Spartan Fans Witness First Hand, with Dantonio’s Marketing, MSU’s United Front

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Spartan Fans Witness First Hand, with Dantonio’s Marketing, MSU’s United Front

In the past, MSU Sports Information Director John Lewandowski has been vilified for everything from “Hiring John L. Smith” to quite possibly single handedly perpetuating world hunger. I won’t get into those days here I did a full story on it in the past.

What I will say is that we all have been aware for years of the marketing greatness of new Athletic Director Mark Hollis and the picture of Lewandowski is even clearer. Now that the Spartan Nation is fully on the same ship and operating in unity, rather than on personal political agendas, we are getting a more clear idea of how capable this team is. One of the many things Hollis does well is that he allows the people underneath him to think outside the box. Hollis is nothing short of brilliant.

Yesterday, Mark Dantonio got on a bus loaded with media (the bus was provided by MSU) and traveled to Detroit to once again continue his charm offensive on a city that only a few months ago was shut down to them, and he was the toast of the town…and Ohio also.

Dantonio chatted with anyone that would listen about his Spartans. Dantonio pontificated with pride of the University that he truly loves and bragged about anything other than himself. There he was talking with media outlets that never would have made the trip to East Lansing and was featured on both the Tigers Broadcast and the Indians Broadcast. He brought some of his best (on and off the field) players so the media could talk to them and MSU scored a victory as big as any that will come this fall. Dantonio loves MSU. This isn’t a job, it is a destination for him, and his passion was on full display.

In the past, MSU hasn’t had coaches that understand at least or at worst cared and embraced it. Many times it was the Spartan Nation looking at the media savvy of other schools and asking why not us? Those days are over. MSU is the toast of the nation. Now it is a mandatory job quality to get a job here that coaches will embrace the job and the marketing and all three of Hollis’s hires call MSU their “Dream Job” in Merchant, Dantonio and Boss, Jr. The Spartans are capitalizing on it.

It is no secret that MSU has healed that relationship already in Detroit and now Dantonio wants more. He wants every home in the State flying the flag of the Spartan Nation and every youngster (athlete or not) heading to MSU for school. He talks with a kid considering a business major with no chance of a football scholarship as convincing as he would a dominant offensive tackle because he is sincere. He does see MSU as the place for both young people. Dantonio literally gets off the plane from a family vacation in Italy and heads to Detroit. Right back at work is where you saw Dantonio.

Many have credited Hollis for this charm offensive to Detroit last night and they should. He is the one that wanted to keep Lewandowski and didn’t see firing him as a chance to play the usual MSU political crap and score points with people with agendas. This trip to Detroit was ALL the handiwork of Lewandowski. He has worked in the past with the St. Louis Cardinals (we won’t hold that against him even though we are still bitter over the World Series loss) and it was his behind the scenes work that got Dantonio the invitation and his media savvy that arranged all the details. Don’t think it was a big deal? Later this week another Michigan school will have their head football coach throwing out the first pitch. An honor they had to purchase in an online auction (MSU didn’t have to pay) and let’s see if they get as much media attention.

This wasn’t, however, the first time MSU has pulled off a coup. Hollis put together the Cold War and the Basketbowl and those two events garnered national significance and media exposure thanks to Hollis’s ability to think outside the box and Lewandowski’s ability to work with the media.Â

I am a man that thinks you need to give people their due. MSU is loaded with talent now that understands exactly what it takes and, more importantly, have a passion for this great University. MSU is weeding out the people that don’t love the place and elevating those that do.

Matt Larson, who serves as Lewandowski’s right hand man in the Sports Information department (regardless of what the title on the door says), arranged a media basketball practice that had many of the State’s prominent media not only wearing MSU clothing, but also had MSU as the lead sports story for days. I can also tell you that he now has pictures and video of us looking like complete tools for future bribes. Word in the Brez is this year he has even more tricks up his sleeve and that proves the point.Â

MSU, with the Hollis, Lewandowski and Larson brain trust, understands the hand they are dealt and the game they are playing. How many schools will now have media practices? Old hat at MSU, but while they copy the Spartan Nation Larson sits perched in his office with Uncle Mark and Lew (Lewandowski) anxiously awaiting another idea. I wouldn’t be shocked if he invited NATO to MSU for a practice and a pep talk about fixing the worlds issue by Izzo.Â

Team MSU starts at the top with President Simon who is the most media savvy President since Hannah and to be frank loves it with as much passion. She demands the same from her staff and it simply has MSU athletically and with media attention clearly as good as it has been in decades.

It isn’t their fault they are better at it than anyone. Spartan Nation enjoy what we have right now. Enjoy the immense work that goes on behind the scenes and oh yea… Hey Lewandowski: Great Job. Thanks!

Or as one person who works for the Tigers told us, “That was all Lewandowski. It was a great idea and I think you guys fully maximized every opportunity with this.”

It is nice to know that the marketing machine gets it. Maybe they can let Hollis and his guys take it over for the whole school. I can just see an MSU vs. UM media mowing press event with the MSU sod program. No doubt it would make the national nightly news and no doubt Hollis, Lewandowski, and Larson would be behind the scenes.

Great job gang!  Whether it is Hollis and his Basketbowl, Cold War and all the numerous other endeavors he leads,  Lewandowski with this and other media coverage, or Larson and the media practices and other Izzo adventures, these people don’t care about credit. As long as the Spartan Nation looks good these people are happy.

The Spartan Nation does look good. Thanks to them. MSU athletics is in its best position in decades on and off the field. The coaches get it and the marketers do also. What a great day to be a Spartan!