Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Slippery Slope

This little missive limped into my in box indirectly as MIDO USA's press agency has "Trumped" Tempus Fugit ; )

In the interest of fairness, I will give it to you just as it was provided.
Comments to follow:

Swiss Watch Brand Becomes Official Timekeeper of the Hurricanes

MIAMI, FL- June 15, 2016- MIDO, the Swiss watch brand founded in 1918 and member of The Swatch Group, announced its partnership with the University of Miami (UM) Athletics as the Official Timekeeper for The Hurricanes. This marks MIDO’s first cooperation with an American sports team.

Under this partnership, MIDO will support UM Athletics as the presenting sponsor of MIDO Countdown to Kick-Off, Game Clock and as the Official Timepiece of The Hurricane Game Day TV Show. The partnership will kick off at the 2016 Hurricanes’ season opening football game on Saturday, Sept. 3

MIDO’s focus for the US market is to align itself with America’s favorite sport – football. The partnership between MIDO and UM Athletics is the perfect synergy. Both are based in Miami, with MIDO’s US headquarters there, both have the color orange as a common visual identity and both are historic brands, aiming for performance and excellence.
“MIDO is thrilled to partner with the University of Miami on the celebration of football,” says US Brand Manager of MIDO, Douglas Kaplan. “This will be our first collaboration with an American collegiate football organization and we could not have found a better partner that mirrors our philosophy and has the same benchmarks of excellence.”

In honor of this sponsorship, MIDO will launch 200 pieces of the Multifort Canes Limited Edition Watch. More information to come regarding this specific watch.       

Courtesy of Mido

Okay, so let's discuss!

With one partnership deal MIDO has managed to hit the trifecta for all that is goofy, perilous and potentially ill-advised in partnerships.

Rule #1:  You are judged by the company you keep
The University of Miami football team is not exactly synonymous with a clean, wholesome reputation.  The information is out there for those of you familiar with Google.  I have done my research and the information out there on past misdeeds that have led to NCAA sanctions is more than a bit troubling to me personally. Your mileage may vary.

Rule #2:  Don't open yourself up to potentially damaging misunderstanding
Alas, the press release as worded is a wonderful minefield of language that might raise some eyebrows.  Perhaps I am an idealist, but last I checked the NCAA still views college athletics as a predominantly amateur endeavor (rightly or wrongly), and most of us would prefer to think of the participating colleges and universities as institutions rather than historic brands.  

Rule #3:  Don't grasp at straws to make a connection
A color theme and shared zip code do not a partnership make, no matter how much you want it to.

Now, whether or not MIDO is making the right call to throw their lot in with a football program that has been called on the carpet by the NCAA more than once is yet to be known.  You certainly don't wish anyone bad luck and hopefully the decision makers at MIDO USA know something that common sense does not.  

And let's be clear on one last point, despite the NCAA's protestations to the contrary, college athletics are big business.  From shoes, to uniforms, to computer games the young men and women competing for their university team are often viewed as much a revenue spinning commodity as they are students at the university itself.  So in fairness to MIDO, they didn't create this dysfunctional system, but this type of a partnership doesn't exactly help to straighten it out.

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