I’m from Nebraska and I live in Oregon. And I like college football. My loyalties to the Cornhuskers are well established. Whereas my new allegiances to the local teams are still forming.
I like that Oregon has Scott Frost on its coaching staff, because I’m a Husker and he’s a Husker. But I’m not ready to swan dive into the Ducks’ pond just yet. For one reason only–the team in black and orange to the north. I like the Beavs, what can I say?
Photo credit: The Oregonian
Unlike my Huskers, the Beavers go out of their way to play tough teams in September. They take their lumps, but the fact is Oregon State hung in there with TCU and Boise State, at a time when Boise State and TCU are both ranked in the top five in the nation. It sucks that the Beavs didn’t come away with at least one win, but my feeling is the team is all the more ready for Pac 10 conference play, which starts next Saturday in Corvallis.
As a football fan, you consider things like strength of schedule, offensive schemes, defensive tenacity and so on. But there’s more going on here than football–identifying with a college team is also about branding. Brand loyalty can come from having attended the school you root for, but that’s just the beginning for a big time college sports program. For instance, I didn’t go to Nebraska but I’m from Omaha, so the Huskers have always been part of my deal. I didn’t go to Oregon State or Oregon either, but I’m a fan of both schools and both football programs.
Most people in Oregon have well formed team loyalties. They’re either a Beaver or a Duck. For people who migrate to the state, they’ll no doubt be influenced by friends, by whether or not they like green and gold and countless other factors. That’s what branding is–the amalgamation of all your experiences with a company, or school/team.