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August 27, 2016

I can’t even bother to work up some requisite outrage over a dumb name, a likely dumb trophy and corporate sponsorship.

The Pitt vs. Penn State football series will be tagged as the Keystone Classic presented by Peoples Gas as announced Friday by both institutions. The first meeting in the newly dubbed series will occur Saturday, Sept. 10 in front of a capacity crowd at Heinz Field 12 p.m. – ABC or ESPN). The Panthers are also scheduled to play at Penn State Sept. 9, 2017 in the second meeting of the four-game series that will continue in 2018 and 2019.

“We are extremely excited about renewing this great series and grateful to have Peoples Gas on board as a presenting sponsor,” said Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes. “The Pitt-Penn State matchup will serve as a marquee game of the early football season and I know our fan base will be out in full force for the matchup. This has been a great collaboration by the two institutions both in scheduling the game and securing a corporate partner.”

Pitt media rights holder IMG worked closely with Penn State media rights holder Learfield to secure Peoples Gas as the presenting sponsor of the series. The partnership includes Peoples Gas’ corporate mark embedded in the series logo as well as various branding, social media, activation and community assets. In addition, both schools are working with their licensing partner CLC on creating a line of merchandise featuring the Keystone Classic logo.



May 19, 2016

New Unis for All

Filed under: Athletic Department,Marketing — Chas @ 7:11 am

No kidding. In the interest of infodumping, go here if you feel like seeing detailed images of all the new unis. From the football team to the band, to the cheer and dance to gymnastics (sorry, the unis are on mannequins).

Let’s give AD Scott Barnes some credit since it has been a seeming non-stop slam-fest on him since late-March. He put together a nice spectacle. Kept things under wraps. Really well-coordinated campaign. Made the unveiling of the full athletic department rebranding a full-on celebration of Pitt.


May 15, 2016

We did an article about this last year but here is a follow-up piece by Sam Werner of the Post-Gazette addressing Pitt’s new athletic logo that is to be unveiled on Wednesday (no big surprise that it is the Script PITT from the 1980s) and how it does NOT represent the University as a whole…  a visual reminder here:

Pitt TE coach tweets photoshopped Swimsuit Issue cover

From Werner’s article:

“If the athletic department is the front porch, then the Pitt script logo, set to be re-introduced as the school’s primary athletic mark at a Petersen Events Center unveiling Wednesday, is a sign on the front of the house.

Often times, though, that sign may not represent every room in the house.

Like Pitt, many universities across the country have developed distinct university logos separate from their athletic marks, as they try to strike a balance between the visibility athletics can provide and the academic pursuits of the greater institution.

“Most of the time, the rationale is that, look, we have two different products here,” said Antonio Williams, a sport and fitness brand researcher and assistant professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. “We don’t necessarily want to take away the academic rigor and prestige from the university side by associating with athletics. There may be certain liabilities by associating yourself with athletics.”


May 20, 2015

Uni Watch: MS Paint Edition

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 7:18 am

Oh, come on people. It isn’t even Memorial Day and we have already cycled through Pitt-PSU should play every year talk. Casually dismissed the Backyard Brawl. There is no more issue about bringing back the script Pitt. Expansiopocolypse is a dead subject. And now we are going to push through uniform alterations? Not having the usual tropes to make it through the summer doldrums are not useful for content.

I can’t — I can’t do this. I won’t be a party to trying to see how we can really squeeze two months worth of babble on the fictional concept of getting an on-stadium campus.


May 14, 2014

ACC Discovers Italics

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Marketing — Chas @ 7:08 am

No one really gets too worked up over conference logos. It doesn’t carry the emotional weight of a school logo. In the end they all just seem like corporate branding exercises.

Apparently the ACC is updating its logo, where the primary change is with italics.


February 27, 2014

Just Spring Practices. No Game.

Filed under: Fans,Football,Marketing — Chas @ 6:08 pm

Just a bit bland.

Did not expect this when the schedule for spring practice would be announced.

Pitt has canceled its annual spring football game.

Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that he believes finishing spring drills with a regular practice will be better for his team.

“The thinking behind that is to get one more good work day out of (the players),” he said. “Most if not every spring game you end up really sacrificing a lot.

“These days are really valuable for us. I’m not in a hurry to get through spring ball, and I want to maximize every day with it.”

Spring practice will include the NCAA-limit of 15 practice sessions, beginning March 16. The final session is scheduled for April 13. All practices will be held at UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side on the outdoor fields or at the indoor facility.

Is there a large element of truth to this? Absolutely. Coach Chryst has, at best, shown antipathy for the Blue-Gold Scrimmage. It has been clear that as a coach he sees it as a waste of valuable practice time. Decrying at the end of the scrimmage how they need more practice and wishes for more time.


September 19, 2013

Creative Buzz

Filed under: Basketball,Marketing — Chas @ 7:13 am

Give Pitt’s Athletic Department credit for creating some buzz once more for the start of basketball practice. Last year it was having an outdoor practice out on Bigelow Boulevard was a success and got plenty of national attention. This is a better than decent follow-up.

Fans will get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 Pitt Basketball Team when it hosts a “Morning Madness” event at Stage AE beginning at 10:30 a.m. prior to the Pitt-Virginia Homecoming Football game on Saturday, Sept. 28.

As part of Pitt’s “Super Saturday” slate of Homecoming events, a basketball court will be constructed inside Stage AE. “Morning Madness” will highlight the 2013-14 Pitt Basketball team and feature player introductions, various skits, promotional activities and a slam dunk contest. Admission is free and open to the public for the event. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

I wonder if doing it after the game would preclude the post-Sweet Caroline exodus, but I guess they weren’t prepared to test the theory.


December 3, 2012

Welp, It’s A Rumor

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 1:43 pm

Let me state how much I don’t believe this. That by even posting this, I am probably just trolling for hits on the site.

But what the hell.

Former Pitt Middle Linebacker Scott McKillop just put this out on Twitter. Take it for what it’s worth.


July 16, 2012

Welp, Big East Media Days are only a couple weeks away. That means training camp is looming. That means some actual Pitt football speculation. I know, it’s been a while. Teams have announced which players will be attending the media day for interviews/lobster eating competition. Pitt is sending:

  • Jared Holley
  • Ray Graham
  • Aaron Donald

Can you believe that Tino Sunseri isn’t going? Not liking Pitt’s chances in the lobster eating. This is almost certainly the last time Pitt and Syracuse will be a part of this. I’d like to see Coach Chryst end the clambake by solemnly stating:  L’Shanah HaBa’ah B’Greensboro (Next year in Greensboro).



July 10, 2012

Watchlists to Fill the Time

Filed under: Football,Honors,Marketing — Chas @ 12:39 pm

You get a watchlist nod! And you get a watchlist nod! He gets a watchlist nod! Everybody gets a watchlist nod!

Still weeks before training camp. Not even any good arrests happening at this point in the college football offseason. So for the myriad of college football individual honors that are quickly forgotten once they are handed out in January (or is it December?), announcing the watchlists for the various awards makes sense.

We are bored/desperate enough. You get attention across all the conferences as long as you include a couple from each conference. Which they do. The watchlist is basically the acknowledgment that, yes this guy might be good and he’s got some hype. We’ll mention him.

So far, Pitt has four players mentioned on the watchlists:

Ray Graham — Maxwell Award (Best college football player)

Aaron Donald — Bednarik Award (Best defensive player)

Hubie Graham — John Mackey Award (Tight End

Ryan Turnley — Rimington Trophy (Center)

The Maxwell and Bednarik watchlists have 65 names each. The Mackey has 33 names and Rimington lists 51 names on their respective watchlists.

Like I said, the awards at least get some attention.

March 22, 2012

Blue-Gold Game Hits the Road

Filed under: Football,Marketing,Practice — Chas @ 9:19 am

So, um, anyone know any good bars near this place?

In an effort to embrace and celebrate the traditions of Western Pennsylvania football, Pitt head coach Paul Chrystannounced today he will be taking the annual Pitt Spring Football Festival and Blue-Gold Scrimmage on the road to North Hills High School on April 14.

“I may be new to Pittsburgh, but I’ve respected and known about the traditions of Western Pennsylvania high school football for a long time,” Chryst said. “As a first-year coaching staff, we feel it is important to get out and engage the people and communities who have built that tradition. The spring game is a perfect opportunity to do this and we’re really looking forward to visiting North Hills in April.”

The gates at North Hills’ Martorelli Stadium will open at 11 a.m. The Panthers will host a youth clinic at 11:30 a.m., followed by the playing of the Blue-Gold Scrimmage at 1 p.m.

The stadium is not at the school. Not sure what the capacity actually is. Pre-2000 renovations, the seating was around 5300. I’m guessing it isn’t too different now.

Update: Not seeing any bars nearby, but there is a beer distributor rather close by. Hopefully tailgating will be allowed.


February 27, 2012

So, this is the final “Challenge” question in Volvo‘s Biggest Fan in the Big East competition. There’s still time to vote for me, before the popularity aspect closes next week.

This time the question is the equivalent of a clip show. They are asking to recap the experience. Favorite aspects, the experience itself and what not.

Not the most exciting question or topic, I know.

Overall, this has been fun. Free trip to NYC for Big East Basketball Media Day. A trip back to Pitt, College GameDay, along with hotel, tickets and some walking around money to the Louisville-Pitt game Courtesy of Volvo. Plus free use over the weekend of a very sweet Volvo S60 T6 with all the bells and whistles.

The chance to win the new car and possibly go back to NYC for the Big East Tournament also in the mix. All I had to do was whore myself out for a series of posts over the past few months — most of which related to Pitt and the Big East. Note to other corporate sponsors of Pitt, the Big East and eventually the ACC: I can live with that kind of trade. Call me.



February 13, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Volvo Challenge. This one comes with a little synergy. It is another Volvo Challenge. Remember to go and vote for me in Volvo’s Biggest Fan in the Big East. Volvo, a Big East corporate sponsor for the Big East, wonders what the Biggest Fans in the Big East think constitute the Garden 30, that the Big East itself is asking in honor of the 30th year at MSG.

What is the Garden 30? It is the 10 best moments. The 10 best players. And the 10 best teams in the Big East Tournament.

If you look over the list, Pitt doesn’t get much run. Except for being at the other end of some of the moments the Big East chose. The moments being widely defined as anything from a  moment, a single game, a tournament run and even back-to-back titles.

Well, if they are going to cast that wide of a net, there is no way Pitt doesn’t enter into the discussion.


January 20, 2012

Meet Us At Hemingway’s

Filed under: Marketing,Uncategorized — Chas @ 3:45 pm

Picked up the Volvo S60 for the weekend at my local Volvo dealership. Got a crash course (figuratively I mean) about the car and all the features. It’s going to be a lot of fun to drive — even into a winter storm.

Well, I popped the trunk on the Volvo S60 I get for the weekend thanks to the Biggest Fan in the Big East contest. (Please, vote.) And in there was a box filled with t-shirts, mini-basketballs, beer cozies and hats. Emblazoned with Big East and Volvo logos. Needless to say, I have little corporate goodies to give away tomorrow.

As for the where, I’ll be at Hemingway’s around 6 pm tomorrow. Also definitely going to be there will be at least one of the Bryan’s from PittScript blog. Unfortunately Cardiac Hill almost certainly cannot make it. Please come on over and have a drink (or more) with us.

January 11, 2012

After the craziness of Fraud Graham and yet another coaching search, I just didn’t have time to put drafts out there for the last couple challenges. Even this is a bit late, but it is a little better. This is once more, an open solicitation for suggestions before the final answer. I will keep mentioning and begging for your help as the Pitt rep for Volvo‘s Biggest Fan in the Big East contest. The contest is a mix of popularity  — so remember to go and vote for me in Volvo’s Biggest Fan in the Big East — and by winning challenges.

This challenge is a rather simple question, yet also a little vexing.

What are the best traditions for your alma mater and why?

This doesn’t simply apply to the school traditions. It is open to the little personal traditions, superstitions or neurosis that have developed over time.


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