The University of Illinois Alumni Association sent out a promotional mailing today proclaiming Chicago to be “Our City.” It’s an addendum to the Illini athletics regular marketing slogan “Our State. Our Team.” The mailing is a ticket deal offering for the December 28th game at the United Center in Chicago. On that day, Illinois basketball will take on their sister school, University of Illinois at Chicago, who’s campus is literally a five minute walk from the where this game will take place.
Before proceeding, I must say that I am not a member of the Illinois Alumni Association, nor do I endorse their actions. I am just reporting the facts. I’m keeping my status as an alumni/fan of the team OUT of this one. Also, very important the Illinois Alumni Association is COMPLETELY SEPARATE AND A DIFFERENT ENTITY from the UI Athletic Department!
Take a look at the promo after the jump.
Now we live in a so-called “free market,” and economic system of “pure competition” and “free enterprise,” So Illinois has very right to directly compete with Northwestern over the Chicago market, and mount their own response to the marketing slogan “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.”
And Northwestern has every right to respond to this initiative in a manner they see fit. And we’ll just let Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the free market decide who wins this business skirmish. It will be decided on the college football field November 30th when Illinois takes on Northwestern in the “someone has to win a conference game” bowl. Or the participation trophy bowl. As both teams are currently winless in Big Ten play; and we’re in late November.
Today’s mailing is quite similar to May 2012, when the University of Illinois Alumni Association sent out a mailing with the subject heading: ILLINOIS: Chicago’s Big Ten University
“Illinois alumni don’t need an expensive roadside billboard to let people know we’re the best public Big Ten university in Chicago!”
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bears for WAOR 95.7 The FanFollow paulmbanks