When Oregon Ducks Quack, The Football World Listens

Sportswriter, Michael Kruse, writing in Grantland, argues that the Oregon Ducks are “college sports’ undisputed champions of the 21st century’s attention economy.”

The football Ducks of Oregon are something new. They didn’t get people to watch because they got good. They got good because they got people to watch.

“If attention is now at the center of the economy rather than stuff, then so is style,” UCLA professor Richard Lanham wrote in The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. “It moves from the periphery to the center. Style and substance trade places.

“Push style to the extreme,” Lanham wrote, “and it becomes substance.”

A good bit of Kruse’s piece focuses on the team’s Nike uniforms, which speak loudly and proudly for and about the team, school and state.

As a resident of Oregon, I can’t help but marvel at the bright flash provided by Nike, and note how counter to the grain it is for this state. Oregonians are not an “in your face” bunch. But Nike is, and thanks to Nike, U of O athletics is.

The Ducks open the 2011 season on Saturday against LSU Tigers. The game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Kickoff is 5:00 pm PST.

Previously on AdPulp: The Ducks Are Quacking A Little Louder These Days and Spotlight On NW Creative: Ducks Reveal Their New “Deep In The Woods” Basketball Court



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.