Not surprisingly, the Midwest has a high brand development index (BDI) for the first book. It looks like the failure fans are entrenched in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri and were among the first to buy the second book too. The regional pockets where the blue collar work ethic exists and thrives seems the best place to market Alan Edgewater Failure Coach LLC. So far that hasn’t meant bringing the seminars to places like Cleveland and Detroit but Alan was starting to listen to the social media strategists, brand gurus and others from Ambrosia, who were strongly in favor of a more aggressive fan engagement. Alan Edgewater spent an intense couple of days listening to Ambrosia staffers present ideas for video, webinar, search engine optimization (SEO) and retail products. Alan was impressed by the activity but he missed the relaxed atmosphere and camaraderie of Dan Bluestone and the narrow pragmatism of Jan Abbeshire. He told himself that the Ambrosia people would bring more to the party but he was kind of underwhelmed by the actual content. He wondered if any of these kids even read his books. He also wondered how fully his publisher would support his marketing plans for book number three.
Still, Alan was convinced that kicking off a conference tour in the Midwest beginning with Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be a pretty cool thing to do. The Ambrosia team prepared to roll-out starting in Cleveland, moving on to Canton (Football Hall of Fame), Detroit, Columbus (Ohio State University), Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City and Bentonville, Arkansas (Walmart corporate headquarters) in 30 days from October to early November.
Coach Siena would formally present the second Alan Edgewater Failure First four year scholarship with the first recipient Johnny Appleseed in attendance at a the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. The award had already been presented to Andrew Valentine and his family in Arlington, Ohio. Andrew was another kid with “a lot of heart” who played high school football. He was recruited by a number of D-III colleges expressing interest in him prior to the family decision with their doctor not to risk further head trauma at the next level. Andy Valentine had suffered a series of concussions forcing him to give up the game in the middle of his senior year. While sidelined, Andrew Valentine’s story was featured on the PBS program Frontline. The program included case studies from all levels of the game from Pop Warner, high school, college and the NFL. The entire program was sent to Coach Bob Siena c/o Sazerac on a DVD with a carefully written letter from Andy’s mom. Coach Siena was moved by the letter but it was the phone interview with Andrew that convinced him that this was his guy.
“Andrew, I understand you are a pretty talented athlete. A friend of mine at Ballwin Wallace tells me that you are the kind of kid who could do well there. That is a fine school - a private, liberal arts college located in Berea, a residential community just 20 minutes from Cleveland.”
“Coach, I have accepted the fact that I’m not going to play football in college. My playin’ days are done. We are, however, looking at colleges. Ohio State is awesome but….to tell you the truth I’ve been thinking about places like Whittenberg University, Kenyon College, Oberlin and I did look at Ballwin Wallace…”
“Ohio State University is a great school but it is a factory. All of the schools you are considering are worthy places to get a liberal arts education. I’ll tell you what…If you go to school and learn about what it is to be a good, solid well-rounded citizen, that’s more than half the battle. “
“Thanks Coach. People always ask what I want to do. Like I should have my life and career all mapped out. I might want to teach. I don’t know.”
“Hang in there kid.”
“Thanks again coach. Even if I’m not the guy you give the scholarship too, I really appreciate your taking the time to talk with me. It has been very helpful.”
It only took a couple of weeks for Ambrosia to finalize the 30 day crash-n-burn Midwest tour dates. Alan was ready with ample ammo from It not easy being anybody and You can’t give 110% with a few segue hints about Negative Space, he thought. Let the show begin. Rock and Roll!.