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Live From New York!

There is a ton of news coming out of Lampe today that is worth commenting on, but only one piece of information necessitates more than a simple acknowledgment of its existence.

Sowing a Seed.
Orange is in the Apple.

Without question, this is the most signficiant initiative the Syracuse athletic department has undertaken since the construction of the Carrier Dome.

And that may just be an understatement.

Despite the Orange's annual trip to New York for the Big East Basketball tournament, Syracuse has never attempted to reach out to NYC as a potential hot-bed for Orange enthusiasm. The City was always viewed as a college football wasteland, populated only by a few Notre Dame and Penn State fans. No school, especially one located four hours north, would be able to successfully market college football to a town dominated by the Jets and Giants.

Apparently, Dr. Gross never got this message. Or he chose to ignore it. One of the two. It's a fine line I suppose.

Whether or not Syracuse ultimately fails in its attempt to corral New York City is not important. What is important is that Syracuse is making an attempt to own New York City. The purpose isn't to bring new fans to the Syracuse table; it's to reach out to forgotten alumni and give a product to New York college football fans who are starved for the pigskin, whether a Syracuse supporter or not. Once it is determined that college football can survive in the Big Apple, then the focus can turn to making new Syracuse fans.

Why? It's simple.

Fans of football, not necessarily of a particular university, generate revenues for an athletic department because these individuals are more concerned with the game itself than the name on the front of the jersey. The game of football and the university's association with it drives their passion, not the superficial joy associated with name recognition or university identification. They'll stick with a university through thick and thin and follow it wherever it goes to play the game they love.

Once a passion for the game is delivered, then new fans can be brought to the Syracuse table because these people will recognize SU as the vehicle that brought them the joy they have for college pigskin. It's a two-step process dependent on the first step being firmly placed. The second step can only succeed as a residual to the first.

The question that flows naturally from this is whether Syracuse can accomplish this New York City task.

The answer is easy: hell no.

There's a better chance of that naked cowboy guy in Times Square actually getting a real job than Syracuse suddenly owning the most important city on the planet.

New York City is not a college football friendly place. Even Penn State and Notre Dame, two of the nation's more identifiable squads, have tenuous footholds in the NYC media. To think that Syracuse suddenly appearing on New York radio would raise Syracuse's stable of fans is fairly ridiculous.

As it stands right now, Syracuse doesn't hold a bad position in terms of brand recognition on a regional or nationwide level. With a football radio network encompassing 17 radio stations located throughout all of upstate New York and northern New Jersey, Syracuse is finding the ears of those people that are looking for their call. Throw in a television appearances that showcase almost all of Syracuse's football contests, and the Orange is definitely a fixture on the Northeast's consciousness, whether they want it or not.

But as mentioned earlier, the eventual success of owning NYC doesn't matter. It's the attempt that matters. NYC, on the whole, will never become an Orange town; hell it's not even a Red Storm town and they play in the heart of the city. What is important is attempting to find people in the metro area (like me) that are not within Syracuse's broadcast net on a weekly basis and reinvigorating our passion for alma mater.

Because we like football. And we're sick of watching Yale butcher it.

5 Responses to “Live From New York!”

  1. # Blogger matt

    Enjoyed reading your blog.

    I am curious as to your thoughts on SU road/home splits.  

  2. # Blogger Matt Glaude

    I don't have any of the hard data in front of me, but I'm willing to bet that Syracuse's recent history on the road has been less than spectacular.

    With home and home series against big teams from big conferences over the last 5+ seasons, I'm willing to bet that Syracuse is somewhere in the .400 winning percentage range on the road, considering they've been a consistent .500 team overall and have had about a .600 home winning percentage over that time.

    Just looked at some records over the last five years. Here's how Syracuse has done on the road during the regular season the last 5 years:
    Overall - 11-21
    V. BE - 7-14

    That's pretty awesome. Go team!  

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