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The SEC Should Be Paying Attention To The Pac-10

The folks at the SEC offices in Birmingham had better be keeping an eye on the Pac-10.  New conference commissioner Larry Scott is proving to be an absolute visionary when it comes to marketing.

In his brief tenure, Scott almost pulled off the coup of coups as he came thisclose to luring Texas and Oklahoma out west.  He’s grabbed national media attention by holding his football media days in both Los Angeles AND New York City.  He’s even targeted Asia as a growing market for merchandise sales.

Now it appears that Scott is eyeing Las Vegas as a possible host for the Pac-10′s new championship game (which will come to fruition when Colorado and Utah come aboard).  Quick tip — national media folks who would never go to Glendale, Arizona or Seattle for a Pac-10 title game would descend on Vegas like locusts… or some other creature that might descend on a desert town.

Scott’s league isn’t viewed as carrying the on-field tradition of the SEC or Big Ten.  Rather than run from that view or try in vain to change it, Scott is using the negative as a positive.  He’s positioning the Pac-10 as the league of the future.  By default, that message makes the Big Ten and SEC seem a bit like your grandpappy’s league.

Oh, I can hear you already.  “The Pac-10 plays namby-pamby football.”  (Nevermind the fact that the Pac-10 has a winning record versus the SEC in the BCS era.)  “Who wants to expand into Asia?”  (Nevermind the additional revenue that could pour into schools’ athletic coffers from overseas.)

No one in SEC country is ever much impressed by what comes from the West Coast.  But Mike Slive should be.  The SEC’s commissioner should be impressed by the marketing work that Scott has already done for his league in such a short time.  While the SEC has a lot that it could teach other leagues about business, there are still things that can be learned from other conferences, as well.

Example: If the Pac-10 is targeting Asia as a future source of fans and revenue, the SEC could easily target the South’s growing Latino population.  I haven’t heard the words “SEC” and “Espanol” used together very often.  Have you?

The SEC proved to be a visionary league when it became the first conference to expand to 12 teams back in the early ’90s.  It was also trendsetter when it became the first conference to hold a conference title game.  Now it looks like there’s a new visionary on the block.  And Slive and the rest of the SEC should be paying attention.



  1. [...] Should Be Paying Attention To The Pac-10 The SEC Should Be Paying Attention To The Pac-10 September 23rd, 2010 ║ Posted By: John Pennington The folks at the SEC offices in [...]

  2. [...] tried to expand the Pac-10 — now the Pac-12 — to 16 teams last summer, we suggested folks should take the man seriously.  Now has named the Pac-12 commish as the #1 power broker in college [...]

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