Over the past few years, the Pac-12, under commissioner Larry Scott’s leadership, has made a concerted effort to develop a presence in Asia and the Pacific Rim. This has included television partnerships and live events among other programs. The ultimate goal, though, has remained somewhat of a mystery for a majority of the fans here in the United States, many of whom are more or less annoyed with the initiative as other issues close to home remain unresolved.
Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group sat down with Scott to help find some clarity on the conference’s overseas approach.
“It’s about international brand-building, engagement and relationship development,’’ Scott told Wilner. “Asia is globally significant to us.”
When he says "us," he means the conference, but more specifically the conference's university presidents. Using sports to market the universities to that part of the world could drum up interest for potential students, so as long as there isn't a financial burden involved -- which it doesn't appear like there is -- it's easy to see what university presidents like, conceptually, about the strategy.
Fans of the conference, though, likely couldn't care less if men's basketball or football games are streaming online in China. In fact, with existing distribution issues with the conference's live events in this country, fans can easily interpret the conference's priorities to be completely out of whack.
“In a role like this,’’ Scott said, “you’re capable of multi-tasking.
“Just because I’m doing one thing doesn’t mean I’m not working on something else. It’s not linear. I don’t do this, then that.”
Translation: None of the conference's domestic problems would be solved by forgetting about Asia all together.
Wilner will have more from his conversation with Scott on his blog.