There is one day each year when a large number of people in Michigan dress in one of two colors—green or blue. This dress code, of course, signifies the annual University of Michigan versus Michigan State football game.
The rivalry between these two powerhouse teams is well known throughout the state of Michigan and beyond. You can go just about anywhere else in the world, and if you run into another Michigander, often the first question you are asked is, “So, do you Go Green or do you Go Blue?” One thing is for sure—both sets of fans are passionate about their sports team!
This past Saturday was the yearly showdown between the two big college teams of Michigan, and unless you live under a rock, you most likely know the outcome of the game. In case you missed it, MSU scored a touchdown in the last ten seconds of the game off a fumble from the U of M punter to win 27-23. It was an unbelievable ending to an unbelievable game!
I love seeing all the fans on game day sporting their favorite team colors, whether it’s in the football stadium, the grocery store, their child’s soccer game, or local bars and restaurants.
Some families are even divided in their rivalry if they have a child at each of the two schools. I saw one dad’s post on Facebook that said he would choose his favorite daughter based on the outcome of the game last weekend. One of his girls graduated from U of M while the other one is currently enrolled at MSU. Ouch! I’ve included a great picture of another dad, and I could feel the pain of his dilemma.
Well, I’m sure you can imagine what we say at Blueberry Haven: We are die hard “Go Blue(berry)” fans, of course! What choice do we have? Our theme is blue and almost everything in our store is some shade of blue. Maybe downtown Ann Arbor needs a Blueberry Haven store—it would certainly fit right in with all the U of M fans there. Now, that’s something to think about!
The big game last weekend reminded me of one of my favorite Blueberry Haven stories that involved a die hard Michigan State fan. Of course, as many of you know, we have blueberries covered in different varieties of chocolate, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and even “blue” chocolate. Often, customers will ask our opinion on which ones we like the best and which ones are our best sellers. What people don’t know is that, at first, we only had the Blue Chocolate Covered Blueberries in our store. We soon realized we better stock some other varieties for those customers who don’t say do, “Blue!” So, our Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries were born with a slogan that reads, “For those of you who don’t do “Blue.”
Not long after we put the new varieties of chocolate covered berries on our shelves, we had a customer walk in our store, and he started checking things out. He stood out a bit as he was dressed in MSU green nearly from head to toe. He looked about the same as nearly half of our state this past Saturday during the football game. He picked up a bag of our Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries, laughed to himself, and said, “That is absolutely genius marketing.” I looked at him a little startled, and when it finally sunk it what he was talking about, I replied, “Well, thank you!” I told him we stocked that product for special people like him and any others who just might be dressed in red (for that other big rivalry team).
I’m happy to say that he bought several bags of those non-blue chocolates and couldn’t wait to share them with all of his buddies at the office. That little bit of genius marketing has paid off well for us, because when customers walk through our doors dressed in all green (or all red), we know exactly which direction to steer them!
So, whichever team you cheered for this past weekend, let’s all remember that football is just a game—no matter which two teams are playing. A healthy, crazy rivalry is great fun across our Mitten state and a perfect reason for people to get together. It doesn’t matter whether they bleed green or blue, but…Go Blue(berry)!