Using A Football Field To Build Future Success
Sep 17, 2012Posted by james

A small college in Illinois is making a big statement on the football field – with the football field.

This season will be the first year of football at Lindenwood University-Belleville. We don’t know yet how competitive the team will be, but the school wants to make the inaugural year a memorable one – the university had an original field designed to incorporate the school’s colors in a striped maroon and gray design.

This isn’t the first color-schemed field. Boise State had a blue field and Eastern Washington had one that was all red. Stripes also are not new (Central Arkansas). But, according to one sportswriter, this field will be unique – it will have the appearance of a flattened barbershop pole.

The Illinois school’s field is part of a $2.3 million stadium renovation that includes a new press box and new seating. The LU-Belleville Lynx will play its inaugural season in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) with a schedule that includes Kentucky Wesleyan, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, University of Saint Francis, Valley City State University and Central Methodist University.

These games between first-year LU-Belleville and its opponents won’t create any kind of national buzz about Lynx football. But, with the playing surface already a hot conversation within the sports world, the striped design could generate a significant amount of regional attention. The new field will provide the Lynx with the opportunity to showcase its football program, and the publicity just may attract student-athletes and local sponsors to help grow the program.

Standing out from the crowd, in a positive way, always is good for branding and business. But this visual will work only for a short time. Customers, and fans, quickly will want to see positive results. As with any business, the LU-Belleville Lynx must make sure that its first-year football program plays on a solid foundation, no matter the color, and that it remains focused on building for future success.


Tuck Is A Giant Among Young Readers
Sep 03, 2012Posted by james

He would like to be remembered for more than “getting after Tom Brady a couple of times.”

Those were the words uttered by New York Giants All-Pro defensive end Justin Tuck when he was honored a few months ago for his on-field performance and off-field philanthropy. He received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award at the 76th annual CYO Club of Champions Dinner in New York City.

Tuck and his wife, Lauran, are committed to improving the reading habits of children. His RUSH (Read, Understand, Succeed and Hope) to Literacy initiative is focused on raising funds to donate books and other materials to schools and communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and in his home state of Alabama. Tuck also recently published a children’s book – Home Field Advantage.

“It’s something that me and my wife are very passionate about, education and reading,” said Tuck at the CYO dinner. “And we want to leave a legacy for…our kids. And I think that book is going to go a long way to doing that.”

All athletes who shine in the spotlight should also consider their off-field legacies. Their careers provide them with unique opportunities to help others, and their contributions will deliver a lifetime of rewards.

In this instance, Justin Tuck is more than a champion football player. He is a star to many of the children he will help with his RUSH to Literacy program.