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By Kellie Oates
Anyone who’s been keeping up with March Madness has seen the UPS commercial on the logistics of a game-winning shot — and it probably caught UK fans’ attention more so than other viewers.
The commercial shows a clip from the 1992 game where Duke player Grant Hill catapults the basketball across-court to fellow player Christian Laettner, who makes a last-second shot, preventing the Cats from making the Final Four.
Though many UK students weren’t alive or old enough to remember this game, it still strikes a nerve. Some wonder if the clip was chosen intentionally. Others just have a deep rooted feeling of hate for Duke basketball.
“I mean, it’s fitting for March Madness, but as a UK fan and anti-Duke fan, I despise it,” said English junior Eliot Brown. “Also, you’d think UPS would choose a different game that isn’t so anti-Kentucky considering their airline (hub) is based out of Louisville.”
Mike Mangeot, a public relations manager for the Louisville UPS air group rebutted this sentiment in a WAVE 3 news story, saying, “We want Kentucky fans to know that there was certainly no slight intended. It was simply just a great illustration of logistics. How everything has to happen at exactly the right time for an event to
take place. And that’s the business that we’re in.”
Mangeot also said in the article that UK had “creative approval on everything” and that its officials “gave UPS the go-ahead to do it.”
“I have a hard time believing UK approved this because of how serious we are about basketball,” sophomore Clay Smith said. “The shot is great for the commercial though, so I see why UPS used it, but UK fans are diehard. Especially when it comes to Duke.”
UPS, the official logistics supplier for the NCAA, is using the pass as a metaphor for logistics. And while the idea makes sense, it still doesn’t sit well with a lot of UK students and fans.
“It was crushing, that’s how I remember it. I was about 8 years old and I remember the atmosphere in the room was like that of a funeral; like someone we loved had died,” said Chad Glasser, a pharmacy graduate student. “These feelings come flooding back when I see this commercial.”