to the community from you stewards of Ohio's rich inheritance that you're merely passing along.

Try not to be so blissfully tone deaf next year - college football doesn't need a Gwyneth Paltrow, because nothing needs a Gwyneth Paltrow. The spring game is a gift, which as you've recently demonstrated can be a vehicle for good or greed. They're very easy to tell apart.

Go Bucks

Ramzy

PS - if you ever have any branding ideas you'd like to kick around, there's a guy at 11W who recently ran a successful internship for students through the Fisher College of Business on customer engagement and brand management. He would be happy to donate his time.

99 Comments

Comments

NW Buckeye's picture

Thank you Ramzy.  You nailed it again!!  I will forward this to anyone who has an email address in the athletic office. 

Here is the Athletic Dept contact list for anyone interested:

http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/staffdir/osu-staffdir.html#admin

+13 HS
OSUNeedles's picture

It appears that the Athletic Department ignored the giant sign above the South Stands that says, "Pay It Forward." Some dude said it... I can't remember who... I have always thought of the Spring Game as the Athletic Department paying it forward. It was my trial run to make sure my daughter would make it through a real game without me having to duct tape her to a bleacher. It is a time to get down closer to the field. It is a time to think what it might be like to actually be talented enough to have played on that great field while not having a heart attack about the game that is happening.

If they can't see the value in the future fans, they are definitely missing the boat.

+5 HS
PG_BUCK's picture

Bravo...Bravo. That sums up so much of my angst with the University and their overall ticket pricing.
 

Go BUCKS!

+4 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

I'm tired of Gene Smith.  Clueless, and lies to our faces.  No idea why he has a job.

+14 HS
teddyballgame's picture

This really needed to be said.  A little bit of truth to power...I can only hope they learned a lesson from all this.

 

+6 HS
Bucksfan's picture

Not that I had the time to drive to Columbus for the Spring Game this year, but when I saw the original $20 price tag I laughed.  That pretty much threw any possibility of me making that trip out the window, even if I had my eyes on going.
 

+6 HS
fansince1968's picture

Thank you Ramzy! Great letter!

+5 HS
GoBucks10's picture

Nailed.  Great job, Ramzy.  I've just got some new bulletin board material for my office.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

+6 HS
elitesmithie's picture

So the only good thing Gene Smith has done is hire Urban right? We should play a new game called "Who is the dumbest person who could still offer a ton of money to Urban to coach here? I guessing we can go as low as 4th graders as being equally qualified as Gene Smith and still not screw other areas up as bad as he does.

+5 HS
cronimi's picture

Pretty spot on. And Gene's job in hiring Urban was essentially "don't screw it up". But didn't you hear he won a couple national championships this year? If it weren't for mean Gene, I'm sure Blaz Rola, Logan Stieber and the synchronized swimming team would have been busts.

bucked up's picture

If Archie griffin dies before gene smith, i have to assume that smith will swarm his corpse and loot the championship rings and dental fillings from Archie's body for profit. The thought of forcing people to pay $20 to see cardale jones and walk-ons practice while half the starters rest is as greedy as it is stupid

+6 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Wow, Ramzy, thank you for the article.  As an Ohioan who has resided in Michigan now for 25 years, it is very tough to get to any Ohio State games.  I have twin sons, and one is as big a Buckeye fan as I am.  We try to get to one game a year, when possible.  The Spring Game has become our yearly pilgrimmage (sp?) and we look forward to it.  I was astounded by the price, and there is no price break for anything to eat and drink in the stadium... Whoever thought a PRACTICE would become almost expensive as a game?

I only hope the "Powers that Be" read your article and learn from the slumping sales this year.  The weather was perfect, there is no reason why there should have been less than 70,000 fans at the Spring Game - wait - ticket prices drove many away.  Shame on you, Gene Smith.

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

You can take the man out of Ohio, but you cannot take the Ohio out of the man. Go Bucks!!

+14 HS
German Buckeye's picture

I feel for you and your circumstances that forces you to live in the state above us.  Warmest sympathies.

+7 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Yeah - I made the move for love... And many years later, I think I still made the right chioce.... But when retirement age hits, I am coming HOME!!

 

Also - it's pretty fun being an Ohio State fan up here now.  Jim Tressel started a great run, and I am sure Urban will keep the foot on the gas pedal.  It's fun listening to all these scUMers whine... I just remind them of what I had to go through with the "Cooper Years"...

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

You can take the man out of Ohio, but you cannot take the Ohio out of the man. Go Bucks!!

buckeyedude's picture

God bless you and I praise you for your sacrifice to live in that God-forsaken state. I work there every day, and drive back to my home in Ohio at the end of the day, which brings me great relief.

If ticket prices would have stayed at $5 like they should be, they would have put over 90,000 in the seats last Saturday.

 

 

scrotieMcboogerballs's picture

Only one of your twins is a big fan?....The Will must be adjusted accordingly...ha

"Who do you think you are?!?!...I am!!"  -Pete Weber, bowling legend and dominator of the English language

+1 HS
Mark's picture

Nailed it.  I was baffled how they could try to charge so much for a scrimmage/practice. 

+5 HS
UrbanDreamz's picture

But for $20 you also got to see a lacrosse match.

"Twelve months ago on Jan. 9, my mom's birthday, I made the decision to come back. I had one goal in mind and that was to win a national championship."  ~Mike Doss

+5 HS
ibuck's picture

...which are usually free. And glad to have ya!

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

+1 HS
BuckeyeBBD's picture

I can honestly say that the 2006 Spring Game is what made me (then in 7th grade) want to go to Ohio State.  Before my freshman year at OSU, it was the only time I had ever been in Ohio Stadium.  If ticket prices were $20 then, I would probably be a BGSU Falcon.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+3 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Then again...as I speak as a proud BGSU Alum, ....eh.....you would have turned out ok, buckeyebbd!! 

 

+2 HS
BuckeyeBBD's picture

I didn't mean it negatively.  I love BG.  I'm from the area originally, I have a ton of friends that are either enrolled at or graduated from BG. I make sure to get to Pollyeyes whenever I'm in town.  Gotta love the Doyt!

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

I hope this makes it's way around campus, faculty and staff. 

This fucking Mr Miyagi's the nail through the board in one hit.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+4 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I remember when regular game tickets used to be around $40

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+3 HS
Seattle Linga's picture
+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Yea Ramzy!

(and to think I got DV'd for saying things like this prior to the spring game)

 

 

Go Bucks!

Go Bucks!

+4 HS
Unky Buck's picture

and considering the Fisher College of Business is only a 3-wood from Ohio Stadium

Is it weird that I looked this up on Google Earth to make sure that this was actually within distance for a 3-wood?

...

+7 HS
Jason Gruber's picture

That's quite the 3 wood...

"You win with People" Woody Hayes

+2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Maybe a Phil Mickelson 3-wood.

For me, it would be a driver, a mulligan, and a 5-iron from Ohio Stadium. ;)

 

 

+1 HS
Unky Buck's picture

If it's just getting it into the parking lot, then yeah, doable, but otherwise, yeah, I'll see you there in 3 shots.

...

Doc's picture

Thank you Ramzy for articlulating what I, and a lot of us, have been thinking.  I paid the $68.00 for the four of us to go to the game.  We spent that much in concessions the day of the "game" as well, and we left after the band played at half time.  My sons wanted to see the Spring Game, but they also wanted to see the lacrosse game as well.  My 7 year old was done, we needed to go.  The spring game should be free. Period.  The concessions more than make up for any expenses generated.

Did anyone see the football gear sale they were having.  Authentic jerseys were being sold for $200.00 each.  The name plate was removed from the back, but everything else was there including the B1G logo.  No numbers of anyone we would "know".  Again a price gouge.  We all know Nike "gives" the university the jersey as per their contract.  Selling them for 200 bucks is sinful.  I didn't even look at the used cleats for sale.

I love Ohio State, but at some point in time they will ruin it for me when it gets to expensive.  Greed is an ugly thing.

Ramzy, if you are going to send this off to the powers that be I would be more than happy to ad my name to the end of it.  I'm a "Life Member" of the Alumni Association and an eleven year member of the Buckeye Club.

"Say my name."

+6 HS
OSUStu's picture

I will happily donate a stamp if you'd actually like to mail this.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+4 HS
southbymidwest's picture

This this this this. I would expect it from Dave Brandon at TSUN, due to his decisions to commercialize athletics there, but not so much at OSU. Some smartypants lost sight of OSU's mission and place in the community.

They must have looked only at possible revenues, but obviously not the psychological impact of those decisions. Since OSU's football team is the closest thing to a pro team for a big chunk of Ohio, perhaps they thought that OSU could operate like an NFL team and jack up the prices of preseason scrimmages, because the market would supposedly bear it. Instead they teed off fans and alumni, made OSU look foolish and greedy (even though funds were going to charity), potentially messed up recruiting, and had to eat crow and knock ticket prices down a day before the game.

The Shoe should have been filled to the brim with happy OSU fans on a fabulous Spring day.

This is a case study waiting to happen at Fisher.

+4 HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Spot on, as usual.  When I was a student at OSU, my folks usually made a point to visit the weekend of the Spring game because between Michigan, 1969 (yep, that one) and Illinois, 1992 (another "kick to the groin" sort of loss), they did not get to see Ohio State play in person.  The Spring Game no matter who is sitting it out is a special experience for many who don't get a lot of opportunities to see the Buckeyes.   What's more, given that for a lot of guys who aren't in the two-deep it's one of their few opportunities to really shine inside the 'Shoe, it behooves us to see that they are shining in front of as close to a packed house as possible.    

When the nation assesses programs' development for Spring, they inevitably look at how many turned out for the Spring Game.   Having lower attendance doesn't reflect fairly on our team, and saying, "well, but tickets were $20" just makes the program look worse.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+2 HS
Angry Panda's picture

There are so many spot on, wonderfully articulated points here that I can't quote them all.....just yes....all of these things....spot on...You think someone could actually get this in front of Gene Smith.

+3 HS
45has2's picture

Great article Ramzy. Hopefully it does not hurt your feelings too bad that Kirk Herbstreit thinks you are arrogant and pompous for referring to The Ohio State University as The Ohio State University. 

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

+5 HS
Ashtabula's picture

Thank you.  This spring was going to my 7 year old's first trip to an OSU football game.  But, when I factored in the $20 tickets coupled with the 3 hour drive and night in a hotel, it just didn't seem worth it to me.  I probably would have spent $500 in hotels, merchandise, food (Hound Dog's Pizza!), visit to COSI, etc.  By the time the price changed, it was too late for us.  

+1 HS
D. Anthony's picture

Really, Ramzy? A 3 wood? If you need more than a 7-iron we need to talk. :)

D. Anthony

+2 HS
THE_JUICE's picture

Couldn't agree more with everything that has been said.

As others have mentioned, I'm okay with paying a premium amount to see Ohio State play a marquee match up at night.  I expect to do so.

I don't want to shell out an arm and a leg for a glorified practice.  I've been deprived of Ohio State football for months, but for that price, I'll watch it at home.

+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

Great article Ramzy. 20 dollars for a glorified practice is a bit much. 5 dollars seem about right. Hopefully this article gets to the right individual(s). As for Gene Smith, it may be time that he is replaced.

+1 HS
Zimmy07's picture

I don't get why people are faulting OSU for this.

26,000 x $20 = $520,000  (there likely would have been a lot more people buying tickets at the gate.)

65,000 x $5 = $325,000.  The reason for the pricing seems obvious to me.

-5 HS
Doc's picture

Sometimes money isn't the answer.

"Say my name."

+11 HS
nikolajz1's picture

Just because you can charge a customer a ton doesnt mean you always should. Getting 65k at a lower price might result in lower short term profits but might pay off long term a ton. Gene Smith and the B1G seem way more worried about the short term in general which is kinda scary. Adding Rutgers is to get money now for the BTN even though it waters down the league and might ruin the brand in the long term. 

+2 HS
McFate's picture

Even if looking at it from a money-only angle, how much concessions profit is there for the extra 40,000 people?

+8 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Wow, Zimmy. Just wow.

I think you're missing the whole point here. Using your example, why didn't Gene just raise the Spring Game ticket price to match that of a regular season game?

 

 

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Hey Zimmy - the money is not going to the university, it is donated to charities... That said, it is still too much to charge for a "practice".  Many other spring games are free and those schools cannot come CLOSE to the attendance TOSU gets.

It's an ethics thing, to me.

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

You can take the man out of Ohio, but you cannot take the Ohio out of the man. Go Bucks!!

Jpfbuck's picture

zimmy your math is wrong, the 26K were sold at pre-game price of $12 making the total only $312K, vs 65K at $5 or $325K, plus had they priced it as $5 all along they may have had 90K show up and hence $450K, then as noted add in the additional concession of the extra heads and the $12/20 pricing actually is a money loser and worse than hurting OSU from a marketing perspective actually also hurts the CHARITY

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

FWIW, I walked into St John Arena about 30 minutes prior to the start of the Spring Game and bought a club ticket for $20.

southernbuckeye's picture

The spring game should not be about a profit. It should be used to grow a fan base, for the future, and the games that matter.

BucksfanXC's picture

Dear OSU,

You gave us a discount for nice weather? Would you have charged us more for rain?

Sincerely,

One of the fans you shouldn't be pissing off

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+7 HS
JLP36's picture

They should have charged $25.  The Athletic department was a little short on coin after paying Gene his richly deserved $18k  for the synchro swimming NC...

JLP36

+5 HS
Waltbuck's picture

Truer words could not have been said. 

 

woodcocklives@osu's picture

As a mid-90's era alum, this current incarnation of The Ohio State University of Medical and Athletics Revenue has pushed me beyond the brink of support, as both a fan and a graduate.  Wexner and the boys had a vision a few years back on the direction of the University......the spring game debacle is but one of many examples of this vision.  But hey, I'm just glad the University Food Science Department is signing off on the quality of Speedway coffee.

Hovenaut's picture

Reasonable prices please.

Manage the revenue and feed the players too. Especially that Bennett kid.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
toad1204's picture

you're stewards for a rich inheritance you're passing along to someone else that no one will ever cash.

Nailed it.

Guessing they come out with tickets for $10 next year, still testing the waters.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+2 HS
BuckeyeSouth's picture

That reminds me of the quote that goes something like "We didn't inherit the earth from our parents, we borrowed it from our children".

Embrace it.

+4 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Ohio Stadium, our beloved state's largest church with by far the most unwillingly absentee parishioners.

Love this^^^^^^

 

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+4 HS
Stinson's picture

I appreciate people that understand Ohio State and its history and don't take it for granted. This was a great line:

"It's a gift to the community from you stewards of Ohio's rich inheritance that you're merely passing along."

Nice work, Ramzy.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+5 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

If I was better with gifs I'd post a homerun, Ramzy knocked that one out of the park

Football is complicated...

+3 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

 "It's never iffy, if it's Griffey."

GONE!

 

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+7 HS
Jdadams01's picture

The sweetest swing ever.

+4 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Although not a huge fan of him, I think Reggie Jackson had the best swing ever.

When he played for the Yankees, I saw him blast one over the right field bleachers and completely out of Tiger Stadium out on to the street. Only a handful of players had ever done that.

 

 

jamesrbrown322's picture

IMO the best "swings" I have seen are 1. Griffey - quick and fluid, 2. Bonds, short, compact and so quick, turned on a ball faster than anyone, 3. Sheffield incredibly quick through the zone with an elongated reach.

As far as Reggie goes, way too many strikeouts, and looked like he was breaking his ankles all of the time. He was a great home run hitter to be sure, but he accomplished that by ALWAYS swinging for the fences...basically Adam Dunn and Russell Branyan if they had played in the 70s.

But Reggie was insanely clutch in the postseason, that is for sure.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

Homey1970's picture

Where is my Pixie Stick Griffey?!!!! You S.O.B.!!!  [sorry, you've got to see one of my previous posts] 

+1 HS
nburns18's picture

Straight and to the point. Makes a very good point. hopefully gene smith reads this 

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

The 2009 game with nearly identical weather brought in 95,722 fans paying $5 each. Five years later you jacked up that price 300% and noble beneficiary LiFE Sports very likely received less money because of that decision.

95,722 at $5 a pop is $478,610.

Before the change in pricing the school had sold 36,000 tickets at $12, totaling $432,000. That leaves a difference of $46.6K. To surpass that 2,331 fans would have needed to show up on Saturday & pay the full ticket price. That's discounting any potential sales on Friday (the 36K number was released Friday morning), and it's almost certainly that a fair number of additional tickets would have been sold prior to Saturday.

I think it's safe to say that Ohio State would have easily surpassed what was given to charity in 2009 if they had stayed with the original $12/$20 plan.

I agree that $20 was a bridge too far but I also think it's a bit disingenuous to focus on the $20 walk up price when tickets were easily available for quite a bit less.

-1 HS
hetuck's picture

You're forgetting how many $4 cokes, $3 hot dogs, etc. that would have been consumed by the additional 30K fans. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+2 HS
luckynutz's picture

3 dollar hot dogs? Try 5 my friend.

+1 HS
hetuck's picture

As much as I love Stadium mustard, I gave up hot dogs at games long ago. I restrict myself to the $4.50 bottled water. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Sucks to be you, Hetuck. YOLO, and one of my guilty pleasures are stadium hot dogs. I am a simple man.

 

 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Only the proceeds from ticket sales go to LiFE SPORTS; concession profits do not and thus aren't part of the equation.

Those concessions prices might however be a much better target for the people screaming about the greed angle.

buckeyedude's picture

Like our friend Zimmy, above, you can't see the forest for the trees, Scarlet.

 

 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

No I just prefer to look at issues based on facts rather than emotion.

If you'd read my post you'll have noticed that I agreed that $20 is above the upper limit of what I believe is a reasonable price but the reality is not a single person paid $20 for a ticket.

On the other hand 36K were willing to pay $12 and from what information we have available that was a higher number than had purchased tickets at the same point for lower prices during past seasons. Those same numbers also suggest that fans as a whole weren't shying away from purchasing tickets at the original price. Given how late the decision to drop prices came I doubt it had much of an effect in the final attendance numbers. It likely only resulted in a few thousand additional walk-ups on game day.

I didn't disagree that there are issues with the constant increase in prices by the AD. What I did was point out that the claim that the higher ticket prices would have resulted in less revenue for the primary charity is almost certainly inaccurate.

When people start focusing only on "$20 for a glorified practice!" while ignoring "$12 for a Lacrosse match and a chance to watch some Buckeye football" my ax grinding warning light starts flashing.

BeerNBuckeyes's picture

On target. I won't claim to have been the poorest kid in my community, but even coming from a regular, blue collar-type situation, the spring game was my ONLY in-person experience at Ohio Stadium for many years growing up. To a child living an hour outside of Columbus, and who only knew these players on television, it was the best day of the year. Without those Spring days growing up, I may not have ended up with an OSU degree and so much love for the university, athletics and the traditions surrounding both. My father and I would not have attended those games for $20 a pop. 

+2 HS
osubuckeye4life's picture

I give you money. South of Wexner but north of Hoke; formally and informally. It feels good.

Once I hit this part of the first paragraph I knew it was a Ramzy piece.

I hope this gets to the powers that be and they realize the mistake they made.  

+2 HS
Jdadams01's picture

Nothing is more costly (and co$tly) than losing the support of your base. OSU needs to not forget.

+2 HS
hetuck's picture

P.S. See the uniforms on the stained glass? Don't mess with them. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+2 HS
D-Day0043's picture

If I had hair I would get an 80's perm. I would even rock some soul glow in it. It ain't eazy bein' greazy.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+1 HS
osusteveb5875's picture

My first time I was in that sacred cathedral I was an 8 year old kid who was hooked right away.  

In high school, I applied to all of one school and knew that if I didn't get into THE Ohio State University, I'd go to community college.  

The spring game is our biggest recruiting tool, not only for football recruits for 2015, but for generations to come

+1 HS
Qujo's picture

"even lumpy Jim Karsatos and his 80s perm seemed almost mythical." - Classic Ramzy! 

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Another Gene Smith blunder serves as a writer's muse. 

+2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I used to go to the Spring Game every year. Last year I didn't go because it was in Cincinnati. This year I was excited to go and take my kid and some of his friends and they fucked that up by raising the price. By the time they changed the ticket prices back, I had already made other plans.

Gene Smith and the rest of the suits in the hallowed halls are so out of touch with the common folk like myself, it reminds me of the disconnect that the politicians(from all parties) in this country have with the working class.(not a political statement, just a comparison)

Maybe next year they'll get it right, but knowing my luck, it will probably snow 5 inches.

 

 

+3 HS
wyatt's picture

Gene Smith and moron should always  be in the same sentence.

+1 HS
Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Until a miracle raffle prize was drawn two days before the ticket deadline, I had resigned myself to ending my 34 year affiliation as a season ticket holder last year.  I too, give to tOSU in the same Wexner-Hoke range as Ramzy.  I even a get book every year that has my name , Jack Nicklaus', Tom Weiskopf's Les Wexner's et al in it as a member of the President's Club.  But that Life membership was paid long ago.  My circumstances now are that it was a sacrifice to purchase the season tickets.  Alas, the combination of the tiered pricing of tickets, err naked money grab and lack of another miraculous intervention from heaven by Grandma Buckeye, err raffle ticket win means that at 7:40pm on 9/6/14 I will be silently crying in my easy chair in front of the TV instead of clapping to the drum cadence of another ramp entrance.  I am not looking forward to the Virginia Tech game.  But, we have long crossed my and my wife's tolerance for the cost of a gameday.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

+1 HS
OneToughNut25's picture

This is so spot on, it's crazy! As an Ohio State Buckeyes fanatic, I have made peace with the fact that, unless I have an extra $500 laying around, going to see the Buckeyes on a Saturday in the fall, with the entire family, will be nearly impossible. This revelation was clear when I was forced to scalp a $60 ticket for my 1 yr old daughter last year.

FYI: Disney World is free for children under a certain age...DW offers a hell of a lot more for children to take in than a football game, btw. So wake up OSU...

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Airlines even let little ones sit on a parent's lap for free....which I've taken advantage of many times.

DWAREBUCKEYE's picture

My Fisher education requires me to point out that Porter's Five Forces isn't what Ramzy is referring to in the article.  I believe he's referring to the 4 P's of marketing, formulated by E. Jerome McCarthy.  The 4 P's being Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.  I think the Athletic Department might want to loop someone in from Fisher next time they have these kinds of discussions.  Go Bucks!

"Because I couldn't go for three."

Bamabucknut's picture

Business 101  if you want to sell less of something.........................RAISE THE PRICE

Government 101........if you want less of an activity.........................TAX IT MORE

 

(Gene Smith once again validates the PETER PRINCIPAL )

-1 HS
scrotieMcboogerballs's picture

"I view my Ohio State affiliation and contributions the same way I view my blood: Happily donate when convenient, but even if I miss a round - I cannot change my blood type. It's unwavering. Changing it would radically alter who I am."

Wow, does this perfectly describe every OSU fan...

"Who do you think you are?!?!...I am!!"  -Pete Weber, bowling legend and dominator of the English language

osu78's picture

Great article and spot on about how the Spring Game is about connecting with a fan base and maintaining their support. Filling the stands goes a long way to maintaining support, impressing recruits and strengthening the bond between the team, the university, and its fans. 

 

One minor nit: Porter isn't about Price, Product, Position, etc. but gauging the intensity of marketplace competition.

OSUMyke's picture

I could see it being $20 if it were a real scrimmage like they brought in Capital or Youngstown state to scrimmage and Braxton and everyone was playing in it. but $20 to see a practice I wasn't do it they get plenty of my money through out the season. I was glad they marked it down to $5 after the fact, but does anyone know what happen to the $20 the initail 12,000 people paid before they dropped the price did they get a free hotdog coupon or something.

Mike Cutlip

BucksFan2000's picture

I'm not sure anyone got the memo.  OSU is currently advertising jerseys for the low price of $200.  I think I'll keep my #25 jersey.

http://ohiostate-memorabilia.cbscollegestore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=495&product_id=247467

Art Harrell's picture

Hey Gene, How about " FREE " Spring Game---Get a major sponsor.

Then pack 106,000 plus into the shoe. Great Article Ramzy.

Go Bucks

southernbuckeye's picture

That letter was ...........ON THE MONEY!!!!

Poison nuts's picture

Well done.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

osualumemploye's picture

This was spot on.  I can remember when the cost of the spring game was nothing; then a dollar or 2 for many years and then a donated canned good.  It is a different era now and the university is now a corporation with education being secondary.  I have attended OSU games for 59 of my 61 years -traveling from northern OH as a child with my father and the last 44 as a resident of Columbus, affiliated with Ohio State.  I haven't missed a home game in 44 years and have not missed a UM/OSU game since I was 2 home and away-59 straight years.  It is increasingly difficult to enjoy the home game experience because Ohio Stadium with all of its branding and product placement and ridiculous scoreboard with insulting camera shots of the crowd and give-aways for barbeque and the inane t-shirt give-aways - diminish and insult the history and tradition of Ohio State football.  The band is routinely drowned out by the scoreboard "show"-  I didn't think we were at a professional hockey or football or basketball game where we have to be entertained by a huge television instead of soaking up the game experience.  I recognize that my opinion is not shared by many anymore.   I just want to give kudos to the author of this piece -well said-  and Go Bucks!

osualumemployee

Bucksfan's picture

For the record, Ohio State is now trying to sell authentic football jerseys for $200 a pop.  Are you f'ing kidding me?  $200 for a f'ing t-shirt? #thanksgweneth