The Ravenous MUSE

ImageThe Baltimore Ravens have won the Superbowl and our city will be buzzing for weeks.  The team appears in the MUSE search results in places like the Journal of Sports Media. There are thousands of results for the “NFL” and “football” and also for “New Orleans,” the home of the big game. This year’s Superbowl advertisements will be analyzed in a forthcoming issue of the Advertising & Society Review. The Ravens are unique in that they have a literary figure named Poe associated with them.

MUSE is a one of a kind content community.

Many of our staff revealed their purple pride on Fridays before the games this season and it is very exciting to see the whole city arrayed in a violet hue.  I ran into a group of building engineers staring upwards a few weeks ago and asked what they were doing.

“We’re trying to give you some purple,” the man said.

One staffer has a pair of magic purple slippers. Here at MUSE, we are not above fantasy and mysticism.

A few weeks ago, our customer service rep Lora Czarnowsky predicted that the Ravens would defeat the Denver Broncos and she was correct. Lora ensures that our customers have access around the world. After the Ravens defeated the Patriots last weekend, I received a message from Lora—TOLD YOU—it read.  After the victory on Sunday,  she sent me the same message.  I was in New Orleans having a plate of beignets and cafe au lait for dinner. My voice was gone.

I visited the Walters Art Gallery on the Saturday before the Patriots game and I saw a Ravens insignia emblazoned on the sidewalk. I asked my eight-year old daughter to read the words above the bird’s head.

“Ravens. Team.”

Teams drive MUSE and ensure its success: technology, production, content development and sales and marketing. In some ways, we had a fall season not unlike the Ravens. We faced several challenges in closing off the 2012 eBook collections and we met them all together. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty—also reminiscent of the Ravens.

We learned something about our program and what we are capable of if we communicate effectively.

Someone will write a book about the Raven’s remarkable season and it may end up on the MUSE platform. Perhaps a scholar will ponder the cultural aspects of a city dependent on its football team to shore up an uncertain identity or how a football team and a city fused into one overwhelming force that fed off each other on the road to the promised land. It’s always been a football town and trust me, there is a little football in everyone.

Here is my take from inside the Superdome.

The black-winged birds of Baltimore have been our MUSE this month. A source of inspiration and a winning team we can build upon.


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