Thursday, September 5, 2013
UNLV not amused about billboard flub
By Eamonn Brennan
On Wednesday, the Nashville Predators sent an email to the team's prospective season-ticket holders. The content of the email, titled "Skate of the Union," was the usual boilerplate -- information for Predators fans about discounted parking, ticket pickups, contact information, that sort of stuff. And then came the signoff: "Go Perds!"
As "Parks and Recreation" has proved time and time again, "Perd" is an objectively funny word, and so the subtle typo quickly made its way to the Internet, and by Wednesday evening, the Predators' staff was sending apology emails packed with self-effacing intentional misspellings, laughing off the typo in impressive fashion.
The point of that story about an NHL team's marketing department is that, well, mistakes happen. Maybe that can serve as some consolation to the folks at UNLV, which made its own advertising foul-up this week. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday, Rebels athletics recently rolled out a new billboard on Interstate 215 informing UNLV fans that football and basketball tickets were now on sale, and that the coaches of both programs wanted them to "Come to our house!" Pretty standard, right? The only problem: The basketball coach pictured on the billboard wasn't third-year UNLV coach Dave Rice. It was his predecessor, Lon Kruger, who left the desert for Oklahoma in 2011.
Rice handled the matter about as well as humanly possible.
“I thought it was humorous,” he said. “It’s one of those things that happens. But I’m the last person who would take himself too seriously. Hey, if Coach Kruger can help us sell tickets, great.”
But UNLV's interim athletic director, Tina Kunzer-Murphy, was not pleased.
“To us, it’s not a laughing matter,” she said. “We think what happened was the billboard company was doing us a favor by posting the ad but our marketing people never saw it. But it’s being taken down and we hope to have a replacement with Dave and Bobby up.”
Awww, UNLV. It's OK. Granted, putting a coach who's no longer at your school on a forward-facing ad buy for your upcoming season tickets is not exactly the equivalent of a goofy typo. Clearly, someone needs to put photos of Kruger and Rice on his or her cubicle wall. A talking-to about diligence might be in order. But hey, it happens. Everyone makes mistakes. And look, we're writing about it! That counts for something, right?