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It’s Good to be the Cupcake

2012 February 17
by Phil Miller

(I just put an idea into a marketer’s mind somewhere but moving on …) To put Tuesday’s developments in perspective, the Pac-12 and SEC released their schedules in late December and early January. The delay also means it’s a sellers’ market, if you’re a football bottom feeder willing to yourself to the highest bidder. There is talk of I-AA schools (FBS) with openings on their schedule getting $800,000-$1 million to come get their butts beat by a BCS school.

That’s Dennis Dodd at Dodds and Ends (via John LaPlante).  The price doesn’t surprise me a bit for two reasons.  First, payouts to so-called cupcakes have been trending higher in recent years and, second, the conference realignment that switched into high gear when Mizzou began looking to leave the Big XII should have accelerated that trend.

Playing schedules, which are usually set years in advance, had to be completely redone in a matter of months.   Contracts had to be broken or renegotiated.  Teams that a year ago had all their dates set now found they had open dates that needed to be filled and filled fast.  The cupcakes found themselves with new suitors.

Several years ago I asked a handyman, who was doing some work in our house, how he set his hourly price.  He said that it depended on how busy he was.  If he was very busy, he’d shoot the potential client a higher price than he would if he had time on his hands.  That makes a lot of sense because when he’s busy, the opportunity cost of his time is higher than if he’s not so busy and the client needs to make it worth his time.

The sorts of incentives that drove our handyman to set his particular price are alive and well in the market for cupcakes.    And, yes, it is damn good to be the cupcake.

 

2 Responses
  1. Titus Pullo permalink
    February 19, 2012

    Do cupcakes schedule these games to also get better recruits? In the late 1970s I attended the University of Rochester, NY and the men’s basketball team played the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The game got a bit of notoriety nationwide because the Yellow jackets head coach was quoted as saying after the national anthem he turned to talk to his team and discovered that four of his starters were at the UNC bench getting star Phil ford’s autograph. Anyways the local TV stations had two players who said they decided to go to the U of R because it was a chance to play North Carolina. Might be a bot of work but what would be the record of teams when they agree to be cupcakes compared to when they don’t.

  2. Phil permalink
    February 19, 2012

    Probably so. Some might also schedule FBS teams to prepare them for conference play, but I’d say money is the biggest factor.

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