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PaleHoseGeorge
07-02-2002, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
...Call me a traditionalist, but the music at the ballpark should be limited to Nancy Faust at the organ.

I'm not arguing the point. I've gone on the record repeatedly in favor of more stage time for Nancy Faust. In my mind, she is the last true Sox icon left in the organization. Everything else has been plowed over by Reinsdorf and his minions.

And while we're on the subject, let's not forget the role my favorite whipping boy has played in this mess.

:gallas
"Oh, ****..."


It was Gallas who decided rock music is what Sox Fans want. It was Gallas who hired a deejay to play the music loud, and allowed the dope to embarrass Sox Fans with his lame comedy bits. It was also Gallas who kept the chump on the payroll another two years until finally the idiot managed to screw up again. This time Gallas had no choice but finally fire the guy after some incredibly distasteful choice of music played for Chuck Finley's benefit.

This is the guy who thinks Joe Stephen is more-worthy of stage time than Nancy Faust. This is the guy who concentrates on cute single-game promotions (like last month's sleepover), thinking that will solve Sox attendance problems. This is the guy who gives away the product at half-price, again thinking this will fix the attendance problem. Meanwhile Sox season ticket attendance remains scandalously low, even as the team sets new records for the walk-up gate--and fist fights in the stands.

The Sox still won't draw 2 million fans this year, and a good portion of the people they do draw will have gotten in for half-price thanks to Gallas. Does this sound like a solid plan for making the franchise financially viable?

It makes my skin crawl when know-nothing imbeciles like Peter Gammons spout nonsense on TV about the Sox being "brilliantly" marketeted. Those who actually follow the team (rather than simply getting paid for inventing opinions to fill up air time) know what a mess Sox marketing has become.

The franchise is dying. What more proof do you need that there is internal organizational problems? Must the paying customers be the scapegoats?

Yea, sure... I guess it's Kmart shoppers who are to blame for that company's troubles, too.

duke of dorwood
07-02-2002, 10:56 AM
There was so much more crowd involvement with Nancy than this crap now. My mom is almost 80, and she missed "Runaround Sue". Gallas is just another bust out sailor on Reinsdorks ship of fools.

Dadawg_77
07-02-2002, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


The Sox still won't draw 2 million fans this year, and a good portion of the people they do draw will have gotten in for half-price thanks to Gallas. Does this sound like a solid plan for making the franchise financially viable?


PHG, yes it does. The way the terms of the lease seemed to structured, the Sox make more money drawing 1.9 million people then if they drew 2.0 million people. Plus the Sox probably get a nice fee or some other considerations form Pepsi. Not saying I like or think they do a great job, but maybe the Sox are better off not drawing 2 mill plus a year with the terms of the lease they have.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-02-2002, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
...The way the terms of the lease seemed to structured, the Sox make more money drawing 1.9 million people then if they drew 2.0 million people. Plus the Sox probably get a nice fee or some other considerations form Pepsi. Not saying I like or think they do a great job, but maybe the Sox are better off not drawing 2 mill plus a year with the terms of the lease they have.

This is a good point. Others have noted it around here, too. Just yesterday I mentioned the role the Sox lease plays in penalizing Reinsdorf with disincentives for raising the annual attendance too much.

Do the Sox complain about the lease? Nope. They blame their customers for their trouble. So what are we to make of this?

Either Sox management is too incompetent to recognize the troubles the stadium lease creates for the club's viability (highly unlikely given our chairman's financial background), or the Sox prefer to cynically blame the fans for problems they prefer left unsolved.

The other possibility is that it's neither of the above. In which case, the stadium lease is a non-issue. Then we're back to simply blaming Sox marketing with utter incompetence.

I believe there is plenty of evidence to support the third theory. Nancy Faust, Joe Stephen, Sox sleepover, half-priced nights (and the resulting fights), and a lousy season ticket base are just the most obvious examples.

the scorekeeper
07-02-2002, 04:56 PM
Could someone post the relevant portions of the stadium lease?

I remember seeing them at one point, and not being impressed by the argument that the sox lose money on excess fans.

You guys are probably right, but could it be proven one more time?

Dadawg_77
07-02-2002, 06:15 PM
Do a web search for Il. Sport Facility Authority. They have a web site and it does have some lease stuff on it.

Jerry_Manuel
07-02-2002, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by the scorekeeper
Could someone post the relevant portions of the stadium lease?

I remember seeing them at one point, and not being impressed by the argument that the sox lose money on excess fans.

You guys are probably right, but could it be proven one more time?

This should help (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12536)

MisterB
07-03-2002, 01:12 AM
The last time the Sox' lease deal came up in a post I felt compelled to do some rudimentary number-crunching, just to get a hint of how this deal shakes out. Obviously, neither I nor anyone else here has access to the Sox' books to see the 'real' numbers, so I estimated ticket revenue by multiplying attendance by the Sox' revenue per ticket ($17.49 for 2001 - per Doug Pappas's numbers in his BP articles on MLB finances (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20011207pappas.html) ), and then subtracted the payouts based on tickets sold and added the revenue from the tickets bought by the state if under 1.5 mil (assuming these tix don't count toward the team payout).

What I found is that this deal creates a relatively stable area in the team's ticket revenue curve. By the numbers I used, there is an area between 1 mil and 1.85 mil attendance where the revenue is always between $23M and $28M, with a sharp drop occurring at the 1.5 mil mark. The way the numbers work, you could maximize your revenue at just under 1.5 mil, but if you go over, you can make as much drawing 1.8 mil (which is around what the Sox have drawn the past 2 seasons). The assertion that the Sox make more at 1.9 mil than at 2 mil isn't true (but they do make more at 1.4 mil than 1.5 mil). Also consider that the club never has to pay out more than $5M, so the team gets 100% of revenue on anything past 2 mil. This deal certainly is a cushion for ticket sales, but would you drive your customers away in a dicey move to average only 18,000 a game instead of 19,000 for an amount that's less than 5% of your total team revenue? It's the equivalent of trying to draw to an inside straight, but with a far worse payoff. You're better off trying to keep the fans happy, creating the potential to make even more money, than pissing the fans off and creating the potential of making even less money.

But then again, we're dealing with a guy who let Jerry Krause destroy the best team in basketball just to prove a point. (uh...what was the point, anyway?)

hold2dibber
07-03-2002, 07:11 AM
Originally posted by MisterB
But then again, we're dealing with a guy who let Jerry Krause destroy the best team in basketball just to prove a point. (uh...what was the point, anyway?)

That organizations win championships, of course! (It turns out, having the best player in the world doesn't hurt either.)

PaleHoseGeorge
07-03-2002, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by MisterB
The last time the Sox' lease deal came up in a post I felt compelled to do some rudimentary number-crunching, just to get a hint of how this deal shakes out. Obviously, neither I nor anyone else here has access to the Sox' books to see the 'real' numbers, so I estimated ticket revenue by multiplying attendance by the Sox' revenue per ticket ($17.49 for 2001 - per Doug Pappas's numbers in his BP articles on MLB finances (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20011207pappas.html) ), and then subtracted the payouts based on tickets sold and added the revenue from the tickets bought by the state if under 1.5 mil (assuming these tix don't count toward the team payout).....

Great work, Professor B!

Now, in your astute opinion, which of these three possibilities most likely describes the true nature of financial distress within the Sox organization?

a.) The Sox don't know they can make more money drawing more fans.

b.) The Sox do know they can make more money drawing more fans. However, the Sox are financial masochists. They prefer blaming fans rather than draw more of them to the ballpark to make the extra money.

c.) Niether of the above. The Sox think the lease is irrelevant and simply blame the fans to divert attention from their own inability to market the team.

Which one of these theories fits best, given your analysis above?

foulkesfan11
07-03-2002, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
There was so much more crowd involvement with Nancy than this crap now. My mom is almost 80, and she missed "Runaround Sue". Gallas is just another bust out sailor on Reinsdorks ship of fools.

I agree. Nancy's music was a part of the whole baseball game experience. Her talent shouldn't be hidden by all of that 90's crap music that is played now. :nancy

Soxboyrob
07-03-2002, 08:54 AM
Those of you that are upset about the loud, canned music being played in favor of the kinder, gentler music that tinkles from the hands of Nancy Faust ought to take the time to write a letter to Gallas. Not saying it'll help any but in my yearly letter to Gallas, which details my likes and dislikes about the goings on at Comiskey, I always make mention of my dislike for the musical selection and ask for more Nancy. Without fail, Gallas has always written me back a personalized letter within a week or two, specifically addressing every single point and/or complaint detailed in my letter. In those letters to me, he's repeatedly mentioned to me that I am one of very few fans that have ever complained of the musical selection or the VOLUME of the music (neither of which I'm particularly enamored).

I don't know that any of my letters have ever achieved anything but letting off steam, but Gallas seems to at least pretend to be taking every one of my thoughts into consideration. Maybe if we all wrote to him and detailed our dislike for the current music, he couldn't turn around and tell us "that's the first time I've heard any complaints about the music this season."

Paulwny
07-03-2002, 09:33 AM
Tremendous job Mr.B
I find it hard to believe that JR's bean counters haven't evaluated the increase in revenue at >2 mil.
I think the attitude is to be competative with a small payroll and guarantee a profit vs a championship caliber team and a possible loss of money.
If they spend money on fa's to field a championship team and increase the payroll by $20-30 mil that would negate the $$ from the increased fan attendance.
If the fa's fail as this years mets, attendance will not increase and they'll lose $$$.
Jr's playing it safe.

soxrme
07-03-2002, 09:56 AM
I made the mistake of sending JR instead of Gallas a letter complaining about the music and a few other things. All I got back was a form letter thanking me for writing but JR could not possibly answer all letters. Next one will go to Gallas. I cannot stand all that damn music between pitches, innings, etc. Maybe I am too old but I go to games to watch the game not to listen to loud music.

Dadawg_77
07-03-2002, 10:02 AM
I forgot the what the cutoff was, for some reason I thought it was 2 million.

The lease does give the Sox a nice cushion thou. Yes they can make more money if they draw more, but that would involve a higher risk for the team. So the sox run there model to draw about the 1.8 million or so with lower risk, then if they pushed for 2 million plus. JR, probably managing the Sox in a risk adverse matter, so he knows he can make money for him and his partners. The lease really provide incentives for him not to go out and get big name free agents, because if they flop, it will only hurt the bottom line. Cheap one time promo shots are a far better means (risk wise) to draw a crowd, and can drive other streams of revenue besides ticket sale. Hey think we could get Pepsi to pay part of Mags salary, I can see it now.....
Gene Honda: And your Right Fielder brought to you by the folks at Pepsi; Mags.

Oh We Oh ....Pepsi

I probably shouldn't give them any ideas.

Clarkdog
07-03-2002, 03:11 PM
The Sox draw the way they draw, for very specific reasons. All related to the basic tenets of marketing, or the four P's:
- Product
- Price
- Promotion
- Place

It appears through just observing their ads, that the Sox strategy to drive attendance is by communicating to consumers that the White Sox are competitive with any team in the league and that Comiskey Park is a place for families.

The problem with that strategy is that it is too broad, and that thier mix of the four P's works against the strategy.

Product: The Sox product is a mediocre one currently, at 41-42 the record is proof. Plus give the above posts, it is not in the Sox financial interest to put a superior product to their competetition (Cubs) in the market since the payroll would likely wipe out the increases in revenue if attendance was >2MM. In addition, the product is not likeable. If the Cubs do anything well, they make their inferior product likeable - "the lovable losers". The Sox need to find a way to connect the team with thier fan base. SoxFest is a good start, but they need to go further.

Price: If Comiskey is a place for families, then the ticket prices work against that strategy. Your target Sox consumer is much different that the target Cubs consumer. Sox families are middle-class, blue collar mindset. They work hard and they expect value. The idea that on a non-half price event, that a family of four can already have spent $61 (nosebleeds) to $117 dollars (lower deck) before setting foot in the ballpark. Seeing a mediocre product at that price is not value.

Promotion: This for the Sox is the great equalizer. The idea here is to create that added value for fans, that creates more traffic to the ballpark. Half price nights, Kid's Day lower the ticket cost to create greater value. Fireworks, Sleepovers, and giveaways all give the sense of greater value to the ticket price. The best part, typically the Sox will not pay for the premiums given away or have their ticket reduction costs subsidized by corporate sponsorship.

Place: By all accounts, Comiskey Park is a good place to see a ball game. But they should never attempt to market against the Cubs on that front, because that is the core of the Cubs marketing strategy. Sun Tzu: "Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness". Wrigley Field, despite it's age and opinions held on this board, is the "historic baseball shrine where day baseball lives", and you won't change many minds about that or pursuade people that Comiskey Park and it's experience are superior (with the exception of the rock music). When in fact they probably are based on the park's amenities. But get people to try it, and they will probably like it.

A recommendation: Specifically target your fan base in terms of demographics and geographics. The Sox potential market is bigger than the Cubs, but you need to send a different message to connect with them. Your not trying to sell a ticket in Winnetka, and you can't afford to lose a ticket in Beverly. Sell the team as winners (the Cubs greatest weakness) and deliver the message to the fans that connects them on a personal level with the Sox success. But to deliver that message, you need to commit to winning, not keeping your head above water or just competing. Mediocrity will defeat the strategy (what is likely happening now), you always need to be in the division race. Finally, keep with the innovative promotions, it one of the team's best headlines and PR benefits. But make sure they families feel like they are getting value before they walk into the ballpark. Create a family ticket package - where multiple seats can be sold with parking, hot dog and a drink for one price. Last seek to steal market share from the Cubs by using night games as an after work destination for downtown professionals. Going to a Cubs game during the day is fun, but you typically do it at the expense of your job. Going to Sox game at night is on your time, and at the expense of nothing (except a morning hangover).

Sorry about the long post.

Cheryl
07-03-2002, 03:22 PM
I say when we get the millions together to buy the team from JR, we put Clarkdog in as chairman.

Clarkdog
07-03-2002, 03:30 PM
Cheryl, I'm flattered. Unless your post was supposed to be in teal.

Have a great 4th!

Procol Harum
07-03-2002, 03:32 PM
Some real savvy and acumen being tossed around in this thread, folks (not that this is a surprise). Most every angle has been covered but the one bottom-line wild card in all this which I don't think has been stressed enough is the profound unpopularity of Jerry Reinsdorf and his regime--how does marketing defuse this pr hand grenade amongst the majority of the fan base?? Is it simply in spending money for payroll and free agents? Reinsdorf did this in the late '90s--stupidly, as it turned out, in throwing away money on Albert Belle and Navarro, two creatures even more unlikable than the Chairman himself (perhaps that explains the whole gambit--it was an attempt to simply deflect fan ire). Is it just going to take a winner w/ a real shot at taking it all--in that case, we're talking Catch-22 to the max. Ideas?

Dadawg_77
07-03-2002, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
Is it just going to take a winner w/ a real shot at taking it all--in that case, we're talking Catch-22 to the max. Ideas? yep, winning cures all, but if he breaks the team up afterwards or messes with the star player, the city will turn on him again. JR won 6 titles with the Bulls, but yet Bulls fans dislike him.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-03-2002, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
yep, winning cures all, but if he breaks the team up afterwards or messes with the star player, the city will turn on him again. JR won 6 titles with the Bulls, but yet Bulls fans dislike him.

Actually, Bulls fans hate JR for having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to go after those last two titles. He and Krause were hell-bent on plowing over the dynasty long before they stopped winning championships.

Bulls fans hate JR for pre-empting any attempt at titles #7 and #8. Given how things have played out (a series of teams getting progressively worse), they are perfectly entitled to gloat over being right.

You need top ballplayers to win championships, and a top coach, too. Reinsdorf chased off all of them, just days after winning title #6.

BTW, where is "Pink" Floyd these days?

Clarkdog
07-03-2002, 03:53 PM
Procol -

JR is the wild card, but so was Steinbrenner in the past.

In many ways JR's problems are the ones Steinbrenner (before his suspension) had but in reverse. Steinbrenner was a businessman that thought he was a baseball talent evaluator, and never trusted the people he hired to run the organization, because only he thought he could make the team win.

JR is a businessman through and through and looks at the bottom line before the standings, and puts too much faith in his baseball people to run his team and probably doesn't question their decision making enough as it relates to team performance.

What Steinbrenner realized he was good at is knowing how to find the right people to run the baseball operation to produce a winner.

JR does not know how to evaluate his people to determine if they are good or bad. The Kenny Williams over Dan Evans choice makes this clear. Evans knew the ropes and had his own opinions on making the team win, Williams is a yes man. Williams got the job. That is JR-style business.

Jerry_Manuel
07-03-2002, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Actually, Bulls fans hate JR for having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to go after those last two titles. He and Krause were hell-bent on plowing over the dynasty long before they stopped winning championships.

Bulls fans hate JR for pre-empting any attempt at titles #7 and #8. Given how things have played out (a series of teams getting progressively worse), they are perfectly entitled to gloat over being right.

You need top ballplayers to win championships, and a top coach, too. Reinsdorf chased off all of them, just days after winning title #6.


Then's there are quite a few morons out there.

Paulwny
07-04-2002, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Clarkdog
Procol -
What Steinbrenner realized he was good at is knowing how to find the right people to run the baseball operation to produce a winner.


The front office in NY also has a fear factor, don't win and heads will roll. At least 1 was fired because they didn't win the ws.
KW would be looking for a job right now if he had been with the yankmees.

Bisco Stu
07-04-2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
But then again, we're dealing with a guy who let Jerry Krause destroy the best team in basketball just to prove a point. (uh...what was the point, anyway?)

Jerry Krause broke up the '86 Celtics?

Missed that one...

soxfaninnewyork
08-23-2002, 03:54 PM
Hey Sox Fans...I just joined WSoxInteractive yesterday...although I live in New York, I've always enjoyed rooting for the Sox. The game that made me a fan was during the Summer of '77 when the Sox were known as the South Side Hitmen. It was a nationally televised game by NBC and the opponent was Kansas City. The Sox were trailing 3-0 by the 6th inning, but rallied with a 2-run single by Jorge Orta, a 3-run home run by Eric Soderholm, and a Orta solo shot in the 8th to win 6-4. What I remember most, however, was the enthusiasm of the 30,000 boisterous Sox fans that afternoon. And who was leading the cheers? None other than Nancy Faust. She would play her numerous jingles and hand-clapping tunes to rev up the fans, amongst these included a chant of "We're Number One" and "Hey Hey Goodbye", later to become, of course, a national anthem of sports songs. From that day forward, I began a Sox fan and a Nancy Faust supporter.

For the next 12 years, from 1978-1989, whenever the Yankees would travel to Comiskey Park, I'd have my portable tape cassette recorder sitting next to the television and would record all the games on audio tape. New York would usually play five or six games at Comiskey so I'd have a nice sampling of music from Nancy. I'd always root for the Sox to do well 'cause when the team played better, Nancy would play better. But if the team played poorly (which in the late 70s it usually did) there was less music to be heard. I remember a Yankee-Sox game in 1980 when both team pitchers had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning. It was hard for Nancy to generate much enthusiasm from the fans when the game was a pitcher's dual, but Chet Lemon eventually broke up the no-hitter with a double and that set off a flurry of musical jingles.

I contined to record games in the early 90s after the team switched ballparks, but the style and flavor of Nancy's music seemed to change. First, the organ seem (in my opinion) to sound different in the new Comiskey than the old (a change in acoustics perhaps?) Secondly, because team management wanted to infuse rock music and other loud sound effects into the game, Nancy's role diminished. When listening to the games, to my astonishment. I would hear more artificial sound effects and less Nancy! I found this unbelievable. Wasn't it the White Sox who signed Nancy to a long-term contract back in the 80s to keep her with the team after Harry Caray defected to the Cubs? Isn't Nancy just as synonymous with the White Sox as Bill Veeck, Comiskey Park and the exploding scoreboard? Now, I don't even bother to record the games because you can't hear her over the obnoxious artificial noise. I've read some of the comments posted by other Sox fans on their frustration with team management's decision to go with the rock music instead of just Nancy alone. I share in your frustration. At Yankee Stadium, the team has practically written off its longtime organist, Eddie Layton. He has been with the team since 1967, and basically has been reduced to a novelty item. Fans can hear him play for 10 minutes during pre-game warmups, the National Anthem (if no one has been scheduled to sing it), a "Happy Birthday" tribute between the top and bottom of the 6th inning, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch, and a few bars after the third out of each half-inning. And that's it! No more entertaining between innings (corporate promotions fill those time slots) or during Yankee at-bats (loud, unceasing sound effects have taken over). No more "Charge", or "da-duh-deh-duh-da" or any other of baseball's organ trademarks. I've written team management, sent letters to the New York local media, but so far have gotten no response. It's a damn shame this is how Yankee management shows its love and respect to such an integral part of the team's history. Nancy has missed five games in her 32 years; Eddie hasn't missed a single game in 36 years! I think he deserves better than this.

It is extremely unfortunate, however, that I no longer have any of these wonderful memories of Nancy at my listening disposal. My entire cassette collection was lost during an apartment move and never recovered. Now I rely on ESPN classic and a couple of games recorded in the early 90s to remind me of how traditional baseball music aught to sound like. It is my goal to make it to Comiskey Park one day and walk up to Nancy and let her know how much I've enjoyed her music and hope that one day Sox management will realize the mistake it is making in shutting out perhaps the best musical entertainer baseball has even seen. And if it does reverse the injustice it has given to Nancy, then perhaps all Sox fans can sing one of her staples from the late 70s and 80s whenever the Sox would receive something of a miracle:

(sing along as Nancy would play)
A-A-A-A-A men
A-A-A-A-A men
A-A-A-A-A men
a-men
a-men

soxfaninnewyork

voodoochile
08-23-2002, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by soxfaninnewyork
(Nancy Faust's Music)

Just FYI. I know you can by a CD of Nancy's music at the ballpark and maybe even on-line throught the official website.