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UCLA Discouraging Home Field Advantage vs. Fresno St at Rose Bowl

Once again, UCLA’s sports marketing department has dropped the ball, rather, taken the ball and run the opposite direction to create a score for the opposing team. The first step in this season-long process was baiting USC to run up the score against the Bruins, proclaiming the football monopoly in LA was over. Yeah, real smart. Well, apparently not shaken by back-to-back blowout losses to BYU and Arizona, the marketing department has taken out an ad in the Fresno Bee, all but begging Fresno State fans to come fill up the Rose Bowl when the two teams meet on Saturday. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also taken out a radio ad as well. And check out this explanation:

UCLA assistant athletic director of marketing Scott Mitchell said advertising in the Central San Joaquin Valley was a necessity because it is his job to fill the Rose Bowl. He added the campaign was targeted toward UCLA and Fresno State fans, but acknowledged “if we weren’t playing Fresno State, we wouldn’t run the ad.”

“We’d prefer that UCLA fans attend en masse and we were selling out and that would be the best way, but it isn’t,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got availability and we need to let people know there still are tickets available.”

I believe the whole “I’m just doing my job” line was pretty much discounted at Nuremburg. That’s not going to fly with me. If you want to let people know there are tickets available, advertise towards your target audience — UCLA fans. Why don’t you try ramping that up a bit rather than reaching out to the opponent? Even still, I’d much rather have fewer fans in the stands than have an athletic department personally reaching out to the opposition. Do we even care about winning? Is Mitchell so shortsighted as to not realize that winning is what sells tickets and creates a buzz? Does he not understand that the chance of winning decreases when there is less support from the crowd??


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