The Extinction Burst

July 2, 2014

In Behavioral Pyschology, they call it the extinction burst.  If you monitor what outside companies send to your schools and watch what kind of agreements come across to your athletic department, then you've seen it...

 

Good Rule of Thumb:  You will be able to identify how much money a company is making off your school when you cancel an agreement or stop allowing them access to your students by how much the whine.


For example, recently one of our high schools stopped a relationship with a company that was "doing the school a favor by providing free plastic footballs and other promotional items."  The company claimed they were doing this to support the school and provide them with giveaways.  

Here's the rub:  Companies like this don't care about your students, don't care about you, don't care about your schools.  

Companies that handle promotional items and want you to sign some poorly written fax giving them authorization to represent your school are going to start directly competing with your school fundraising.  They are going to call the local businesses in your area and ask the local business owner to pay their company to put names on the footballs and they will most likely phrase it to the prospective buyer that they will be "supporting [your school name here]"  

Companies that "provide" or claim "they are doing you a favor" are most often doing this because they make money off it.  Big money.  Don't believe me?  Here's the response from one company that had an extinction burst in the middle of her email and lashes out at the school athletic director.  I've provided her name and phone number in case you actually are looking for free promotional items to have to clean up after football games and not make any money off of....  Here is the well-played interaction of our athletic director (in order of the exchange)...

Hi 

I have a client of mine that is interested in donating some souvenir footballs or squirt water bottles to the cheerleaders to throw out to the fans at the home games this fall. They're done in your school colors with your school name & mascot and the business' logo information. Please let me know ASAP if you are able to use these this fall, as we have a meeting coming up to budget for these. 
Thank You,
Cheryl Stoker
Promotions Coordinator
1-800-245-6929

The athletic director is no dummy and probed her for who the prospect was....
"Do you mind sending us the name of that Client. I would like to clear that name before we ok anything like that."


The company actually tells the school without an agreement in hand (Well played by the school) and then shoots off this reply: 
 

Yes, I think we will contact them ourselves, have the balls made, and keep the money in town.


And, now...Wait for it....  wait for it... here comes the extinction burst.  When you start bringing money back into your schools and out of the hands of misrepresenting companies, you too will get your own emails looking like this:
I have been working with xxxxx High School for numerous years, providing free spirit items and ensuring them from year to year. We handle all aspects from securing the sponsor, artwork design & layout, printing, shipping and invoicing the sponsor. We ensure continuity from year to year and when a sponsor no longer sponsors the item, we try and secure another sponsor for whatever the items the school is looking to do. I have worked hard to provide these items and secured xxxxxxxxx as the sponsor a number of years ago. I'm sorry you feel the need to be greedy and take money out of my pocket, but I will make a note in the file to not work with xxxxxx High School again.

Thank You,
Cheryl Stoker
Promotions Coordinator
1-800-245-6929

What we can learn:  Companies like this more then often do NOT put a company name in their signature line because they change company names so fast and so often when things start to go bad.  They also normally have an (800) number and a very common last name along with NO website and or accredidation from the BBB... and, for some darn reason, they normally stem out of Texas when you run the phone records.

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