Mike Hlas, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa –
As TheGazette.com’s Marc Morehouse reported Wednesday in this post, there are a lot of “donor opportunities” for the University of Iowa’s new football facility.
The University of Iowa Foundation verifies that on its site, calling them “recognition opportunities.”
Some have already been reserved, including $5 million for the Iowa football operations building, $2 million for the consensus All-America room, and $2 million for the weight training facility.
If people or entities have that kind of cash to toss around, maybe it won’t be very difficult for Iowa to attract a $10 million donor for its highest-ticket item, the Football Performance Center.
But $10 million is still a lot of money. How much? It’s so much that no college football coach makes that much in a year. Yet.
I don’t think the UI needs to waste a lot of time chasing donors for the $10 million, though. All it has to do is call its business partner, beer baron Anheuser-Busch.
Anheuser-Busch recently entered into a 4-year marketing agreement with the university to use the school’s Tigerhawk logo with the company’s beer products, Budweiser, Bud Light and company. The caveat is that whenever it does, the item the logo sits upon must also most carry the message: “Responsibility Matters.”
In other words, Iowa says Bud and Bud Light are perfectly fine products. Just don’t get drunk on them. Even though university students are in the adult age group that drinks less responsibly than any other.
Maybe the “Responsbility Matters” message will make college kids think long and hard, and they’ll decide to only have one or two beers instead of six or eight. But you might have to be a little tipsy yourself to buy into that.
I digress. Let’s focus on the big issue here, which is a football performance center that needs to be funded. That can be done easily enough. Just persuade Anheuser-Busch to put up the $10 million.
If that sounds crazy to you, I would ask why. If Anheuser-Busch is good enough in the university’s mind to carry the school’s athletic logo, why wouldn’t it be good enough to name an Iowa football building?
The corporation can put a “Responsbility Matters” sign underneath its name on the facility. In fact, that could be the new motto of Hawkeyes football. Responsibility Matters. It’s a short slogant you can’t argue with in any walk of life.
Any time a UI student, or a UI student-athlete, or a Hawkeye fan sees the facility, the thing they will think first is that responsibility matters. And maybe the second thing, especially on a day as warm as today, would be “Ummm, beer.”
But just one or two. Because responsibility matters.