As a lifelong college football fan who also spent 12 years covering the sport as a freelance journalist, I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert when it comes to NCAA football. I love conference debates, banter about the validity of national championships and pretty much any discussion that can be done while tailgating prior to kickoff on a Saturday afternoon.
The kickoff to the college football season is one of my favorite times of the year, but for different reasons than most college football fans.
You see, I went to a smaller school in rural Virginia (James Madison – Go Dukes!) and grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There, college football is usually relegated to the back page of the paper in favor of the area’s professional franchises. Recruiting is a one-page overview of the area schools, where it’s talked about year-round down here in the home of UPS’s headquarters of Atlanta. Saturday is the day everyone does their yard work, not tailgate and watch football.
Bid on a round of golf with Lee in the United Way auction on eBay. Lee has been a UPS Ambassador since 2009, rising to the summit of world golf, reaching World Number One in November 2010. Lee has won 22 tournaments on the European Tour as well as tournaments in America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
To jump start the 2012 United Way campaign, UPS has donated more than 80 items you can bid on in the auction, including:
A round of golf with world champion professional golfer Lee Westwood at Jupiter Hills Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Sports collectibles autographed by champion athletes, coaches and stars, such as race-worn items from NASCAR driver of the #99 UPS Ford Carl Edwards as well as other items from Roush Fenway Racing
NCAA® tickets and exclusive merchandise
Premium LIVE NATION concert tickets to see top artists perform at select venues across the country
For sports fans it’s a great week – from March Madness to the tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. Kentucky won the Madness and now the world will be watching as Tiger Woods chases Jack Nicklaus’ record and battles with newcomer Rory McIlroy for that prestigious green jacket.
It’s also been a great week for UPS. Every year, The Business Journals conducts a very special survey to determine the brands that best meet the needs of small- and mid-sized businesses. More than 2,000 leaders in that arena were surveyed this year regarding almost 300 brands and UPS came out a double-winner. UPS was named the best brand in the Business Services category, and The UPS Store was named the best brand in the Retail category — 2012 American Brand Excellence Awards.
UPS pays a great deal of attention to its small- and mid-sized customers because they’re the backbone of the U.S. economy . . . and we know we can help small companies become big companies. Take BudgetGolf.com, where you can find great deals on clubs, clothes and bags. Todd Messineo started out in a small Illinois store in 1999 with just five employees. Since then, he’s grown the business into a multi-million dollar company and with UPS on his side, is able to deliver on the store’s promise of rapid, top-of-the-line service with same-day shipping.
Like many other small business owners, Messineo prepared for big losses during the 2009 recession. But he also worked closely with UPS Business Solutions and devised a strategy to bolster e-commerce sales. His bottom line – he grew 205%! He also followed mobile commerce trends and enabled golfers to shop right from their phones. Today, about 10% of the company’s sales are administered with a mobile device.
Messineo is working hard to stay current with retail trends by offering free shipping. He’s also looking to UPS to automate his delivery systems and identify a reasonable flat rate on international shipping that will increase sales in Canada. Another goal is to increase efficiency even more without sacrificing the customer service that is the cornerstone of his business.
Helping Messineo and other entrepreneurs with the tools needed to make shipping, visibility and easy returns more efficient represents the power of logistics. And it’s doubly nice when it helps small companies grow.
That UPS commitment to small business also is why The UPS Store is sponsoring “Entrepreneur” magazine’s “Entrepreneur of 2012” contest. For the fifth consecutive year, the magazine is searching nationwide for exceptionally inspired entrepreneurs to share their story of how they have revolutionized their industry, employees and community. Entrepreneurs can submit their entries at http://entrepreneur.com/e2012.
Around mid-March every year, a chronic and widespread delirium spreads across the U.S.that often results in a substantial loss of productivity in the workplace – or so I’ve heard. The cause, of course, is the NCAA basketball tournament, which gets underway March 13.
The championship series will be especially exciting for me this year because UPS is playing a very important behind-the-scenes role in delivering the tournament to college basketball fans.
On March 16, the court flooring that will be used in the 2012 NCAA Final Four will begin a seven-city tour via UPS Freight. The court, which was manufactured by Connor Sport Court, will stop at select college campuses and UPS facilities to generate excitement about the tournament before finally making its way to the Superdome in New Orleans on March 23, just in time for the national semifinals.
Coming out on top during NCAA® March Madness® requires everything coming together at the right time, in the right place. The game changes quickly. When it does, the teams that have planned, prepared and can execute with precision distinguish themselves from the competition. That’s logistics.
In business, it’s not really that different. Logistics can help your business get to the next level, too.
That’s the idea behind UPS’s new “Game Changers” communications campaign that you’ll see throughout March Madness.
In just a week, hundreds of thousands of college basketball fans will finally get what they’ve been waiting for: three straight weeks of drama, buzzer-beaters and upsets known as March Madness ®. We’ll witness some of the game’s greatest players and coaches vying for the ultimate prize: to be crowned NCAA national champions.
If there’s one common trait of all NCAA ® championship teams, it would be great coaching. A great coach understands the game and inspires his or her team to greatness and success.
Great coaches exist on and off the court. If you own a small business with a team of employees, you’re a coach, in a sense. And, sometimes, even coaches need a little coaching from the experts.
One of the objectives of UPS’s new “We Love Logistics” advertising campaign is to get people to understand how logistics plays an important role in everyone’s lives. Even simple, mundane tasks such as getting a child off to school in the morning, running personal errands or preparing a family meal are examples of logistics in action.
Logistics even plays a big role in the world of sports, a point driven home in a series of new UPS video spots created for the NCAA® Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, which begins today in Dayton, Ohio.
The series will feature notable NCAA figures such as Mike Brey, head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Notre Dame. In each spot, the coaches speak about how logistics can make the difference between winning and losing in both the world of athletics as well as business.