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Tribfan Offline
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Post: #1
PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
Has anyone had an opportunity to review the Pictor Group's report "A Strategic Review: Securing the Future"?

https://tribeathletics.com/documents/201...df?id=4924

I've given it a quick first pass, and so far, find it to be an exercise in stating the obvious to anyone that's spent time around Tribe Athletics in the past 30+ years.

It does feature a number of assumptions not backed up by data, or backed by partial data that can be interpreted to serve a purpose based on bias. Ex re MBB: "As a result of winning 66% of its games and winning the CAA regular season title in 2014-15, ticket revenues in 2015-16 increased by 31%, from $183K to $240K."
- Question: Was there a ticket price increase that season and if so how much of the increase is attributable to that? How many more seats, or season ticket packages were actually sold?

Of course, much of the opportunity touted rests on sustained MBB NCAAT participation and the alleged magical benefits. Increased fan engagement and ticket revenue for football, MBB and WBB is also prominently featured, but optimism in these areas belies a complete disconnect from the demographic reality of the Williamsburg area, not to mention a historic misunderstanding of the lack of general student interest in W&M athletics. It stinks of lazy research, and a cookie cutter approach that doesn't take into account the uniqueness of W&M.

Does the PICTOR Group have success stories they can share of similar comprehensive reviews and the objective results of their recommendations that have been implemented at other institutions?
05-04-2019 09:30 AM
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zablenoise Offline
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Post: #2
RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
(05-04-2019 09:30 AM)Tribfan Wrote:  I've given it a quick first pass, and so far, find it to be an exercise in stating the obvious to anyone that's spent time around Tribe Athletics in the past 30+ years.

Same. Seems like a lot of ink to lay out what everyone already knows. I had two main takeaways. 1) We're gonna move away from claiming the most titles in the CAA as those are overwhelmingly made up of CC championships. I think this is a good thing. It always seemed like this was a way to distract from underperforming "revenue" sports. 2) Very limited mentions of baseball. I think the report undervalued the exposure the sport has both nationally and with our alumni base.

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05-04-2019 09:53 AM
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Tribal Offline
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Post: #3
PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
Good thing we spent money for something messageboard posters would've provided for a free soda.



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(This post was last modified: 05-04-2019 10:09 AM by Tribal.)
05-04-2019 10:09 AM
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nj alum Offline
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RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
Was this publicized, or simply placed on the site for people to find if they were browsing?

Anyway, my first glance:

This is the “cover” to take W&M down a different path.

Conference affiliation is on the table. Good!

Sports are being cut. I don’t agree with this.

Football and hoops are being emphasized ... great! ... with the cost being the elimination of other sports ... not good (let’s alienate more alumni / alumnae). These other sports must be given the opportunity to be self-sufficient. The fungibility of funds in the athletics department must end. I have no doubt but that gymnastics and cross-country could become self-sufficient based on donations.

More female coaches will be hired for female sports. Makes sense.

Diversity, diversity, diversity. How about quality, quality, quality ... regardless of gender, race, etc., etc., etc.?

“Tribe” is on the way out, and we will be getting a new nickname. Want a big PR impact? Bring back the Indians, in a respectful way.

And now let’s add the Shaver screw-up to the analysis.

Prior to Shaver’s firing, I would have welcomed this report. Because of Shaver’s firing, I can’t decide whether this is all about resume enhancement, the good of the school, or both.

Furthermore, when Tony Shaver is being paid $1.7 million not to coach, the Department financial “hardship” argument rings hollow, and financial mis-management rears it’s ugly head. Other sports should not have to pay for that screw-up.

Finally, now we know why Tony was fired, and why he was fired now. This report. Tony was perceived as an obstacle to whatever is planned for MBB. The AD is was in a hurry to get started on the MBB make-over, and did not have the patience to wait for Tony’s retirement.

As such, consider me skeptical.

—————————————————-

The firing of Tony Shaver- the shame of William and Mary
(This post was last modified: 05-04-2019 11:00 AM by nj alum.)
05-04-2019 10:14 AM
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Tribe1693 Online
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Post: #5
RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
I admit I did nothing more than a quick 10-15 minute skim. But as a consultant by trade, I would be beyond embarrassed to deliver this product to my customer.

Much of it is simply filler that again, is either stuff that is already discussed on this board or is data that can be simply pulled from the various W&M or Tribe Athletics websites. There are no real, concrete recommendations with examples on how to execute. Just "opportunities". Further, interesting that the planned timeline shows a delivery of August 2018 but this was just posted in late April 2019. I find it funny how the release article about the report on the Tribe Club website claims that; "W&M Athletics has already taken steps forward in some areas, including student-athlete high performance. Erik Korem, hired in 2018, is charged with leading a team of professionals, including a coordinator of data science, dedicated to an integrated, holistic approach to training and wellness".....yet Korem was also part of the "Strategic Review Working Group" for this report. I compare that to creating a "To-do" list, completing something not initially on the list, adding it to the list, and immediately crossing it off so you have a sense of accomplishment.

I agree with the thought behind this initiative but unfortunately the result is less than impressive. Would love to know what this cost all of us.

EDIT: What I may also suggest is that this may be the public-facing document and the in-person outbrief, when delivered, possibly included the more "meat and potatoes" version of what should be done. This may just be the piece that is publicly posted.
(This post was last modified: 05-04-2019 10:45 AM by Tribe1693.)
05-04-2019 10:34 AM
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nj alum Offline
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RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
Is this the only place where this is found?

https://tribeathletics.com/news/2019/4/2...=tribeclub

—————————————————-

The firing of Tony Shaver- the shame of William and Mary
(This post was last modified: 05-04-2019 11:06 AM by nj alum.)
05-04-2019 11:03 AM
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Tribe1693 Online
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RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
(05-04-2019 11:03 AM)nj alum Wrote:  Is this the only place where this is found?

https://tribeathletics.com/news/2019/4/2...=tribeclub

—————————————————-

The firing of Tony Shave- the shame of William and Mary


That's the only place I could find it. I went to the Tribe Athletics website and searched archived stories, using "PICTOR" as the keyword. That is all that popped up.
05-04-2019 11:05 AM
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Tribfan Offline
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Post: #8
RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
I encourage you all to review all the AD briefings to the BOV which can be found here:

https://www.wm.edu/about/administration/.../index.php

The most recent meeting content from last week has yet to be posted. It's extremely repetitive meeting to meeting for at least the past 4 presentations. Repetition of values, goals, mission, etc. If I presented these decks to my companies board I'd have been fired years ago.

Our #1 Goal is Academic Excellence - Recruit, retain and graduate student-athletes by providing the resources, mentoring and support to excel academically.

On the surface this is what we've always done. Jason Simms has an amazing track record supporting athlete academics, generating high GPAs, high graduation rates, and CAA scholar athletes of the year. Best in the conference by far, and rated high nationally, despite as stated in the report having the worst staff to student ratio in the conference at 270:1. Some of this success in the face of little help is the quality of the student athletes, who are driven to excel themselves, with academics as their personal #1 priority.

Which leads to my next question... Is this the stated #1 goal because we are changing who we recruit, and will need to more overtly support the new caliber student athletes who may not be as academically elite as their predecessors?

From a strictly academic standpoint, we were not broken, so no need to change anything or increase focus in this specific area. Why make it a #1 priority unless it needs to be, because we are changing the face of our student athletes in the hope of being more competitive in the stated big 3 sports?

I don't mind picking up a few standout athletes in MBB and FB that don't cut the academic mustard so we can compete with the likes of JMU. However if there is a broad relaxation of academic standards for all student athletes, the character of W&M is being changed for the worse and the faculty, administration alumni and BOV should not stand for it.
05-04-2019 12:04 PM
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Zorch Offline
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RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
Several thoughts on this document (besides the points already made by others):

1. The document says "William & Mary Athletics is guided by the following Core Values:", including:

Integrity: Striving to do the right thing, always;
Accountability: Taking ownership and responsibility for our actions;

Okay, so since Huge and Rowe failed on the first one, then it is time for them to do the second one.

2. The document has one section called "Threats" which lists "Adverse Publicity" as the first threat. TOO LATE!! The adverse publicity from the Shaver firing will take years to overcome, if ever.

3. I do not agree with cutting other sports to make football and basketball more viable. As was pointed out in the document, those other sports are the ones winning CAA championships whereas football rarely does and basketball never has. It would be the equivalent of having a rose garden with several plants doing well (CAA championship winning sports) and others just barely surviving (basketball, volleyball, lacrosse). So you prune the ones doing well and use the clippings as mulch for the underperforming ones? So what are you left with? A garden with self-inflicted dead plants (which were previously thriving) whose clippings are not helping to keep alive the barely hanging on plants which will ultimately die on the vine. Does not sound like a winning formula to me.

Moreover, since Huge says she values success and championships, then I say let the sports survive and thrive based on how well they do in the championship arena. So XC, Women's Tennis, Gymnastics, Swimming, and some others will survive and others like basketball and volleyball can perish on their championship merits.

NOTE: I am NOT advocating doing away with basketball. I am just taking Huge's/Pictor's championship recommendations to their logical conclusion -- to make the point that eliminating successful sports to help the unsuccessful ones is not the way to go.
05-04-2019 01:28 PM
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Florida tribe fan Offline
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Post: #10
RE: PICTOR Group Strategic Review Document
(05-04-2019 09:30 AM)Tribfan Wrote:  Has anyone had an opportunity to review the Pictor Group's report "A Strategic Review: Securing the Future"?

https://tribeathletics.com/documents/201...df?id=4924

I've given it a quick first pass, and so far, find it to be an exercise in stating the obvious to anyone that's spent time around Tribe Athletics in the past 30+ years.

It does feature a number of assumptions not backed up by data, or backed by partial data that can be interpreted to serve a purpose based on bias. Ex re MBB: "As a result of winning 66% of its games and winning the CAA regular season title in 2014-15, ticket revenues in 2015-16 increased by 31%, from $183K to $240K."
- Question: Was there a ticket price increase that season and if so how much of the increase is attributable to that? How many more seats, or season ticket packages were actually sold?

Of course, much of the opportunity touted rests on sustained MBB NCAAT participation and the alleged magical benefits. Increased fan engagement and ticket revenue for football, MBB and WBB is also prominently featured, but optimism in these areas belies a complete disconnect from the demographic reality of the Williamsburg area, not to mention a historic misunderstanding of the lack of general student interest in W&M athletics. It stinks of lazy research, and a cookie cutter approach that doesn't take into account the uniqueness of W&M.

Does the PICTOR Group have success stories they can share of similar comprehensive reviews and the objective results of their recommendations that have been implemented at other institutions?

Thanks for posting. Would not have found otherwise. Your question above is a good one. Review contains some interesting data points buried amongst the boilerplate, but begs numerous other questions:

“Out of 8130 questionnaires administered there were 1429 returned.” What insights do these numbers provide about the existing and potential size of the fan base given the extent to which UVA, VPI, ODU, and VCU are sucking the oxygen and nutrients from the Virginia athletic ecosphere?

The New Vision, Mission, and Core Values reflect financial and NCAA Institutional Performance Plan data from peer groups. What metrics were used in deciding what institutions are peers of W&M?

”W&M Athletics current financial model is not sustainable.” What would make it sustainable?

“W&M Athletics understands the importance of exploring new revenue sources.” What would those be?

The review mentions a feature of the CAA for W&M. It operates at a resource and coaching salary disadvantage to its competitors. Was there a reason no CAA benefits were mentioned, particularly in the strengths section.

The review advocates reallocating resources from non-revenue sports to football and basketball. How much revenue reallocation would be needed to move the needle materially? What is the roadmap for executing such a reallocation and still “embracing gender equity”?

The review contends conference instability is a threat to W&M Athletics. Is the working group privy to information along these lines? What is the plan to prevent such a threat from affecting W&M Athletics?

Phase Eight of the strategic review is to “Communicate The Plan.” Will this effort include more than quietly posting the review on the Tribe Club website?

Would the Pictor Group benefit from gender and ethnic diversity?
05-05-2019 07:01 PM
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