A Harman Corporation Custom Solution  

The Situation:

No one wants to see eleven inches of metal, wood and vinyl fly randomly into a fan at a crowded football stadium. What easily could have been a disastrous situation was a very real threat until Harman created a custom solution for a seller of Mississippi State University (MSU) branded cowbells.

Mississippi State University is famous, maybe infamous, for the racket created by thousands of fans ringing thousands of cowbells in the stadium during football games. In press conferences, opposing teams are sometimes asked, “Are you ready to handle the cowbells?”. In 1975, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) instituted the widely ignored “Artificial Noisemaker Policy” in response to the cowbell and other noisemakers at stadiums.

But the MSU cowbells aren’t just noisemakers, they’re a tradition which the SEC had to acknowledge. Fans ringing cowbells at MSU games dates back to the 1930s when, as legend has it, a cow wandered onto the playing field during a game when Mississippi State beat their rival Ole Miss. Students began bringing cowbells to games for good luck. By the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, the tradition was well established and remains strong today.

Business Challenges:

One of Harman Corp’s customers sells the official Mississippi State University cowbells by the thousands every year. These cowbells are big (close to a foot tall with the handle), heavy, loud, and arguably dangerous when not used properly.

Our customer’s problem was that there wasn’t a standard-sized grip that would fit his cowbells. Standard size grips come in .875 of an inch which was too tight and took too long to put on the cowbell handles. The next size up was a 1” grip which was much easier to put on the handle but wasn’t tight enough to be considered secure.

Our customer’s concern with the 1” grip was that someone in the stadium would be excitedly ringing the cowbell and their exuberant swinging would lead to the handle flying out of the grip, causing the bell to soar over the crowd until gravity did its magic and cause the bell to crash into another fan leading to injury and maybe a lawsuit.

Our Solutions:

Harman created a custom grip that fits the handle of the cowbells tightly but also easily fit over and onto the handle of the cowbells. The custom grip has strong “finger holds” so the cowbell is easy to hold on to, and it fits securely so the bell won’t fly out of the grip no matter how wildly it is rung.

Harman is able to create custom solutions in any size, shape, or color. We created these unique grips not only in standard black but also in the official MSU school colors of maroon and white.

Harman can match any Pantone color so if you’re looking to “finish” a product with your company’s colors, Harman can provide your grip, cap or plug in whatever color you choose.

Harman also provides printing services. Many of our customers print their logo on their grips or caps for even better branding and marketing purposes.

Our Results:

The bells continue to ring as the stadium is flooded with cowbells in maroon and white!

If you’ve ever been to Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, or ever watched a Mississippi State University football game on television, you’ve heard the cowbells. If you’ve ever been within a mile of the stadium on game day, you’ve heard the cowbells.

According to USA Today, the SEC has determined that Mississippi State fans are, “... only allowed to ring at home games and only during pregame, timeouts, halftime, and after the Bulldogs score. All other times, cowbells must remain silent.” However, you’ll probably hear the cowbells at other times as well since MSU has been fined more than once for their fan’s defiance of the SEC’s Artificial Noisemaker Policy.

We love the cowbells, but that might be because we’re in Big 10 country. We think Christopher Walken summed it up best in that classic Saturday Night Live sketch when he wanted, “More Cowbell!”.