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Markets in Everything: Fake Bowl Games

2011 December 15
by Phil Miller

Our East Carolina University Pirate football team had an exciting season but fell one game short of qualifying for the program’s sixth straight bowl game. The Pirate football team is in goods hands with Coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff. There is a tremendous amount of young talent and our program has a bright future.

East Carolina University Athletics wants to show the college football world the passion of the Pirate Nation, even in a “bowless” year for the university. The Pirate Club is excited to announce the 2011 Virtual Bowl. Our challenge will be to sell more tickets than our bowl-bound Conference USA opponents and bowl-bound teams from the Big East. The Virtual Bowl appeal will go through December 23.

Tickets for the Virtual Bowl are $50 a piece and can be purchase by calling the Pirate Club Offices at 252-737-4540 or by going online at ecupirateclub.com. Virtual Bowl tickets purchased will be tax deductable and donors will receive one priority point for every ticket purchased. All proceeds from the Virtual Bowl will go towards the “Step-Up To The Highest Level Campaign”. Go Pirates!

Story here.  OK, so it’s a donation and not a purchase, and maybe this doesn’t do Tyler Cowen’s “Markets in Everything” tag justice.   But I must admit this is a creative way to drum up donations, even if it does seem pathetic.

2 Responses
  1. Eric permalink
    December 16, 2011

    The Virtual Bowl idea was actually put together by ECU fans on ECU messageboard Boneyard Banter, during the abysmal John Thompson years as a way to support the team when we were not going to a Bowl. With ECU not going to a Bowl game for the first time in 6yrs it was once again recommended by a couple of our messageboard fans and the Pirate Club just merely facilitated the request. Everyone who donates knows the money goes directly to our new $15 Million Basketball Practice Facility and more importantly to the Hall of Fame portion of that new facility that we so desperately need.

  2. Dennis permalink
    December 20, 2011

    I wonder if a “Virtual Library” campaign in which each buyer “purchased” a book or journal for the library would raise any funding at all. Here where our library has experienced funding cuts every year for the last four or five we could really use a successful market in fake library books and journals. It is so bad that one of the service activities in my department is organizing the process by which we decide which economics journals to cut each year.

    If the Virtual Library works, maybe a “Virtual Faculty” campaign could be tried to make up for salary reductions over the last five years and to raise funds to fill the vacant lines across campus. Probably not, though. It is much easier to hire part-time faculty at $3000 a course and give the students a “Virtual Education”.

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