They hired a marketing firm for this. It was college football’s big chance to finally get rid of the BCS name — always shortened to BS — and come up with something fresh and positive for the new national championship tournament. On Tuesday, the ridicule ended.
The new name:
College Football Playoff.
I’m not kidding.
“Is that really a name?’’ Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said, after hearing it Tuesday afternoon, then pausing for a punch line. “Or just a space-filler?’’
Yes, it’s the real name. College football’s power brokers voted on it Tuesday afternoon at the BCS meetings.
Meanwhile, Augusta National officials announced that the Masters will now be called “Pro Golf Tournament.’’ The World Series will be “Baseball Championship’’ and the Super Bowl: “Football Game.’’
This could be the most boring marketing campaign ever. And that was probably the point, really. The idea was to find something that was ridicule-proof, so bland you can’t make fun of it.
That said, with the money-grab that defines the sport, it won’t take long before this is called College Football Payoff. CFP usually stands for Certified Financial Planner, which is exactly what the sport is doing all week, planning its enormous windfall and finalizing details of the tournament.
They are expected to announce Wednesday where the first championship game will be, though Dallas is the frontrunner. Officials said they won’t resolve this week how the four-team field will be selected.
Last month, CBS Sports spoke with officials at Premier Sports Management, the Overland Park-based firm charged with creating the new name: “Simple and direct,’’ Mike Goff, the company’s chief marketing officer said. “The words `college football’ just go together.’’
That is true. And the most important thing was just to get rid of the BCS name, which must have the worst brand equity in the country. Even worse than IRS.
But you’d think they would want a name that would lead to other marketing possibilities, such as T-shirts to start, or video games. I mean, at least the best team in the country won’t be called the BCS champ anymore. But College Football Playoff champion isn’t much better.
It’s not really a brand so much as an activity with capital letters.
Impressively, ESPN, which owns several bowl games and has broadcast rights for this new tournament, registered Collegefootballplayoff.com 10 years ago, according to SB Nation.
ESPN, all-but owners of the BCS, fed itself the story, and broke the news of the name hours before it actually was voted on. Other news sources confirmed it.
The idea is that the name will grow on people, and the event itself will outweigh the name. Plain and simple and unimaginative is no BS, anyway.
Reach Greg Couch at GREGCOUCH09@AOL.COM and follow him on Twitter.