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Norm Peterson

Nebrasketball: Our Brand

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I'd like people to think about our brand for a little bit.  Forget about whether you think Miles is the long-term answer or the coach who can get us to the next level or not, and just focus for a moment on the brand.

 

I'm glad I don't have to sell Jeeps.  Everything you see about Jeeps seems to say they're cheap, unreliable pieces of junk.  With 4-wheel drive.  You don't sell Jeeps by saying we're going to give the CEO a 1-year extension on his deal and we'll replace him next year if he doesn't right the ship by then.  You might actually do that, but that's not your PR approach.  That's not how you sell the brand or improve its public perception.

 

Think about our record this year and how you would have approached PR for our brand at the end of the season, and talk about if you think the decisions by the powers-that-be since the END of the season have advanced or improved our brand.  Or not.

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1.  Was there any positive momentum at the end of the season that could have been capitalized on and leveraged to advance the reputation of the brand?  If so, did we do it?

 

2.  Were there any potential negative implications in our season and our outlook moving forward that could have been mitigated with an appropriate PR strategy?  If so, did we put the "best face" on the situation?

 

3.  From the perspective of brand identity and protecting or improving brand reputation, how would you assess the AD's involvement in the program since the end of the season?  Has our brand been strengthened, harmed, or no change?

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Good companies don't evaluate CEO's based on the most recent quarter or even year. They take into account the entire time that CEO has been with the company (and perhaps even before that). The CEO reflects the company and its brand, so the company has to be very diligent with their review of the CEO. This can take time.

 

If a CEO has struggled for a few years but then has a decent/good year, the company still has every right to be hesitant. The company may reward the CEO for a job well done with a small raise or extension, but very few companies would say, "Now he's getting it! Give him at least 5 more years!" because nothing has happened that proves that CEO can sustain success for multiple years in a row. The company is not sure they want to tie their brand to that CEO for the long term. And that's okay.

 

The company said that as soon as the year was over, they would inform the public (its consumers) what they were going to do with their CEO. The company informed its consumers just 15 days after the end of the year that they've given their CEO a one-year extension for a job well done this past year. The "brand" of the company will most likely remain the same as it was the year before, except to the hardcore consumers who really like that CEO. But to the general public (especially nationally), they probably didn't even notice a thing.

 

(The title of this thread made me laugh. The university has yet to embrace using "Nebrasketball" in marketing. I've always thought "Nebrasketball" was cool and catchy, but you can't even buy a "Nebrasketball" t-shirt in the shop at PBA. What a missed BRANDING opportunity!)

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Ideally, you want your Brand to be bigger than your CEO or Coach...

 

A great Brand like Coke....I doubt anyone knows who the CEO is.

 

Now in Sports, Coaches are often the face of a program for better or worse...but as an athletic department, you want to build your brand so that it is bigger than the coach.

 

I would think there are schools that have this (Indiana basketball, Notre Dame football, Nebraska football's brand has probably survived the last 4 coaches)

 

 

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If the Board of Directors lacks confidence in the CEO, I guarantee they'll try to keep that as quiet as possible.

 

What you think of the CEO is a very different question than the public face you put on your situation.  Wall Street Journal reports your 3rd quarter sales failed to meet expectations.  Do you say, "yeah, we sucked, we'll try to get better?"  Or do you say, man, we did a hella fine job under some tough circumstances and we feel very well positioned moving forward?

 

What you think privately and what you do publicly aren't necessarily going to be the same thing.

 

I think there were some real opportunities to spin the end of this season into a major positive for the BRAND moving forward.  Whether that brand is skippered by the current coach or not.  I don't think we leveraged those opportunities and, in fact, I think we pissed them down our leg while the powers-that-be were off in the weeds wondering whether Miles is the right guy or not.

 

Like it or not, he IS the guy.  And do you undermine the brand in order to slow play the coach so that next year, when you start over, you can hand the next guy a dumpster fire?

 

Sounds like a great plan.

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10 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

1.  Was there any positive momentum at the end of the season that could have been capitalized on and leveraged to advance the reputation of the brand?  If so, did we do it?

 

2.  Were there any potential negative implications in our season and our outlook moving forward that could have been mitigated with an appropriate PR strategy?  If so, did we put the "best face" on the situation?

 

3.  From the perspective of brand identity and protecting or improving brand reputation, how would you assess the AD's involvement in the program since the end of the season?  Has our brand been strengthened, harmed, or no change?

 

1. There may have been SOME positive momentum. Personally, I was pretty bummed finishing the season 0-2 and not making the NCAA Tournament. The end of the season was a big letdown. It felt very Nebrasketball-esque. That's our reputation/brand: another letdown. So, yeah. I suppose we could have furthered that brand, but I'm not sure we want to?

 

2. My concern throughout the season was that we would fold down the stretch. (This was based on Miles' - the CEO's - track record.) I suppose those negative thoughts could have been mitigated with winning postseason games? We did not do that.

 

3. I think the brand had remained unchanged. We won 22 games, finished 4th in the Big Ten and still didn't make the NCAA Tournament. What's more Nebrasketball than that?!

 

If we want to further the Nebrasketball brand, we need to win games that matter. We didn't do much of that this past season.

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I don't think the AD in terms of giving an extension, not giving an extension, etc....does anything positive for the Nebraska basketball brand...although giving a long term extension 2 years or more might have done more damage to the long term PR than good....it would show that not making the NCAA tourney and losing an NIT first round game is good enough and we will reward that with monetary promised into the future.

 

I see Fran McCaffrey has a contract that is about 3 years longer at Iowa than Miles has at Nebraska...does that do anything for their brand...I actually think it does the opposite...living in Des Moines, when the extension was signed, the casual fan questioned what the AD was thinking...why reward a guy who hasn't done much, etc.....a long term extension can often cause fans to have a little apathy...and try recruiting to fan base that is apathetic....doesn't matter how long your deal is.

 

Edited by Blindcheck

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16 minutes ago, dustystehl said:

 

1. There may have been SOME positive momentum. Personally, I was pretty bummed finishing the season 0-2 and not making the NCAA Tournament. The end of the season was a big letdown. It felt very Nebrasketball-esque. That's our reputation/brand: another letdown. So, yeah. I suppose we could have furthered that brand, but I'm not sure we want to?

 

2. My concern throughout the season was that we would fold down the stretch. (This was based on Miles' - the CEO's - track record.) I suppose those negative thoughts could have been mitigated with winning postseason games? We did not do that.

 

3. I think the brand had remained unchanged. We won 22 games, finished 4th in the Big Ten and still didn't make the NCAA Tournament. What's more Nebrasketball than that?!

 

If we want to further the Nebrasketball brand, we need to win games that matter. We didn't do much of that this past season.

 

We sure as hell didn't fold down the stretch.  We got beat on a neutral court by a red hot team that made the finals.  Then we got jobbed and sent on the road and played a tough close game with a team that won at Bay,or and made it to New York.  We soundly beat a very good Penn Stste team right before that.  We can always find reasons to be bummed but this season isn't the poster child for that 

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23 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

If the Board of Directors lacks confidence in the CEO, I guarantee they'll try to keep that as quiet as possible.

 

This.

 

What we just saw this week was Moos signaling to the coach, coaching staff, fans, recruits, prospective coaching assistants, et. al. that we don't have full confidence in Miles and he is on notice. Whether Moos was intentional or not in that message, it doesn't provide the same stability he was harping about for this program.

 

If I were an AD and didn't want to show my cards (deciding whether to keep or fire him next year), I would have bit the bullet and netted out the contract to four years.

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1 minute ago, HuskerFever said:

What we just saw this week was Moos signaling to the coach, coaching staff, fans, recruits, prospective coaching assistants, et. al. that we don't have full confidence in Miles and he is on notice. Whether Moos was intentional or not in that message, it doesn't provide the same stability he was harping about for this program.

 

Should the AD or any of those other folks you mentioned have full confidence in Miles, though? Surely you're not surprised that the AD isn't all-in on Tim Miles. How is any of this a shock to people?

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Just now, HuskerFever said:

 

This.

 

What we just saw this week was Moos signaling to the coach, coaching staff, fans, recruits, prospective coaching assistants, et. al. that we don't have full confidence in Miles and he is on notice. Whether Moos was intentional or not in that message, it doesn't provide the same stability he was harping about for this program.

 

If I were an AD and didn't want to show my cards (deciding whether to keep or fire him next year), I would have bit the bullet and netted out the contract to four years.

I assume by netting out the contract, you mean lowering the university buyout so the cost for firing him next year is the same whether he gets 1 or 2 more years....Miles would have to agree to that too...and he might have said, No, I would rather have just 1 year and we can talk next year.

 

Miles might be in line to get a better extension and money next year if he wins...but if he changes the structure of the buyout, that would have to be negotiated again next year...so Miles very well could have said no dice....He did agree to the 1 year extension, so that is what he thought was the best offer on the table (although, it may have been the only offer).

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5 minutes ago, HB said:

 

We sure as hell didn't fold down the stretch.  We got beat on a neutral court by a red hot team that made the finals.  Then we got jobbed and sent on the road and played a tough close game with a team that won at Bay,or and made it to New York.  We soundly beat a very good Penn Stste team right before that.  We can always find reasons to be bummed but this season isn't the poster child for that 

 

You're right. We didn't "fold". Even the loss at Illinois wasn't exactly "folding". I was bummed at the end of the season - it felt like a giant letdown. But you're right in that it was different this season.

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2 minutes ago, dustystehl said:

Should the AD or any of those other folks you mentioned have full confidence in Miles, though? Surely you're not surprised that the AD isn't all-in on Tim Miles. How is any of this a shock to people?

 

It's not a shock. But if Moos decided he's not "the guy" then I struggle to see why dragging this out is any better for us.

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50 minutes ago, dustystehl said:

Good companies don't evaluate CEO's based on the most recent quarter or even year. They take into account the entire time that CEO has been with the company (and perhaps even before that). The CEO reflects the company and its brand, so the company has to be very diligent with their review of the CEO. This can take time.

 

If a CEO has struggled for a few years but then has a decent/good year, the company still has every right to be hesitant. The company may reward the CEO for a job well done with a small raise or extension, but very few companies would say, "Now he's getting it! Give him at least 5 more years!" because nothing has happened that proves that CEO can sustain success for multiple years in a row. The company is not sure they want to tie their brand to that CEO for the long term. And that's okay.

 

The company said that as soon as the year was over, they would inform the public (its consumers) what they were going to do with their CEO. The company informed its consumers just 15 days after the end of the year that they've given their CEO a one-year extension for a job well done this past year. The "brand" of the company will most likely remain the same as it was the year before, except to the hardcore consumers who really like that CEO. But to the general public (especially nationally), they probably didn't even notice a thing.

 

(The title of this thread made me laugh. The university has yet to embrace using "Nebrasketball" in marketing. I've always thought "Nebrasketball" was cool and catchy, but you can't even buy a "Nebrasketball" t-shirt in the shop at PBA. What a missed BRANDING opportunity!)

Not sure where they got it, but my folks got me a tee-shirt as a gift that says Nebrasketball on it.

 

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4 minutes ago, HuskerFever said:

It's not a shock. But if Moos decided he's not "the guy" then I struggle to see why dragging this out is any better for us.

 

What if "the guy" Moos wants wasn't available? Why fire Tim Miles only to hire someone else who isn't "the guy"? That could set the program back even further!

 

I like Tim. I want him to be "the guy" at Nebraska. I want him to be a winner here. After last season, I am genuinely curious what he can do this next season. I obviously have my doubts that Tim can lead this program to the heights I'd like to see it achieve. So, to me, a one-year extension was fitting.

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2 minutes ago, colhusker said:

I'd have to look

I doubt that it's an officially licensed product of the University of Nebraska as "Nebrasketball" is not an official trademark of the University. (But it should be.)

 

I have a "Protect the Vault" t-shirt, but it definitely was not designed, manufactured, distributed, or sold by the University. I bought it on Amazon.

Edited by dustystehl

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44 minutes ago, dustystehl said:

 

Should the AD or any of those other folks you mentioned have full confidence in Miles, though? Surely you're not surprised that the AD isn't all-in on Tim Miles. How is any of this a shock to people?

 

Irrelevant. Deal with that at the appropriate time,  which obviously isn’t now.

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2 hours ago, Blindcheck said:

Ideally, you want your Brand to be bigger than your CEO or Coach...

 

A great Brand like Coke....I doubt anyone knows who the CEO is.

 

Now in Sports, Coaches are often the face of a program for better or worse...but as an athletic department, you want to build your brand so that it is bigger than the coach.

 

I would think there are schools that have this (Indiana basketball, Notre Dame football, Nebraska football's brand has probably survived the last 4 coaches)

 

 

 

I'm not sure I agree with your premise.  Great CEO's come in a very wide range of personalities, some are more iconic than others.  Take Nike for example.  There is no bigger brand in the world than them and I'm sure most semi-knowledgeable people would be able to recognize Phil Knight as their CEO.  Other examples come straight to mind here too, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates when they headed Apple and Microsoft.  Here are a few other companies that I bet most people can think of their CEO right off the top of their head:

 

Facebook

Amazon

Tesla/SpaceX

 

On the other hand there are huge companies that very few could name the CEO's without a google search:

 

Netflix

GE

Verizon

 

But in every instance they all have the same thing in common.  They are among the worlds most recognizable brands.  Some are bigger than their CEO's, others not so much.  Point being, I'm not sure that one way is more "ideal" than another.

 

Edited by 49r

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3 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

I'd like people to think about our brand for a little bit.  Forget about whether you think Miles is the long-term answer or the coach who can get us to the next level or not, and just focus for a moment on the brand.

 

I'm glad I don't have to sell Jeeps.  Everything you see about Jeeps seems to say they're cheap, unreliable pieces of junk.  With 4-wheel drive.  You don't sell Jeeps by saying we're going to give the CEO a 1-year extension on his deal and we'll replace him next year if he doesn't right the ship by then.  You might actually do that, but that's not your PR approach.  That's not how you sell the brand or improve its public perception.

 

Think about our record this year and how you would have approached PR for our brand at the end of the season, and talk about if you think the decisions by the powers-that-be since the END of the season have advanced or improved our brand.  Or not.

 

When they announced the one-year extension, my son sent me a text that said, "It's like the university doesn't want to be good at basketball." You are correct. It doesn't matter how much confidence Moos has in Miles behind the scenes. This has been handled terribly out in public.

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2 hours ago, dustystehl said:

 

What if "the guy" Moos wants wasn't available? Why fire Tim Miles only to hire someone else who isn't "the guy"? That could set the program back even further!

 

I like Tim. I want him to be "the guy" at Nebraska. I want him to be a winner here. After last season, I am genuinely curious what he can do this next season. I obviously have my doubts that Tim can lead this program to the heights I'd like to see it achieve. So, to me, a one-year extension was fitting.

 

Who says "the guy" will be available or want to come here next year?  Who says "the guy" didn't want to make a deal behind another coaches back?  I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to do that to another coach.  As an AD, you can't play the wait and what if game.  That is the problem.  He either IS or IS NOT your coach.  Treat him as such.  As an AD, you have to work in the now.  Give him 4 years, or cut him loose and do your job to get the best coach you can.  

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6 minutes ago, hskr4life said:

 

Who says "the guy" will be available or want to come here next year?  Who says "the guy" didn't want to make a deal behind another coaches back?  I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to do that to another coach.  As an AD, you can't play the wait and what if game.  That is the problem.  He either IS or IS NOT your coach.  Treat him as such.  As an AD, you have to work in the now.  Give him 4 years, or cut him loose and do your job to get the best coach you can.  

 

I hear and understand your point of view, we just have different thoughts/feelings. And that's okay.

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3 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

1.  Was there any positive momentum at the end of the season that could have been capitalized on and leveraged to advance the reputation of the brand?  If so, did we do it?

 

2.  Were there any potential negative implications in our season and our outlook moving forward that could have been mitigated with an appropriate PR strategy?  If so, did we put the "best face" on the situation?

 

3.  From the perspective of brand identity and protecting or improving brand reputation, how would you assess the AD's involvement in the program since the end of the season?  Has our brand been strengthened, harmed, or no change?

Nailed it Norm. 

 

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