Apr 2014

07 April 2014

What’s love got to do with it?

I wonder if you would be willing to offer me some recommendations having to do with the following:  for my Fall 2014 senior level/graduate level course in sports marketing at the University of New Hampshire, the putative topic will be “development and promotion of a popular recreational sport” (the sport is tennis).  But the real focus will be on love, and specifically “the stages of a tennis love affair.” 

The idea for this course grew out of research we did many years ago for the NBA and also for Major League Baseball (and NBC Sports).  The NBA work ultimately led to the tagline, “I love this game.”  The MLB work underpinned NBC’s (at the time) promotion of its MLB telecasts. 

The Fall course will include readings on research methods and the application of those methods:  interviews with people who have just fallen in love with tennis, all the way up to people who have been in love with tennis for a very long time (and people who have fallen out of love with the game), answering the questions:  What makes people fall in love with tennis?  What makes them stay in love with tennis?  What causes one to fall out of love with the game?

The course will also include readings on advertising and promotion.  My tentative plan is to use parts of the following books:  Lovemarks:  The Future Beyond Brands (by Kevin Roberts) and The Little Blue Book of Advertising:  52 Small Ideas That Can Make a Big Difference (by Steve Lance and Jeff Woll).  If you have a recommendation for books or articles that you think would be valuable for me to consider including, I would greatly appreciate it.

The course will also include fictional and nonfictional (and philosophical) readings on love.  I’m considering Alain de Bottom’s novel, On Love (about the thrills and pitfalls of romantic love), along with Irving Singer’s Philosophy of Love:  A Partial Summing Up (a brief overview of his monumental trilogy, The Nature of Love), and Erich Fromm’s classic, The Art of LovingAgain, if you have a recommendation for books and/or articles on the nature of love itself, I would love hearing them. 

Finally, each week students will be assigned to bring in for discussion the following (rotating who brings in what across the ~15 students over the course of 14 weeks of classes):

  • An ad (TV, radio, print, web, etc.) that particularly grabs their attention
  • A song about love
  • A poem about love
  • A pithy quote about love
  • A photo depicting love
  • 3 words associated with love

I also plan to bring in one of each of the above every week.  And so, now, really and truly finally, if you have song(s) or poem(s) or pithy quote(s) or photo(s) or words about love (no holds barred), please send me them?  I would greatly appreciate help in building up materials for this course.

I don’t want to be presumptuous, but in the hopes that you do give me some recommendations—thanks very much in advance.  I’m pretty excited about this, and more than a little anxious.  I figure this course (like love itself) could be a huge success, or it could be an abject failure.  But it seems to me it’s worth going for, because I’d like to suggest:  All you really need is love.

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