Michigan Stadium takes message board to another level

Michigan Stadium takes message board to another level

While some schools are having a debate as to whether advertising and marketing should be included on sports electronic scoreboards, Michigan Stadium seems to be completely oblivious to this argument. The stadium has instituted a new program to offer electronic message displays. Anyone can participate, for a price.

You have to give credit to the University of Michigan. They know that their games are some of the most watched games as well as most highly attended. They are taking full advantage of that fact and offering the general public the ability to post a message, in full view of thousands of attendees and millions that view on broadcast.

The U of M is encouraging people to post anniversary, birthday, and even proposals for marriage. The price is pretty reasonable. For a $200 fee, you get up to fifty characters (including spaces). They guarantee the message will be posted twice during the game: the first display will be between the first quarter and the second quarter and the second will appear during halftime ending. Each message will last a total of five seconds and there is a max of fifteen messages per game. All messages are previewed for content prior to acceptance.

The rules change if you are a Victor Club Member. These members receive free (or complimentary) messages for specific birthdays and anniversaries. The special event must occur either five days before or five days after the game and validated documentation is required prior to accepting. Another rule is that the Victor Club Member must attend the game for the message to be shown.

For both types of messages, a standard rule includes the fact that the messages cannot include any kind of commercial or political content and must be in compliance with Big Ten conference, university and NCAA rules. The rules might seem a bit severe, but in this day and age of college pranks and hoaxes, they will eliminate all problems and only apply to the serious at heart.

While this is not completely new in the world of electronic scoreboards, Michigan Stadium is setting precedence by including information about their message displays on a multitude of advertising venues. The offer not only appears on a special section of their website but also on social media with a number of comments. Yankee Stadium has also included presentation of certain momentous messages on their scoreboard, such as marriage proposals.

Information isn’t available on exactly how many marriage proposals may have been displayed to the world in the famous electronic scoreboard at Michigan Stadium. Unlike a happy birthday announcement, this is one message that has the potential to go terribly wrong. Unless one is absolutely certain that the would-be significant other would accept, it could prove embarrassing. However, the message board is being made available to the general public in an effort to increase revenue and, I suppose, make the fans feel like they are participating in the game on an ever increasing level.

I guess the only thing that one can say about the blatantly obvious use of an electronic scoreboard is “Go Blue”.


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