Spring Splash continues to have positives

Spring splash continues to be an extremely positive time for many local business owners. Despite the Common Council and many townspeople’s best efforts, it was once again a time where many students were day drinking and having a great time, while helping local businesses.

Today, the unofficial numbers I was told from a fellow Walmart worker is that we had $16,000 in alcohol sales combined over the Friday before and Saturday of the city-wide celebration. Unlike last year when Walmart literally ran out of nearly every type of alcohol they had, this year the managers were prepared for it. After checking out untold amounts of alcohol during my 9:30-2 p.m. shift, I went to the alcohol aisle out of curiosity and discovered it fully stocked as if no one had even touched it that day. In my mind, that was extremely impressive.

As I left from my 5:30-10 p.m. shift tonight, another fellow Walmart worker (who also works at the local McDonalds) told me that McDonalds topped that in sales and were nearly out of the ingredients for most of their food. Apparently, they went through the entire stock of everything that was in their freezers and coolers and won’t have a truck bringing in more food until late Tuesday. I was also told that the company brought in nearly $10,000 worth of sales just overnight as many drunk college students stopped at the restaurant for food.

As much as soon many people in town love to complain about it, just look at two of the more prominent local business sales. Knowing that so many other businesses probably saw just as large of an increase in sales for the day, there is plenty of good that the celebration brings the town. Yeah there might be lots of drunk college students potentially littering and doing other disruptive/illegal things, but it is also a college town. If the residents can’t handle that, it reflects very poorly on them.

Online social shopping has changed greatly

The online social shopping experience is something that picked up in the blink of an eye. Just five years ago, I had never even attempted to buy anything online. Just thinking about how much online shopping I do, that fact is incredible to me now.

After never buying anything online, now all I hear about is people buying stuff online all the time. It has grown through word of mouth marketing and the fact that you don’t even have to leave your home. The revolutionary concept would’ve been even more foreign to anyone thinking about internet’s earliest adoptions with dial-up.

The speed and functionality of the online shopping experience makes it easy to be used in different forms of social media as well. Online shopping has been stream-lined by both Facebook and Twitter, the two social media accounts I use the most. Everywhere you go through the Twitter timeline or Facebook feed, you see both ads for products or people talking about how much they love something that they bought online.

Any time you look back and reflect on how much things have changed over time, you can easily get amazed by how far we have come. Seeing online marketing ploys and ads from both people’s personal social media accounts is still crazy to me.

Watching technology move so fast to make companies that don’t have phone or tablet apps to buy their products is incredible. Now near the bottom of the ads that usually shows the company website, the symbol for the ap store or google play is there instead to show that the company has its own app.

The online social shopping experience is an incredibly fast-paced changing mechanism that has grown up right before our eyes. Reflecting on how it has changed was crazy to think about.

How the Royal Purple has evolved

Since I have come to school five years ago, the Royal Purple student newspaper, which is a large part of who I am, has made incredible strides on social media accounts such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

When I first came on as a staff writer for the paper, the website and Facebook page were very primitive. The paper didn’t have an Instagram, but both the Royal Purple news and Twitter accounts did have a large following. We continued to slowly grow the online presence by posting stories, live-tweeting sports events and the Whitewater Student Government races and much, much more. In the past two years, we have created an Instagram account to share some of our top photos and graphics that further spread the message.

Two years ago, as a staff, we decided to add two more positions, multi-media and social media editor. Unfortunately, we currently don’t have a social media editor who would make YouTube videos that we would share on our Twitter and Facebook accounts about upcoming stories, video coverage of events that we had been covering.

Our social media manager is responsible for promoting all of our stories that get uploaded to our website and using language to entice people to click on our site and read our content.

The one thing that we really do not promote as much as we should is our Twitter. Besides live-tweeting some events, both the news and sports accounts could have a chance to reach a completely different following on that app by tweeting out our stories like many top news organizations do.

The social media world is an ever-changing place, and as we as people and organizations strive to keep up with it, it changes again. It can be frustrating and rewarding but is something that is here to stay.

Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s strength

Ever since I was a two-year old running around yelling, “I’m Mark Mark (Mark Martin, newest NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and my favorite driver until he retired), and I’m going to win the race,” I have loved NASCAR.

I have collected so many of the Hot Wheels cars, played the videogames, watched many races on TV, collected driver cards and various nick nacks from many of my favorite drivers, and so much more.

I also understand that after writing those first two sentences, more than half of you stopped reading. I have long ago accepted that many people will dismiss NASCAR or any other form of racing as “boring because they go around and around in a circle,” not a sport (which is a complete lie or an extremely uniformed statement), and just about everything else they can think of to try and discredit it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people react negatively or are in complete disbelief when I mention something about the sport that I love. It used to affect me, but now I realize that everyone is going to have their own (wrong) opinion on why NASCAR isn’t that great, and that’s fine.

Anyways, back to what I wanted to talk about. Today was Daytona Day! Feb. 26, 2017 was the 59th running of the Daytona 500, otherwise known as “NASCAR’s Super Bowl” and countless other iconic nicknames for the wondrous event. Every year, NASCAR’s best descend upon Daytona Beach, Florida to tackle the 2.5-mile track with turns banked at 31 degrees.

All 40 cars will race side-by-side, three-wide and sometimes even four-wide at 180-200 miles per hour. There are preposterously close finishes, such as last year’s race where Denny Hamlin literally beat Martin Truex Jr. by a foot at the start finish line, or other crazy moments where cars can use the draft to come from eighth to first in the matter of a lap.

With all 40 cars racing that close to each other, there are also plenty of giant crashes that pique even the most casual fan’s interest as they see cars barrel roll almost yearly. Through so many safety changes and innovations, drivers have never been safer, but there always is a sense of danger with both driver and fan which gives the sport even more of an appeal.

Although there are far too many 1.5 mile ovals where passing is hard to come by and many fans will claim is boring, the superspeedways, road courses and short tracks are what make NASCAR so popular. Daytona is one of those superspeedways where there could be nearly 70 lead changes in a 200 lap race.

Although I missed most of the 59th running of the race due to work, I was still just as excited to find out what was going on via Twitter. There is no doubt that I will also be reading as many stories about the race as I possibly can, along with attempting to find some (most likely illegal) link to watch the parts of the race that I missed.

Some may call me crazy for loving a sport such as this, but I can literally tell them that friendships, memories and so much more were made from this so-called ‘boring’ sport. I will always have a place in my heart for NASCAR, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Buffalo Wild Wings misses its chance

There were nearly 100 million eyes on Super Bowl LI on Feb. 4, 2017 when the New England Patriots won the first-ever overtime championship game in NFL history 34-28 vs. the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots came back from being down 21-0 to the Falcons and 21-3 at the halftime.

Following many highlight-reel plays from both sides, the Falcons still held a 28-20 lead with five minutes left in the game before the Patriots were able to drive down the field and tie the game up and win it in overtime. Besides so many people losing their collective minds over what had just happened, many including myself were left to wonder, where was Buffalo Wild Wings?

For those not in the know, for any NCAA Division-I men’s basketball game during the NCAA tournament, Buffalo Wild Wings has a commercial campaign promoting the restaurant and how its a great place to watch the big game. Fans of college basketball have become used to it, it is usually trending on various social media sites under tags like #pressthebutton and #bdubsovertime.

To be fair to the restaurant, no Super Bowl game had ever gone into overtime in NFL history. Buffalo Wild Wings had no reason to even book a commercial slot in the most expensive TV advertising spots of the year. I guess that the restaurant will have to develop a better plan for if a situation like this would ever happen again.

Buffalo Wild Wings is certainly not the first company to either market its food or beverages to the sports fan, and it most certainly will not be the best. For it to remain in people’s heads in overtime situations though, it will have to be more proactive next time or risk further damaging its brand awareness.

P.S. Although I didn’t want the Patriots to win, the fourth quarter and ensuing overtime were one of the greatest comebacks in sports history regardless of the absence of Buffalo Wild Wings commercial. As much as it pains me to say it, congrats to the New England Patriots.