Ahhhh… It’s Christmas Eve. I have been tracking Santa on NORAD’s Santa Tracker since about 0430 this morning. So before I talk about my HIGHLY ANTICIPATED marketing initiatives (numbers 4, 5 and 6) I wanted to make a Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and everything else wish.
I wish that there will be peace in our time. I don’t mean big peace like in the Middle East or anything, just that for the next few days we can all get along in the comments. No “carpetbagging,” no “Oakland sucking,” etc. The spirit of this post is one that is meant to inspire conversation, but not emotional rants. So thanks for making my wish come true in advance!
We now resume our meanderings on the Business of Baseball and such. Marketing initiatives:
Initiative 4: Live Band In-between Innings– I am not sure if this is allowed in MLB. I don’t care, it should be. And it opens up some potential new sponsorship opportunities. Imagine having a band led by Carlos Santana playing the MGD theme song.. “I get my fresh tapped taste at the barbecue, sippin’ on my MGD…”
Or just imagine a local cover band busting out some Head Like a Hole, instrumental version in between innings and various jingles in other innings. Hell, I’d even like to see them bust out the beginning of “My Own Summer” as Micheal Taylor strides to the plate. Maybe they could bust out the theme from Jaws as Andrew Bailey heads to the hill… I am pretty sure those would be rules violations of some kind… But the idea has merit. A band, On Thursday-Saturday night games, with a preapproved set list in between innings. Perched up above Left Field in a roped off “stage” right below the flag poles. Talk about an event…
Initiative 5: Embrace Tailgating– From the files of “Turn a Weakness into a Strength” comes the full on embracing of a tailgating culture. Pair up with Costco and have a “Costco Tailgation Station” set up on either side of the Coliseum. In the middle of the parking lot. Take that sea of asphalt and make some money. Turn a block of spots into a pregame celebration. Sell beer, sell charcoal, sell disposable barbecues, sell lighters, bottle openers, left over Keiichi Yabu T Shirts as kindling… make some money off this stuff, but more than anything get people excited about having fun in the middle of a parking lot!
Initiative 6: Broadcasting Changes– My deep, deep appreciation of Bill King is probably the biggest reason I love the A’s. Well, he and Lon Simmons and now Ken Korach. As a young boy, I had no father (he died when I was 5). I spent a great deal of time in the backyard at my grandparent’s house in San Lorenzo with my brother, a wiffleball bat, a wiffleball and Lon and Bill. They introduced me to Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Dave Henderson, etc. We marveled at their abilities together, me, Bill, Lon and the Weevil (my brother’s nickname). I still remember McGwire’s original onslaught as a detail engrossed in the dulcet tones of Lon Simmons. Mac was a character in the story, dare I say boyhood fairytale, that Lon and Bill told as it unfolded.
With the A’s now having so many games on TV, Ray Fosse isn’t on the radio much. Seize this opportunity to introduce a new storyteller! Replace him already… Dave Henderson would be awesome. Maybe some old coach like Rene Lachemann is interested in trying out some radio. Either way, pay homage to the history of the team by bringing back another member of the team to talk to us all 162 times plus Spring Training and Playoffs.
On the TV side… I got to say, I mute the stuff most of the time and just watch. Nothing against Ray and G.K., I just don’t really like baseball on TV. The announcing on TV is less storytelling and more “Did you see that?” It doesn’t have the appeal of listening to a fairytale as it unfolds. But… How cool would it be if the A’s had a guest color guy on home weeknight games? What if the guest color guy was Terry Steinbach a few times? What if it was Rickey Henderson a few times? Maybe Dave Stewart here and there. Not just an inning… Not just on World Champion Reunion night… but they actually are scheduled to be on the game in advance and everyone knows. I bet on Rickey’s nights the A’s ratings would eclipse Martha Stewart. Okay, well maybe not but I’d expect a boost. Wouldn’t you tune in to hear the craziness that came out of Rickey’s mouth?
So there you have it. My humble list of 6 things to make the A’s a bit more of an interesting thing to behold. I leave you with this:
I hope you and your family have a great Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone, even Connie Mack.
OT: Hey Rob, just for the heck of it I read your comment over at the now-closed MLB panel “poll.” Giants bidding time? Giants want the entire Bay to themselves (no $hit $herlock!)? A little knowledge for yah from this SJ cheerleader: what you need to realize is that this whole thing is in the hands of MLB and not the Giants. And why do you imply that MLB cares more for the Giants economic well-being than the A’s? Again, this is for what’s good for ALL MLB, not just the Giants. And what’s up with your “MLB wants to see how the recovery pans out for Oakland” theory? Well, as GoA’s alluded to in an earlier post, the economy hasn’t been bad for 15 whole years! In fact, we had an economic boom in the late 90’s/Early 2000’s and guess what the City of Oakland did for the A’s…NOTHING! Instead of stepping to the plate for the A’s, they allowed condo’s to be built at Uptown vs. a crown-jewel of a ballpark. We aren’t going to see a “Dot-Com” economy anytime soon and Lew Wolff/John Fisher want nothing to do with Oakland, so guess what Rob…do you know the way to San Jose? And with that…MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s hoping we hear something from MLB in 2010.
I’ve had the live band idea for a few years now, and think it would be an awesome concept. The piped in music between innings and such is more annoying than anything. And if you brought in a live band, a different band each week, it would be an event. It would be something people might even come to hear even if they were only sorta interested in the baseball side. And it would give the bands a chance to get notoriety, and sell CD’s.
Thanks for the NORAD link. The kids loved it. I didn’t get any A’s related presents, but I did get a couple Cal shirts! Hopefully next Christmas we’ll get a shovel in the ground for a new A’s stadium in the Bay.
Here’s your Christmas present:
Why now is the time NOT to build a new ballpark, anywhere:
If you say “our situation is different because the Wolf says it’s different,” you are delusional and flat wrong.
“Newballpark.org” may have been fun a few years ago when everyone was in financial fairyland; not any more.
Get Real- maybe you need to first understand what is proposed in San Jose before you try and group the A’s ballpark into this mix. It is privately financed and will not use public funds for the building of a ballpark in SJ. Property on which the ballpark sits will be leased to the team…most likely at a favorable rate….and finally infrastructure improvements in SJ are by and large associated with other developments in the same area and will occur regardless of ballpark construction…including the proposed parking garages that will serve HSR and BART and the connection of Autumn to Coleman. This is the same as what was done for the gints at ATT park…and completely different than the publically financed stadiums referred to in this article.
Bottom line–Wolff and Fisher say they are ready to go now if SJ got the go ahead….meaning they will invest their $500M–Cisco bought the naming rights for more than $100M and Chambers says he is ready to go….more power to you if you feel you know more than these guys who have the dollars in their bank accounts.
BTW- newballpark.org is very fun….ML and Jeffrey do an awesome job—
Given what has been proposed down in San Jose, please explain to us why you feel we are deusional and flat wrong. Obviously you feel San Jose’s situation will be very much like what Cincinnati and Milwaukee are now experiencing. If this is the case, please explain your reasoning.