I would like to purchase a new Syracuse University orange football jersey.
As our own John Cassillo once wrote, they are FIRE EMOJI. As a new alumni who loves my Alma Mater, I would like to purchase one, ASAP preferably. So I decide to email the Syracuse University Bookstore and inquire on such matters, as they have helped me many times in the past.
Ok. Not the end of the world. Let's go check Cuse.com Shop, like I was instructed.
This looks exactly like Fanatics... oh wait, because it is. SU Athletics doesn't have their own online shop anymore.
So here's the deal: It sure looks like the orange Nike jerseys aren't going to be easy to find. Manny's doesn't have them listed and sometimes Shirt World gets Nike gear in limited quantity but we're moving beyond that now.
This is the jersey that Syracuse's traditionally-inept marketing department is using to market the 2015 Football Season. This is the jersey that made Syracuse fans momentarily forget about the fact that we got #BRAND-tastic jerseys while Illinois got the jerseys we all wanted. And what I'm seeing that is while Nike rolls out all of their new 2015 College Football Gear, this one specific piece of merchandise that Syracuse fans (arguably) care about most is not available?
There are three possible scenarios here, none of them great.
1) The jerseys, for whatever reason, are going to be for sale but aren't available yet. Why are we the last team after the initial wave of Nike releases? Not sure.
2) Somewhere along the line, Nike stopped making orange Syracuse football jerseys a priority and didn't make said jerseys because they have other clients to make tons of jerseys for. They'll make jerseys if there is a demand for them.
3) No one at Nike or SU thought about making Orange jerseys for resale. This is the most likely option.
Listen: this shouldn't come as a surprise if you know anything about the Syracuse University athletic department's marketing under the Gross regime. What the fans want is often sacrificed for what the #BRAND dictates. People are more interested in looking good and sounding good than actually doing good by the fans.
If you're ready to turn the pitchforks on Nike instead of Syracuse Athletics, go right ahead. It's pretty obvious we're not at the top of their football priorities. BUT...
a) Nike's job is to make sure they make $$$$$$$. If we don't push them for what we think will do well, they'll mail it in and work with FSU, Ohio State and Oregon.
Nike schools do it best ✔️ pic.twitter.com/KbWJt77RgF— Justyn Knight (@justyn_knight) June 10, 2015
That 44 tank is prime Mayfest material! Athlete clothing is a combination of Nike, coaches and equipment managers asking for what they want, with coaches eventually making the final call. Obviously the coaches are tuned in to what their athletes want and in turn get it made for them by Nike.
Listen: I can't pretend to know what goes on within SU Athletics but the collective knowledge of the TNIAAM staff through sources and first-hand experience paints a picture that would lead directly to this jersey-less problem:
Overlooking what the fans want in favor of what the #BRAND wants? Check.
Staff either not doing their jobs, not giving 100% or just not having someone to do said job? Check.
Creating problems with companies/fans/alumni who would gladly give help FOR FREE for the sake of the University? Check.
All I wanted is an orange Orange football jersey. What I've got now are sore fingers from typing, unnecessary anger towards my favorite team and an hour of work wasted that I could have used for non-angry time wasting.
For the record, Boise seems to have the whole jersey thing figured out, so...Hi, Mark Coyle.