This was not some Wolverines fan with disposable income tweaking their in-state rivals by putting "Go Blue" in skywriting above Spartan Stadium before last weekend's MSU game. This was Michigan's athletics office, paying "thousands" to put the message in the skies. And it sort of backfired.
Michigan State's athletic director called the message an "irritant," but everyone assumed it was just the usual bit of fan fun. That is until MLive tracked down the skywriting company hired to put it up before the Spartans' game against Youngstown State.
Suzanne Asbury-Oliver says she's not from the area and didn't quite grasp the effect the message would have, but she confirmed that she was hired by Michigan's athletics office for the "multi-thousand-dollar job." A spokesperson from UM confirmed it was their doing, but somewhat implausibly claimed Spartan Stadium wasn't specifically targeted.
"We hired the skywriters to canvas southeast Michigan with slogans and numbers prior to our game last Saturday," he said in a statement. "There were no locations targeted."
Sure, whatever. UM's expensive, sanctioned trolling may not have produced the desired effect, though. Michigan State alum Scott Westerman, a pilot himself, saw the message and thought it was a waste of money. So he went online and challenged fellow alumni to donate to the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. As of today, they've donated more than $27,000.