Butler U. All About Business

Seems more than the Butler football team (10-1; Pioneer Football League champs) and basketball team (ranked in the top 10 in the nation) are making good news in November. The school recently announced a new brand and approach for its business school. The school explains:

A new branding effort that includes key messages and a graphic identity for Butler University’s College of Business (COB) is intended to increase visibility and awareness of the College’s real life, real business™ mission which guides its unique approach to business education.

This applied, experiential structure runs throughout the COB curriculum, from freshman year through graduate programs in the form of live cases studies, semester-long research projects with local and international companies, the development of real student-run businesses, executive career mentoring, required internships, and leadership assessment, coaching, and development.

According to COB Dean Chuck Williams, the real life, real business branding effort is directly tied to the COB’s promise to students, parents, and employers to deliver an innovative, experiential business education on top of an already exceptionally strong foundation in business fundamentals.

“Many universities say they offer experiential education because they have a class here or there,” says Williams. “In the COB, it’s present in everything we do.”

The main messages of real life, real business include engaging learning experiences, empowered self-discovery, business relevance and collaborative partnerships. These messages will be integrated and communicated in new marketing materials – recruitment brochures and a new alumni magazine – but will receive the most attention on the new website, www.ButlerRealBusiness.com, in the form of feature stories and videos.

The branding effort is also aimed at increasing awareness of the College’s outreach to the Central Indiana business community, which benefits both the College and businesses, Williams says.

“Real life, real business works because we have businesses partnering with us to bring real life business problems and situations into the classroom. We look forward to sharing the stories of these partnerships and in turn encouraging others to collaborate with us in the future.”

The branding effort was developed by the COB’s marketing director with support from Butler’s University Relations department. Advising the College throughout the process is the College of Business Strategic Marketing Board, a group of 12 local business professionals representing Butler University, Butler Business Accelerator, Eli Lilly and Company, Clarian Health Partners, Compendium Blogware, Pensar Ideas, Forum Credit Union, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Centaur Gaming and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Butler’s Jukes Stands Tall Off the Court

Avery Jukes is a basketball player at Butler University. Being a key player off the bench for an always competitive and sometimes overachieving program would normally be enough to define a young person during his or her college days.

Much more than an athlete, the Georgia native founded the Jukes Foundation for Kids after a volunteer trip to Uganda last summer. The mission is to collect resources, clothing, food and funding for educational needs in the African country. A mechancial engineering and mathematics major, Jukes also plans to assist those in need in his college home by building a youth recreational park in Indianapolis.

The Jukes Foundation is hosting the 2009 Champions for Children Gala on April 17 at the NCAA Hall of Champions. The family friendly event will honor the 2008-2009 Butler basketball team and include other special activities. But it’s not about basketball; it’s a young man doing what he can to help others in need.

Kudos to Avery and best of luck with all his efforts.

You can learn more about the foundation or donate here.

Gridiron Economics: Does College Football Resemble the Economy?

Steve Chapman of Reason Magazine waxes analytical about a perceived decline of college football, claiming its lack of defense (poor product) and gluttony of bowl games (celebration of mediocrity) has a distinct resemblance to current economic woes. His final conclusion is noteworthy as he surmises, "As the folks at Lehman Brothers and Citigroup can attest, unbridled excess can be a recipe for regret." Also, he references Purdue’s Joe Tiller in the full story, which will be fun for some of you:

Barack Obama has weighed in against the existing Bowl Championship Series as a way of determining the national title among college football’s top-tier teams. What he has failed to address are two far more grievous afflictions plaguing the game: a gross surplus of scoring and a mortifying multiplicity of bowls.

In the golden days, the game consisted of a lot of blocking and a lot of tackling. Teams marched laboriously down the field, if they moved at all. Occasionally they scored. More often they didn’t.

In those days, defense was not a dirty word. In the 1969 "game of the century" between No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Arkansas, both unbeaten, the Longhorns prevailed by 15-14, which was considered perfectly normal. In 1966, when No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State battled to a 10-10 tie, the stands were not littered afterward with the corpses of fans who died of boredom…

Our forebears would have recognized this impersonation of football as a symptom of moral decline, reflecting an unwillingness to accept deprivation and a demand for instant and frequent gratification. The same phenomenon accounts for the mad proliferation of postseason bowl games.

This year, 34 of these will be played (more than double the number in 1980), creating the biggest glut this side of the housing sector. They include the EagleBank in Washington, D.C., the R+L Carriers New Orleans, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia and the Gaylord Hotels Music City.

Think of it: Half a century hence, an elderly man will dandle his grandson on his knee and regale him with stirring tales of the 2008 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Ouch. Some interesting points though, although I tend to favor the higher scoring version of the game.

Moreover, since I’m an IU grad, I’d sort of tuned out on college football pretty early this year in order to focus on basketball (oooooh riiiiiight — thanks Kelvin).

Economy Swats Away Gary Hoops Team’s Season

Dear Economy, this is Indiana — do NOT mess with our basketball.

You know times are tough when a sports team has to cancel its season because of the economy. The Gary Steelheads of the International Basketball League won’t be playing this year due to the impact of the region’s — and the nation’s — financial trials. The team plays in the 8,000-seat Gary Genesis Center, where average attendance was about 1,500 last season. The Times of Northwest Indiana has the story:

That’s fair to say," said attorney Jewell Harris Jr., the Steelheads’ chief operations officer. "We don’t want to field a minor league team in this economic climate. It’s just not feasible.

"People are concerned about paying their bills every month and not buying a season-ticket package or a sponsorship of the team. And with the way minor league basketball is structured, it’s not difficult for us to sit out a season and come back. We wouldn’t lose anything by doing that."

The eight-year-old Gary franchise, plagued by financial woes since its inception, originally competed in the CBA and then the ill-fated USBL before signing on with the IBL last season.

Hopefully the Steelheads can rebound after this year to provide on-court entertainment for the good people of northwest Indiana.

Hat tip to Inside INdiana Business.

Pacer Proud Again: Draft/Trade Overhaul Could Mean More than Victories

Like most of you, I’ve been disappointed with the Pacers’ off the court troubles in recent years. Larry Legend must be a believer in Barack Obama’s slogan of "change," because that is what the Pacers are trying to do.
The Pacers are important to downtown Indianapolis’ economy (not to mention state pride). Downtown business booms on Sundays when the Colts play well and they have played well consistently for nearly 10 years. Winning creates a great trickle down effect — more hotel rooms are reserved, more parking garages are full, more money being spent at restaurants and more dollars being spent at the Circle Centre Mall. This all equals more tax dollars, as well. The Pacers’ optimism of winning again and employing good characters should improve their low attendance numbers and boost business downtown on game nights. 
Their roster moves in the last two days will make me give them another shot. They likely won’t hold up the NBA Finals trophy at the end of next season, but they will be in the mix for the playoffs and they will represent our state with better citizens. Let’s get behind them like we did when "Boom Baby!" was said more often than "going green."  Entertain your clients at one of their suites. Take your kids out for a quick drive around Lucas Oil Stadium, a bite to eat downtown and a Pacers game. 

I’ll be back in the stands at Conseco Fieldhouse, one of the greatest athletic facilities in the country. I hope you will do the same.