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UPS Kicks Off the College Football Season

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for college football, especially when the temperature here in Atlanta is still hanging in the 90 degree range. But whatever the weather, the kick-off of the first game always transports me mentally to the cool, crisp days of autumn, where the smell of bratwursts and hotdogs on the grill and the distant tweet of a referee’s whistle give me a sense that all is right again with the world.

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but college football – well, it’s almost a religion in some parts of the country. I graduated from Centre College, a little Division III school whose greatest feat on the gridiron was defeating Harvard 6 – 0 –  in 1921. Not exactly fodder for modern day bragging rights, but hey, I still love the Praying Colonels. And I also love the game no matter who’s playing, which is why I’m really excited that UPS is taking on a much bigger profile in the wide world of college sports.

Whether you’re a Bruin, Bulldog or Buckeye, you’ll be seeing a lot more of UPS on game day beginning this season, due largely to new sponsorship agreements with the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences in addition to IMG College, the premier collegiate sports marketing organization with relationships with 68 Division I colleges and universities across the country.

Sure, we’ll engage in the usual sponsorship activities, like incorporating our branding in stadiums and hosting employees and customers at hospitality events at some of the best games of the season. But what I find really exciting is the behind-the-scenes work we’ll be doing to help the schools and conferences discover the power of logistics.

For example, on December 2nd, the first-ever Pac-12 football championship game will be played at the home stadium of the division champion with the best overall conference record. This is a different scenario from the way other conferences conduct their championship games in which the location is pre-determined long in advance of the actual game.

As you might imagine, having as little as one week’s notice before knowing where the game will be played among 12 possible venues creates some logistical challenges. Temporary seating, game equipment, vendor merchandise, fan displays, and all manner of other related equipment and materials will have to be transported and in place long before kick-off.

But UPS will be there every step of the way with our logistics playbook, helping to coordinate the processing, tracking, and delivery of these and many of the other items necessary to make the championship game a great success, regardless of who wins.

So maybe we won’t win the Heisman. But it still fills me with a tremendous sense of pride knowing that behind the scenes, UPS will make a real difference to the countless fans, players and coaches who will gather together every week, putting it all on the line for their teams, their schools and their honor.

Category: Business Insights, Logistics, UPS News
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