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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Does $90K Grant to Promote Women's Basketball Buy You? This Charming, Yet Easily Abused, Web Campaign.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 2:22 PM

I'd buy that for a dollar!
  • I'd buy that for a dollar!
We can probably thank Malcolm Gladwell for stoking the desire of anyone with something to sell hoping to "go viral"; 25 years ago these folks would likely have aimed to emulate the organizational techniques of Japanese samurai warriors. The current situation is ostensibly an improvement.

Still, receiving something from a marketing person who professes "it's our viral campaign" is kind of like a policeman trying to use "hip language" when lecturing junior high school students on the perils of drug use. So we were extremely pleasantly surprised by the West Coast Conference's "viral campaign" to promote women's college basketball.

In a nutshell, if you enter your name (or any name -- we'll get to that) at the beginning of the video, you'll be surprised to see coaches hoisting jerseys with your name on them, newspaper headlines about you, or limo drivers holding up signs ... just for you! I'll admit, I was amused.

Scott Leykam, the WCC's associate commissioner for external relations, said his conference was given $90,000 out of a $750,000 pool set up by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to promote women's basketball -- and this is the result. The San Bruno-based conference hopes to spike its season-ticket and single-game ticket sales by 15 percent via this ad campaign. 

You don't say...
  • You don't say...
The site, which launched today, has team-specific "No. 1 fan" scenarios for all the WCC teams (you can see them all, here). So, yes, that is University of San Francisco coach Tanya Haave hoisting up the jersy emblazoned with your name (or, ahem, any name).

As you can see from the photos accompanying this story, however, the "filter" the WCC folks thought about setting up hasn't been installed -- yet (the name we used was "Melvin Asshole"). Leykam admitted he is unfamiliar with the hilarious story about the Journey -- yes, the band -- video game from the 1980s.

The game was crappy, even by 1983 standards, but it had two distinguishing features. First of all, it featured Journey. Also, those who won the game were immortalized by posing for a camera that then juxtaposed their head into a lineup of the band -- no mean technological feat during Ronald Reagan's first term. Of course, one smartass decided to place a body part other than his head -- or at least the head on his neck -- in front of the camera ... and that ended that.

Leykam said that it's not too late to get some kind of a filter onto the site. So, people, enjoy it while you can.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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