Monday, April 23, 2012

D.B. Does Dallas

The firestorm of rage that erupted after the Marching Band announced it would be not accompanying the football team to the Cowboys Classic has now metastasized into an inferno of anger directed at Dave Brandon over the terms of the agreement to appear in the Jerrydome. Not only does it appear that there will be sufficient revenue to pay for the MMB to make the trip to Dallas, it appears that there will not be sufficient revenue to justify sacrificing a home game to the Cowboys when a home-and-home with Alabama was a possibility.

If only there were a movie in which the protagonists needed to raise money in order to participate in the pageantry of football in Dallas, Texas that we could compare this unfortunate situation to! In fact, due to a recent Ontario Court of Appeals ruling, we can modestly propose that Deborah Benton had a pretty good idea and that making up the revenue shortfall is as simple as renting a building in Windsor. However, in Dave Brandon's athletic department, we stoop only to metaphorical prostitution, not literal.

So, as a service to the athletic department and the marching band, we suggest some options for raising additional revenue, after the jump.

1. Branson! Branson, Missouri is conveniently located about halfway between Ann Arbor and Dallas. With its precision marching ability and high performance standards, the MMB would make a perfect stand-in for a Soviet-style military parade in Yakov Smirnoff's comedy routine. Unfortunately, Yakov is off for the two weeks prior to the game. Instead, the MMB can rent Yakov's theater and perform medleys of big band classics for two weeks, raking in the crowds of senior citizens.

2. More Hashtags. #GOBLUE on the field at the spring game was a good start, but the marketing and revenue potential of Twitter has barely been tapped. A simple change to #BIGBLUE means the athletic department can get some cash from IBM, #GOBLUEOVAL gives you a tie-in with Ford, and we can cash in at Vegas with #GOBLUEMANGROUP. Some have suggested that #HTTV, for hail to the victors, would be a better hashtag - just change one letter and we have a deal with #HGTV. Speaking of HGTV, Brandon could raise some money by appearing on House Hunters.

3. Reality Television. The Michigan Marching Band is a prestige brand and could make guest appearances on reality shows filmed in Dallas. Unfortunately, my knowledge of TV shows filmed in Dallas is limited to shows featured on The Soup, and I'm not sure that the MMB would fit in well on The A-List: Dallas or Khloe & Lamar. The MMB could also stop off in southeast Oklahoma on the way down for a guest appearance on Hillbilly Handfishin'.

4. Green Screens! Speaking of The Soup, the band could save a ton of money be putting up a giant green screen in the Big House and pretending to be at the Jerrydome. If it's cheap enough for E!, it's gotta be cheap enough for a penny-pinching athletic department.

5. Zingerman's Parmesan Bread Bites. Taking a cue from Dave Brandon's former place of employment, we can increase revenue by making a low-cost, high-profit item out of the leftover crap lying around the kitchen. However, in order to raise the hundreds of thousands needed to get the band to Dallas, we need a really high profit margin. So let's team up with Ari Zweinzeig and make Zingerman's Parmesan Bread Bites with the ends of paesano loaves, authentic Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, and leftover Podere di Pillore olive oil. As a dipping sauce, we recommend 300-year-old balsamic vinegar. With these ingredients and the Zingerman's zzang, we can charge $100 per bread bite and raise $400K in a flash.

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