Recently UPS launched some new television ads in conjunction with the start of NCAA March Madness. One of these commercials features footage from the 1992 East Regional Finals in which the Duke Blue Devils beat the University of Kentucky Wildcats in overtime with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
I remember that game very well. UK was still feeling the sting from being on NCAA probation that kept them out of post-season play for two years and the team’s four seniors – Richie Farmer, Sean Woods, John Pelphrey and Deron Feldhaus along with sophomore Jamal Mashburn – gave everyone in the Big Blue Nation a much needed shot of hope. Had there been a little more time on the clock that night in Philadelphia, fate might have been kinder to the Wildcats – but it just didn’t happen.
As a Kentucky native and UK fan, I was crushed by the outcome of that game. And by crushed, I mean I literally had tears running down my cheeks after the initial shock wore off. But almost immediately after the final buzzer, I also felt I had just witnessed one of the finest displays of skill, determination and teamwork in the history of college basketball.
And apparently I wasn’t alone in my assessment. In subsequent years, the ’92 Duke-UK match-up has been declared by countless sports writers as one of the greatest games ever played, which ultimately is why it was selected to become part of UPS’s new “game changers” advertising program.
Conspiracy theorists might speculate that a Duke graduate is in charge of UPS’s advertising (she’s actually a Tar Heel, but I still like her) but the reality is, that incredible final shot of that incredible game couldn’t have happened without an incredible pass.
And that’s what UPS is trying to convey in our advertising. Logistics is all about getting something precisely where it needs to be at precisely the right time and whether it’s in business or basketball, you need a teammate who can give you that critical last-second assist to win.
The campaign isn’t about the players or the teams involved. It’s about what it takes to be in a position to win – the logistics of competing and delivering.
I know our new ads will anger some UK fans, but if you truly look at that game with an objective eye, it’s hard to think of a better example of what determined people working together toward a common goal can accomplish – and that’s what UPS is all about.
No one should think that UPS has some kind of anti-UK bias. On the contrary, UPS loves Kentucky. We love it so much we established our primary air hub in the commonwealth, which has driven the creation of 33,000 jobs with $300 million in annual payroll.
We also established a unique program with the state called Metro College that has given thousands of deserving young people throughout Kentuckythe ability to attend college at virtually no personal expense.
We also donate millions of dollars to Kentucky charities each year and our employees volunteer hundreds of hours to worthy causes. Most recently, UPS contributed more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind support to assist in tornado relief efforts in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
I wish the Duke-UK game had turned out differently but even so, I’m still glad I was witness to one of the most inspirational moments in sports. Of course, it also helps that as I write this, the Wildcats may be destined to show the world once again that Kentucky is rightfully famous for more than just fast horses and fine bourbon. Go Big Blue!
|Category:||Logistics, UPS News|
|Tags:||advertising, basketball, Duke, Kentucky, logistics, Louisville, March Madness, Metro College, NCAA Final Four, University of Kentucky|