College football is a business to universities. When Michigan’s Fab Five basketball team drove merchandise sales of jersey’s, hats, socks and more to record levels, that was the moment when it all became a business.
But business is also about attracting a crowd, and doing it efficiently.
Jim Harbaugh is the highest paid coach in college football with a salary of $9 million a year, but is he worth it?
A proxy for popularity (affecting merchandise sales and TV ratings) = twitter followers.
His efficiency in terms of salary dollar per twitter follower is impressive.
Urban Meyer at Ohio State edges out Harbaugh by 24% in salary per twitter follower, but the season is still young and Meyer has the record to justify his efficiency.
A recent post by CBS sports has Jim listed as #5 for the country.
When Harbaugh arrived at Stanford he inherited a poor program and tallied 4 wins and 8 Losses. But his fourth year at Stanford: 12 wins and 1 loss.
Just like in marketing and media, there’s a journey. A funnel which takes time. In college sports, though, the time to convert a football team takes much longer.
As Harbaugh said, “the most improvement you can make is from year one to year two…that’s the window where you have a chance to make your biggest strides.”