The Big East will not be called that for much longer, and one lucky sports fan may end up choosing the conference’s new name.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Andy Katz note that the Catholic 7 schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova) are leaving the conference and taking the Big East name with them.
McMurphy points out in a separate report that the lawyers for the Big East have already put plans in motion to change the name to the “America 12 Conference,” but CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler reports the following twist in the search for a new name:
The (old) Big East, which is losing its name to the Catholic 7 basketball schools, is considering opening up to social media for conference name suggestions, according to a league source.
The league would likely do this via Twitter. Start brainstorming.
While a new name is among the smallest problems the Big East faces in trying to maintain its status as one of the top conferences in both basketball and football, it will be a necessary step in rebuilding its brand.
Fowler notes that ESPN has a television deal in place with the Big East to televise both basketball and football games for a rumored $20 million per season starting in 2014 and ending in 2020.
With plenty of money on the line, the conference will be working to ensure that it is as marketable as possible. The generic nature of conference names does not leave much room for creativity, but with legions of social-media users now at its disposal, the Big East just may come up with something catchy.
The move, at the very least, represents a willingness to think outside the box and make the social-media experience an important part of the conference’s appeal to fans going forward. If you’ve got an idea, go ahead and start tweeting.