It’s college football season, which I normally couldn’t care less about.

But there was a game here in Madison, WI last Saturday that was so big, with so much hype surrounding it, that even I started paying attention.

I even found myself reading articles about the Nebraska Cornhuskers. What?

So I figured if even I was noticing the game, then there must be a marketing lesson or two in it.

Sure enough there is.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers had been in the Big 12 conference for 100 years and then joined the Big 10 (Wisconsin’s conference) this year.

This was Nebraska’s first game against Wisconsin since 1974 and their first game with Nebraska as part of the Big 10.

Both teams wear red and white so it was Big Red vs. Big Red. It was billed as the biggest Wisconsin game ever and 81,000 fans crammed into the stadium.

Wisconsin has been to the Rose Bowl and has had its share of important games, so why was this such a big fat hairy deal?

Well, Nebraska doesn’t have a pro football team, so the Cornhuskers are the main attraction for football fans in Nebraska.

Also, even though the college football season is fairly short, there’s at least one article in the Nebraska newspapers every day of the year about the Cornhuskers. (Hint: that’s marketing lesson #1: consistency in telling your story).

Madison was overrun with Nebraska fans last Friday and Saturday and the energy of that was fun. I’ve never seen so many fans from the opposing team strolling the streets and stores of Madison. Apparently not even a recession can stop Cornhusker fans from spending lots of money on tickets and travel.

All of this piqued my curiosity and made me tune into the game and watch almost three full quarters of it (I shut it off after Wisconsin’s lead became insurmountable).

Which brings us to marketing lesson #2: In marketing and sales, curiosity draws people in even more than desire does.

Here we had a “product “that was more than 100 years old, predictable as can be, and yet a new story gave a freshness to it and made even non-fans who have no desire for college football curious and interested in it.

By the way, just so you know, curiosity… stories… freshness… these are all things that email copy can deliver day after day.

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