Dog Fighting, Good Drivers? and Deere Classic

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Good Morning!
Before I get started I wanted to say thank You to the Iowa Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. I sat on a panel for a lunch they held yesterday. It was an interesting discussion. Most viewers will never see the daily back and forth between communications professionals and the Media. They pitch us dozens of stories a day. Just this morning I have emails ranging from a story about fueling kids creativity with summer lunch ideas…to an interview with Tori Spelling about her Summer Make-up tips. As you can see there’s a wide range of things to wade through. The topic of most of the discussion was how to get through all the noise and get a story on the air while keeping up with new trends in Media (Twitter, Facebook, blogging etc)
Anyway they were a really engaged audience and I enjoy talking about my profession.

To the News:
Dog Fighting
In my opinion, there’s a very hot seat reserved in the afterlife for people who take any part in this kind of activity.
Four Iowans are accused of being part of a massive Dogfighting ring. That list of the accused includes a High School Teacher.
My questions is, What’s wrong with your life that you need to watch two animals kill each other for sport? Moreover, what screw is loose in your head? That psychotic! I’d love to heard from someone who thinks this is a good idea…what possible justification could you have for killing these animals?

Good Drivers?
I’ve written, on occasion, criticizing Iowa drivers. Apparently Allstate Insurance thinks the Hawkeyes behind the wheel are some of the best drivers in the nation. We ranked 20th on the company’s 2009 survey of the top 200 Cities. It means we crash less than most. I still don’t think Iowans can merge…

…Lance Armstrong is still in second place in the Tour De France…and is still a freak.

Deere Classic
We forgot to add this to our line-up of news today and it’s my fault. I thought about the start of the John Deere Classic Golf Tournament in the Quad Cities this morning before I came in, but my mind has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese at three in the morning.
There’s an article on the Chicago Tribune’s website this morning talking about sponsorships on the PGA Tour being in danger because of the economy. Here’s another from Bloomburg along the same lines. I’ll circle back to where I started this blog saying…this is a PR issue. Perception…not reality. Deere spends about eight million a year on the tournament. It’s a perfect fit. They are based in the Quad Cities and the company has an exclusive deal with the PGA Tour to use Deere equipment for upkeep at PGA Tour sites.
Deere, like a lot of companies is thinking about dropping it’s sponsorship. Why? Public Perception…the pressure to look like you’re not wasting money…

According to the Trib:

The tournament generates about $20 million to $25 million a year for the local economy, and last year it raised $4.79 million for 500 local charities. That figure ranks sixth on tour and first in per-capita contributions — $12.77 per person in a region of 375,000 people.
I’m sorry but if I’m John Deere I fight to keep this one.
According to those statistics, the cost of the sponsorship comes back about four fold to the community. That does not take into account the value of the advertising Deere gets during the TV coverage. I wonder how many golfers from around the country travel to the QC after watching the Deere on TV?
People who bemoan these kinds of sponsorships as a waste of money aren’t looking at the big picture. Go ask a small business owner in Bettendorf and see if they want Deere to drop the tournament. Ask a Deere employee. I bet the answer is No. This isn’t a junket to Vegas. It’s an event that brings people in from all over the country and highlights an area that would otherwise be “flyover” to most of the rest of the nation.
That’s it for me.
Hope you have a good one…