Go West, Young Team…NJIT Joins…The Great Wes.

The struggle for schools in big markets to try and generate income through TV exposure, ticket sales and marketing can be very daunting. Established schools like Seton Hall and St. John's in New York, or Loyola in Chicago or St. Joe's in Philly often struggle to find ways to fill larger buildings and gain marketshare outside of that one amazing year. So along comes one of the top science schools in the country, New Jersey Institute of Techonology, looking to capitalize on the Division I play to grow interest and dollars for the Highlanders. The school has a good endowment, solid enrollment and an arena…The Prudential Center in Newark, nearby.However the only league NJIT can get int.The Great West Conference, which the school announced yesterday with the caveat that its better than not being in. That may be true as it will help with scheduling games and a chance for the NCAA's, but the idea of the closest “rival” being almost 2,000 miles away and the travel that will go into playing in the league will not sell tickets, garner sponsorship or alumni support.It is great to root for the underdog, but in this case joining this league as opposed to none makes little sense and can actually set an institute of higher learnng back even further in trying to gain exposure and equity in their brand.in for the sake of being in” can be a foolish spend. Also along the lines of spending wildly for the college end game is a piece in the Shreveport Times on the cost colleges are spending on practice facilities, and Bob Hertzel's piece in the Times West Virginian on TV driving collegiate sports. Both pieces that NJIT, in the Great West, will have to fight with little ammo.

On the positive college side, ESPN The Magazine.com continues to churn out healthy pieces on the video side promoting a wide range of little known topics deserving attention. The latest one is on the new “cradle” of collegiate receiveing stars…Hofstra University. Great get by the Pride, great catch by ESPN.com.

Some other good reads…with Steve and Barry's the latest brand to go chapter 11, the New York Post has a good piece on where Starbury sneakers will now go…on the ambush marketing side, good read in the advertising section of the New York Times on China's advanced crackdown on ambush marketers, and how the issue will be controlledUSA Today has a great profile on the Yankees Hank Steinbrenner