SBD/January 8, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Amazon Sends Premature Congratulations In BCS Championship Marketing Efforts

Alabama gear became available in state stores immediately after last night's game
Some Notre Dame and Alabama fans “woke up to a strange message Monday morning,” after they received an e-mail from Amazon.com “congratulating their team on winning the Discover BCS National Championship that hadn't yet been played,” according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. The e-mail read in part, "Dear Amazon.com Customer, Congratulations to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA National Football Champions. Customers who have shown an interest in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish might like to see NCAA championship merchandise and additional team fan gear." A similar note was “sent to those whom the website had identified as Crimson Tide fans.” Amazon later yesterday sent out an apology that read, "Well, this is really embarrassing....we completely fumbled our congratulation email for tonight's game" (ESPN.com, 1/7).

RISING TIDE: In Birmingham, Frank Couch reports Alabama fans last night “rushed to Academy Sports & Outdoors on Highway 150 in Hoover,” and store employees “opened their doors immediately after" Alabama's victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship (AL.com, 1/8). Also in Birmingham, John Sharp notes other stores in the area “also kept late night hours to satisfy the happy fans.” The stores were set to open this morning "with plenty of gear." Bama Fever stores were scheduled to “open at 10 a.m.," and Hibbett Sports in Tillman's Corner "at 8 a.m.” (AL.com, 1/8).

LOSE THE GAME, WIN THE MARKETING BATTLE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith cites Fanatics.com data as showing that Notre Dame was the “top-selling school during the college football season,” while Alabama ranked second. Fanatics VP/Communications & Corporate Branding Meier Raivich said that Alabama “ranked first in merchandise sold for much of the season, but Notre Dame’s unexpected rise to prominence and eventually an undefeated regular season lifted the Fighting Irish’s sales to first around mid-October.” Both schools use Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Co. as their licensing agency (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/7 issue).
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