You Are The Product, You Feel Something. That's What Sells.

When Your Marketing Department Insults Your Faithful Fans.

Today’s music video is Acid Reign by Violens.

The Florida Panthers marketing department unfortunately isn’t run by Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Which I think is blatantly obvious by some of the embarrassing ads for tickets and such that they have been running.   Honestly I think Don Draper would do a mass firing of this gang if he saw some of the drek that was being produced.  It just gets more and more frustrating every year, although lately it seems to be that every week something even more ridiculous happens.

Here’s the most recent marketing promo to get fans in the Bank Atlantic Center:

We, I mean they, have done this type of advertising for teams from New York, Montreal, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.  This one here for Philly is just an example of how it’s being done.  Now before you all jump on me and suggest that we need to do something to put people in the building, I will tell you that I agree.  However we need to draw the line.  First of all Philadelphia is probably our most hated rival.  Not teams in our division like Tampa and Carolina, or even Washington.  Why?  Well for one it started when Ed Jovanovski put Eric Lindros on his ass in the playoffs back in 1996, and escalated with the Mike Richards hit of David Booth last season.  Video here.

The Richards hit on Booth will never be forgotten by the Panther faithful.  EVER.  Whether you think the hit was legal or not, that doesn’t matter.  The image that sticks out in my mind as I’m sure yours too, was Booth laying flat on the ice, motionless.  For a very long time.  The fact is that marketing to the sector of fans that are rooting for a player that almost knocked ours into the next century is disgusting.  And to top it off, Booth’s picture is in the ad!  Fortunately Mike Richards is not.  I’m pretty sure that if you asked me to work on this ad as an employee of the firm, I would have had to tell you A) no, and B) it’s a bad idea, C) you guys are nuts for even thinking of this.

The problem goes deeper though.  I realize that this is a business, and that we need to sell tickets to pay salaries and have people buy food and merchandise, etc.  There are different ways to attract fans who cheer for other teams and get them into the building.  As we know, most of these tickets are not sold at the true face value, and in many cases are sold below the season ticket holder’s value.  While all of that is another discussion entirely, the fact of the matter is I can’t stand knowing that an out of towner, is sitting in a seat near or close to me, cheering for the opposition, and most likely paid half of what I paid for the seat.  Almost like he was recruited to be here to piss me off.

See here’s the thing.  I’m spoiled.  My memories of going to hockey games in Chicago are filled with games where the building was full.  Full of fans of the home team, with a token sprinkle of visitors spread throughout the stands.  Why?  Cause you couldn’t get a seat otherwise that’s why.  There was a winning product on the ice, and exciting players to see.  Yes they had their bad years as well, but I would bet you that Chicago wasn’t marketing to Detroit to come watch the Wings play the Hawks at the United Center. I long for those days here in Florida, but it isn’t going to happen until we do things differently.  When this team starts winning, then people will come.  When we get some exciting player(s) fans will buy tickets to see those players.  That’s how it works here in this fair weather town.  The die hards already go to the game.   They already spend the money.  But more and more they are being chased away, and being shat on when these marketing schemes attempt to draw the opposing team’s fans into the building.  It’s not just a token sprinkle either.  It’s by the thousands.  The casual fan has even less reason to come.   But realize marketing department, that the more you do things like this, that fan that’s on the fence is going to get pushed to the wrong side of it and stop coming.  That is the error in judgement that you are making.  Your strategy is all wrong, and you need to go back to the drawing board and re-think how you approach this.

Market to the “snowbirds” about coming to see games here while on vacation rather than approaching them to come see their team will be less harmful than ads like the above one.  Sell Florida.  Sell the game of hockey.  Sell Florida Panthers Hockey.  I think many season ticket holders and fans who are able to afford the casual game feel offended by this current marketing plan.

We realize that you need to advertise to sell tickets, but we’re already being  insulted by not having a winning product on the ice for the past 10 seasons.  Don’t rub it in our face by bringing in the enemy on top of it.

I mean what’s next?  Sprinkling confetti each time we score a power play goal?

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

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Tags: David Booth Florida Panthers Mike Richards Snowbirds

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