Sidney Needs to Make One More Hire

A quick suggestion for NC State’s new Basketball Coach — hire yourself your OWN media relations/marketing person to help run things for you; because if you continue to leave things up to the same folks who have been running things for you then you are going to always be behind the 8-ball.

Wednesday’s NC State media day was just another glaring example of how little strategic thought is invested in important items such as media relations and brand management — Sidney’s brand. Ned Barnett was so flabbergasted by the flub that he wrote an entire piece on it in the News & Observer.

When he coached in the NBA, Sidney Lowe would get so consumed by some losses that on his way home he would miss his exit and be 20 miles past before he realized it. On Tuesday, N.C. State’s new coach was so consumed by trying to win he missed his entrance.

State held its men’s basketball media day Tuesday, and the focus should have been on who will be playing and how Lowe will be coaching. Instead, it was all about who won’t be playing — Andrew Brackman — and how Lowe will coach around the 6-foot-11 gap the power forward’s absence leaves in State’s already depleted lineup.

All that distraction could have been avoided by issuing a statement last week that Brackman has chosen to play baseball instead of basketball.

Brackman’s decision is obviously no surprise to anyone who visits SFN. (Link) So, why wasn’t someone from the media relations department on top of this from the start? Why wasn’t someone taking point and advising Coach Lowe on how to manage through the Brackman announcement in a manner that deflected the least amount of spotlight from the glow of Lowe’s first media day?

Ironically, Tuesday’s events away from Media Day also provided some support for this suggestion that Lowe hire someone to help him manage his brand and focus on marketing when Chris Wright chose Georgetown over NC State. Wright made his official visit to State on the weekend of the App State football game. Do yourself a favor and click on this link and read “Missed Opportunities”.

We continue to contend that NC State missed a HUGE opportunity to welcome/feature Coach Lowe during the App State football game in front of 60,000 Wolfpackers. Since nobody at State was astute enough to take advantage of the opportunity to show Coach Lowe love in front of Wright, nobody will ever know the impact that such an event would have had on Chris Wright’s comfort with the situation at NC State. But, we do konw that Chris Wright is familiar with Fox 50’s nightly television line-up and that he may be more inclined to use Alltel while he is waiting in line to buy some House Autry Mills.

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39 Responses to Sidney Needs to Make One More Hire

  1. Packaholic1 10/12/2006 at 7:59 AM #

    You’re living in Dreamland if you think there is anything State athletics can do to stop negative fishwrap reporting.

  2. BoKnowsNCS71 10/12/2006 at 8:27 AM #

    It makes sense. A good media person as the mouthpiece would let the coaches focus on what the do best and avoid misstatements. If there is a misstatement by that person then the coach or someone else can just say “it was their error” and move on without it becoming a everlasting part of the biography of the coach.

    Someone also needs to be a field general for the athletic department to make use of former player/new coach cameos at games when recruits come in – obviously Fowler isn’t that astute.

    Having a Torry Holt at a game when we are recruiting a good receiver would impress the recruit. Having Mario there when we are fighting to get a defensive recruit would be wise also.

  3. Cardiff Giant 10/12/2006 at 8:39 AM #

    Just more proof that State’s media relations and marketing arms are completely incompetent, IMHO. Did you also witness the report in the N&O this morning that of the three major Triangle schools, only NC State had failed to begin webcasting non-revenue sports? Typical, I am thinking of an entry on it.

  4. choppack1 10/12/2006 at 8:44 AM #

    Does the state prohobit this type of expenditure since the school relies on public funds? Does the NCAA?

  5. primacyone 10/12/2006 at 8:48 AM #

    You would think Lee Fowler would have a personal desire for a new media relations person as well, not to mention Chuck. If it wasn’t for Chuck being Chuck and actually making marketing attempts, would we even have any outside marketing activity?

    Obliously the person leading that area is more of a tasker and not much of a thinker/planner, much less a leader.

    We had the Number 1 NFL draft pick, along with two other first rounders, and the only way it gets promoted is Chuck being negated to put it out there in a defensive manner. We may have the number 1 baseball pick, and it is being put out there as a negative. We had the number NCAA champion in swimming. Hell, we’ve had one of our best years every athletically in some regards and could have possbilly have had the very worst media/marketing presentation/results in school history.

    How bad does it have to get. UNC has only one a single football game, and the media is foscused on the negativity going on at State. I was a little upset at that Barnett article, but damn it he is right and he is not blaming Coach Lowe.

    A change has got to be made. The media director should be doing a lot more than just escorting photographers around CF. This is not a training and develpment position. We need someone who knows what the hell she is doing.

  6. redfred2 10/12/2006 at 8:53 AM #

    These people in the SID are about as inspired as ditch diggers. It is collective group of simpletons who probably have their annual Christmas party at a bowling alley. Like I said before, your average mayfly has more foresight than this group of individuals as a whole. CLODS.

    My twelve year old daughter had more hoop la and time invested in her last birthday party than these folks can put together over the course of a year. It is a disgrace.

    If there is anything that is lacking, or is having any more negative impact right now than the embarrassment already generated from the past blunderings, it is these simple minded morons!!! And they get paid.

  7. packbackr04 10/12/2006 at 8:54 AM #

    Great articulation of something that alot of us have been thinking for years now… we have the worst AD in div 1A sports in the entire nation… not to mention his total ineptitude to realize he cant do some (alright most) things that he is responsible for and therefore he needs to farm some of those responsibilites out… take a page out of IBM’s playbook and outsurce. Its one thing for him to be bad at his job, but he needs to acknowledge the fact that he is grossly negligent in his duties as Athletic director and its way past time to make some moves to right the ship….

    But its like my father always told me, “wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first”

  8. SixPack 10/12/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    Don’t forget Jiffy Lube and Chuck’s Truck !!! Priceless
    advertising to pump up NC State athletics !

  9. michelletack 10/12/2006 at 8:59 AM #

    I don’t think we have the worst AD in sports, but he is attached to Annabelle and Annabelle is a marketer not a PR person, there is a distinct difference. Our facilities look great, our brochures are pretty, but our press is an unqualified disaster – EVERY article about Sid’s pc was about Brackman . . . without a doubt we need a press relations professional and we flat out do not have one. Duke, Carolina manage their press pretty darned well . . . NCAA regs don’t prevent you from hiring someone competent.

  10. BJD95 10/12/2006 at 9:01 AM #

    You may not be able to STOP bad press, but you CAN manage the situation and make it less easy and inevitable to happen. As far as I can tell, we don’t do squat other than act defensive. After all, that worked so well for Richard Nixon, right?

  11. BJD95 10/12/2006 at 9:02 AM #

    I’m disappointed that the N&O didn’t just run with what SFN posted. Fuckers! 🙂

  12. Cardiff Giant 10/12/2006 at 9:05 AM #

    As if this isn’t bad enough, check out my entry on the latest gaffe by our Powers That Be.

  13. primacyone 10/12/2006 at 9:28 AM #

    “We’re assuming [Brackman] will not be back,” senior guard Engin Atsur said. “We’ll still have a good team.”

    Engin Astur quote published today in Chip Alexander’s N&O article. Leave it to Engin to make some positive out of the situation. The whole event/day should have been positive. Sidney Lowe is a postive guy. Monty Towe is a positive guy. Larry Harris is a very positive guy. Strickland doesn’t seem to be a downer. Gavin Grant is a really positive guy. Trevor Ferguson is a positive guy and could be shoot like JJ Redick.

    The whole damn day should have been expressed positivly. Instead Media Relations decided it was good idea to hand out a news release regarding Brackman the the event and make the whole day about someone who was not even there and focus all the media’s attention to the negative.

    BJD95 – That bad press could have been stoped. We started it.

    Media day should have been about the kids that were there not the ones that were not. They were pumped up. They believe in themselves. Instead we get two days straight and counting of “destraction” negitive press that we ignited.

    Barnett is worth repeating again – “All that distraction could have been avoided by issuing a statement last week that Brackman has chosen to play baseball instead of basketball.”

    We need a change. We need a professional. Is Lee leading media relations and Anabelle is just doing what he tells her, or is Anabelle leading herself. Either way a change must occur.

    It’s painful, embarrising, and just plain unfair for these kids and it should not be tolerated. It’s a complete F$$$^(*%^ing disaster.

  14. redfred2 10/12/2006 at 9:50 AM #

    I could pound someone’s face into the pavement right about now. These guys!!!, no one in Raleigh, has a clue about how to put out a single tidbit of positive information.

    Go ahead, continue wasting time on pretty graphics and glitz of a damned brochures and the like, while everyone is sitting up taking notice of the most important elements, the coaches and excited young kids, who are left to sit on center stage with nothing but negatives thrown in their faces.

    I was totally PO’d at how the stage was set for Sidney Lowe’s interview during the BC game. He was off to the side, one on one, without a single Wolfpack fan taking notice of the EVENT. Not one bit of excitement in evidence anywhere.

    Make all you want, spend all you want, but pretty little brochures don’t fill the void.

  15. class of 74 10/12/2006 at 10:03 AM #

    It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. This is should be just another nail in the coffin, but no not here. LF will retire with a gold watch from here, as will the media personnel department because nobody else would have them! Does the Peter Principle always happen with state employee’s or does it just seem that way?

  16. ncwolfie2000 10/12/2006 at 10:15 AM #

    Sidney Lowe’s ‘entrance’ was this summer so I don’t understand the point of the N&O article. I’ve heard no one mention that NCSU put on a PC to announce Lowe as head coach. An event that was full of photo ops, such as Lowe greeting fans at the track for the first time.

    So how was Tuesday Lowe’s “entrance” given he entered months ago?

    Also, it is possible the basketball office themselves did not want the news about Brackman released until the very last minute. Maybe they thought the news would hurt recruiting, etc. I have no idea.

    I will agree with some that Lowe should have been announced at center field during a football game v ASU or another game. That was a missed opportunity.

  17. Rick 10/12/2006 at 10:20 AM #

    Our media team is horrible.
    Another example of incompetence in the athletic department.
    Do they even have standards there? Goals, targets, expectation? Something that determines if they are doign their job or not?

  18. redfred2 10/12/2006 at 10:44 AM #


    Sidney Lowe is a (((BASKETBALL COACH))), not a PR wizard. Someone else is supposed to oversee, handle, and be advising him on those decisions.

    Sorry, I forgot. No one person is responsible for, or held accountable for, anything that goes at NCSU. It’s a government job, and it’s run like the unimaginative ditch diggers that they are.

    But I’ll say one thing, they’re making great progress with the digging, that ditch gets deeper and deeper everytime you turn around.

  19. nycfan 10/12/2006 at 10:52 AM #

    The failure to get more nostalgic, honeymoon coverage for Lowe before the season begins has been a glaring failure, IMO, by the NCSU Sports Info Director.

    This was Lowe’s first media day, which is meant as a celebration of the team, expression of hope and general friendly hobnobbing opportunity with the local media who will be covering the team all year.

    Although the relative handful of internet fanatics have known for some time that Brackman will not play, to more casual basketball fans, that was “real” news and it was a mistake to blackout media day with that announcement. The one thing I can figure is that Lowe and his staff were hoping that Brackman would come to media day and soften his decision, thus they did not want to make an announcement until the last possible second (i.e., when the media noticed that Brack wasn’t at media day).

    I’ve said for years that State’s SID is inadequate; the office seems to assume that good press materializes from having a nice guy or good product. It doesn’t. Press should be looked at by an SID as relatively passive (until bad news breaks) and willing to be led to pre-packaged coverage. It is how press officers control coverage, by setting up the interview, providing the back-ground — controlling the playing field.

    I honestly expected a barage of stories about Lowe’s years playing at NCSU, Towe’s years playing at NCSU and relfections on those championships, especially during the summer when there is always a shortage of filler in the sports sections. I lived in fear of some one reviving Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” and playing it in loops — that freaking song was played into the ground and then some when State won the title in ’83.

    Fortunately (for the rest of the ACC and Duran Duran haters everywhere), none of that happened. And now, with the season beginning, that free-ride honeymoon period is over. When the games begin, none of the touchy-feely good-will stuff will make it into coverage — it’ll be about the season.

  20. primacyone 10/12/2006 at 10:54 AM #


    The point of the N&O article was to complain about how awful our media relations are.

    The point here is that the article should have never even been written because there was not a need and even the thought of writing the article should have never been concieved and if it hadn’t been for our media relations dept. the idea to write the article wouldn’t have been concieved.

    The fact of the matter is we had a media day, and the only thing the N&O is writing about is the distration and it is 100% our fault. Surely we are smart enough find something better to put out there at that particular time even if we wanted a distraction.

    We shouldn’t even be having this debate because there should not be enough cause for this thread to even exist. We don’t have to compare oursevelves with any other school, we already know our media relations dept should do better. It’s about us not about anybody else. We should be doing better, but yet we continue to make mistake after mistake and miss opportunity after opportunity.

    It should not be tolerated. It is time for a change. It is time for some improvement. It is time for some leadership.

  21. Mr O 10/12/2006 at 10:59 AM #

    Didn’t Herb Sendek hire a PR firm a few years back? It was smart move on his part.

  22. Rick 10/12/2006 at 11:05 AM #

    “Didn’t Herb Sendek hire a PR firm a few years back? It was smart move on his part.”

    What did they tell him, to become more obtuse and antagonistic to the fanbase? Worst PR firm ever.

    On second thought, the PR firm must have told him to market himself to the high dollar donors and coaching circle. Those two groups seemed to really love him and thus he kept his job for way past what was reasonable. If that was their direction they were possibly the best PR firm ever.

    HMM maybe the PR firm was owned by Lee himself. That would explain alot.

  23. old13 10/12/2006 at 11:17 AM #

    It all startw with Foulup!!

  24. primacyone 10/12/2006 at 11:33 AM #

    There were 40 scouts at an inter team scrimmage watching Brackan. You at least think someone could have taken a picture and attached it to the news release.

    Do we not want to win a College World Series?

    40 scouts at in inter team scrimmage and only the coach has anything to say about it locally.

    UNC got some money to dress up their field with a new patio. It was all over the news. And they made damn sure everyone new it had a professional baseball connection.

    We have 40 scouts on campus and nothing.

  25. noah 10/12/2006 at 11:48 AM #

    The problem with our SID is not a lack of talent or motivation.

    It’s not that they do their job poorly. It’s that they are doing the *wrong* job.

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