Archive for Sunday, June 6, 2010

Branding irony

It’s hard to imagine anything doing more to dilute Kansas University’s “brand” than the current athletics department controversy.

June 6, 2010


Maybe Kansas Athletics should file a lawsuit against itself. In discussing the current controversy in the Kansas University athletic department on Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six made an interesting point: “The challenge is you can’t operate like a private business when you have the University of Kansas name, the University of Kansas brand, and student-athletes as the people that are the main product you are producing.”

Ah, yes, the university “brand.” Kansas Athletics racked up $650,000 in legal fees last year defending KU’s brand against supposed infringement by A few T-shirts produced by Joe-College clearly misused registered trademarks of the university, like the Jayhawk. However, the vast majority of the T-shirts targeted in the KU lawsuit were there because they supposedly “diluted” the university brand by using slogans that reflected poorly on KU.

Which leads to the question: Exactly how has the current controversy surrounding Athletic Director Lew Perkins and other employees in the department reflected on KU? The university’s reputation and brand certainly have taken a hit in recent weeks as a result of the athletic department.

We won’t hold our breath waiting for this lawsuit to be filed, but the situation is dripping with irony. KU athletics officials should count themselves lucky that they managed to run Joe-College out of business when they did. They wouldn’t want to see the slogans the T-shirt shop would be churning out right now.


anon1958 7 years, 11 months ago

Well I think that the tshirts that Joe College should print off in his garage should be something like this...

Picture of KU tickets in a lost and found box and the following title:

"Karma is a bitch."

The possibilities are really endless, someone needs to step up here!

Patti Hadl 7 years, 11 months ago

Love your post! If only the KU Chancellor would read these blogs Perkins would be gone now. I heard that KU season ticket holders were going to sue the Athletic Dept. I'd jump on board that suit in a minute!

Phillbert 7 years, 11 months ago

Larry Sinks signed a settlement apologizing for his actions and letting the matter drop. If only the LJW would do the same, perhaps it would stop hurting its brand.

cowboy 7 years, 11 months ago

I think a picture of Lew with small slips of paper in his hands , " Got Receipts"

cowboy 7 years, 11 months ago

picture of KU Ticket windows Sign on one " friends of athletic dept employees" other window " for all you other suckers'

happyrock 7 years, 11 months ago

Sad. KU has become a second rate school with its only publicity coming from our various scandals. Where is the leadership?

weeslicket 7 years, 11 months ago

lew perkins sitting on top of ku/lawrence: "i'm the victim here"

LJD230 7 years, 11 months ago

The Lawrence Daily Journay World should take great satisfaction in debunking and trashing the ONLY endeavor justifying the existence of Lawrence, Kansas.

Too bad KU can't relocate it's entire campus to Johnson County!

anon1958 7 years, 11 months ago

Phillbert (anonymous) says…

Larry Sinks signed a settlement apologizing for his actions and letting the matter drop.

Well you forgot this part ". . . . while several KU shysters held a gun to his head."

You see I know exactly how this works and that is why I post as anon1958 instead of under my real name. However, eventually that will change because I do not recognize agreements made under duress as valid promises that my sense of honor require that I keep.

Phillbert 7 years, 11 months ago

By "KU shysters" you mean "federal court that ruled Sinks had deliberately violated trademarks" correct? Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 11 months ago

Good points about an ironic situation. I always thought KU overreacted, but in this world failure to protect the brand leads to ships full of Chinese knockoffs being onloaded at Long Beach harbor. The KU ticket scandal is not KU and not representative of all the good done by the athletic program. This will sort out and, with or without Perkins the program will go on. The next AD, whenever she/he arrives, will need similar skills and drive to keep KU moving ahead.

begin60 7 years, 11 months ago

Very fun discussion of hypothetical T-shirts capturing the KU athletics scandal. Anon1958 seems to have KU's number and is always full of sharp insights.

ralphralph 7 years, 11 months ago

KU has become just another "content provider" for cable TV sports.

T-Shirt Ideas (I'd really like to see more creativity than I have, folks, but here are two):

Adieu, Lew


Lew Perkins Pumps My Iron

anon1958 7 years, 11 months ago

Phillbert (anonymous) replies…

By "KU shysters" you mean "federal court that ruled Sinks had deliberately violated trademarks" correct?

No, I mean the rabid curs, err I mean attorneys, that KU has on retainer and insure that no faculty member or other employee can challenge the bullying tactics that the KU administration engages in everyday.

The administrators at the University of Kansas are able to engage in high handed bullying and indeed flagrantly violate the rules of the Kansas Regents and the University of Kansas because they can just bury any challenger with their relatively unlimited legal resources. The attorneys that work for "KU" actually work for the administration and are by no means beholden to the rules and regulations of the regent system.

There are no checks and balances on the administrative power of KU bureacrats, none. The public really doesnt care so much and the faculty have collectively surrendered their own authority, and more importantly their responsibility as caretakers. Collectively, the faculty at KU really disgust me because of their narcicism and capitulation to gangsters in Strong-Arm Hall.

I hope that clears things up for you Philbert.

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