Brandon's Blog: 'Pack the Nat' For A Special Event

Oct. 1, 2012

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

In a first-of-its-type marketing extravaganza for collegiate swimming, our head swimming and diving coach Mike Bottom, with the help of his assistants and our promotion and marketing team, has created a 'made for fans' swimming event. The 'Michigan Water Carnival' was created to help increase awareness of the Wolverine aquatic teams and the aquatic sports. This special competition will take place Saturday (Oct. 6) at noon at the Canham Natatorium. Admission is free.

The promotional incentive is a great example of how we are challenging our coaches to create 'wow' experiences for our fans and student-athletes and to work to continue to strengthen university and community relationships. Mike Bottom is not only a terrific coach with a lot of passion for his sport he also has a flair for the dramatic!

The University of Minnesota and Michigan will swim a dual meet on Friday, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m. Then, on Saturday, Oakland University will join Michigan and Minnesota for something extraordinary. The teams will compete in 13 different fun, competitive events. The 50-yard underwater 'dolphin kick,' the 200-meter swim with fins attempting to break NCAA and world records, and a 16x25 relay are just a few of the 'made-for-fun' competitive events.

Add a 3-on-3 water polo match, a diving show, the University of Michigan dance team, the U-M Fanfare Pep Band and the U-M men's talented singing group 'The Friars' for the ancillary entertainment, and the two-hour extravaganza will be non-stop fun.

Teaching demonstrations and autograph opportunities will also be part of the activities. Where else can young fans of the sport get an opportunity to meet former U-M swimming great and Olympic medalist Pete Vanderkaay? Then visit with the current group of U-M student-athletes, including 2012 Olympian Connor Jaeger and other collegiate swimmers who could be on the international stage in a few years. Remember, six of the 24 members of the 2012 United States Olympic swim team were from U-M.

There will also be fan participation opportunities with fun games designed to get people out of the stands and onto the swim deck. (Don't worry, fans will not need to bring bathing suits and nobody is going to throw anyone into the pool -- unless it happens to be one of the swimmers or coaches!)

What is even more special about this event is how the collegiate swimming world has come together in support of the 'Michigan Water Carnival.' As soon as the event was announced, the carnival created a buzz in the swimming community. Everyone is excited and the Minnesota and Oakland swim teams were more than happy to spend an extra day in Ann Arbor to help with this special event. Not only will the student-athletes from all three schools work to create a fun atmosphere for the fans, they are excited to display their skills in a different way to create an environment of fun and competitiveness for themselves. And they are even more excited to participate in a new event that will help promote their sport.

The London 2012 Summer Olympics have already generated a spike in the number of girls and boys joining local swim clubs. Now, Coach Bottom is using the Olympic momentum to bring more individuals into the sports of swimming and diving while also reminding everyone that the U-M men's and women's aquatic programs are relentlessly striving to build championship caliber teams for fans to enjoy and support.

Let's 'Pack the 'Nat,' Saturday, Oct. 6, at noon! Go Blue!

Dave Brandon Home Page