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View Full Version : Sox PR/ Attendence Question- Long


Bobby Thigpen
05-07-2004, 09:23 AM
While reading some of the numerous posts on here about how the Sox need better PR and to increase attendance, a question came to my mind that I think needs to be answered. If the Sox were able to successfully market themselves and draw the more casual, hip and trendy fan to ball games, would we want them there?

My question stems from the fact that this is precisely what we make fun of the majority of Cubs fans for, bandwagonning and just following the flock of "cool" people. Let's say that in a different world the Sox became the hot ticket in town and they suddenly started drawing the buses from Iowa and people just there to buy into the Sox propaganda. Wouldn't that tick us off more than what the Cubs do right now?

I know for a fact that this is exactly what I hate about going to Sox games once and a while. When I sit next to someone who is just there for the "experience", or has no clue as to what is going on, sometimes it makes me wish I had stayed home and watched it on TV. I think that instances of this would greatly increase should the Sox be able to market themselves better in the future.

I like being able to go to a ballgame and usually strike up a conversation with a knowledgeable fan such as most Sox fans I have met are. I think that US Cellular becoming like Wrigley would be a very bad mistake. I know several Cubs fans that refuse to go to Wrigley simply because it is a tourist trap. They have been alienated by the casual fans and idiots they get there. I fear the same thing would happen on the south side.

Are we willing to sacrifice a good ballpark experience with knowledgeable fans such as we have now just to beat the Cubs at the pretty much meaningless attendance issue? I don't think I am, what do you guys think?

DaveIsHere
05-07-2004, 09:35 AM
Exactly, I love going to the games, cause I can talk to someone while grabbing food and they know what they are talking about, it is great. We have plenty of fans, and the place is a great experience. I have taken a few people to the game that were never there, and each one was impressed by the entire experience. They are great experiences.

soxtalker
05-07-2004, 09:56 AM
When I have attended the half-price Monday and Tuesday promotions in the past couple of years, I have come away with the same feeling. But we may not have much of a choice if we want the Sox to remain competitive in their spending.

SSN721
05-07-2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Bobby Thigpen

Are we willing to sacrifice a good ballpark experience with knowledgeable fans such as we have now just to beat the Cubs at the pretty much meaningless attendance issue? I don't think I am, what do you guys think?

I dont think it is a meaningless issue. It is an issue that directly affects the club. They need that revenue stream. I would love to see an increase in attendance. I know they get big money from TV and radio, but increasing attendance 500000 to a mil would certainly help. I dont really know because I havent been to Yankee Stadium, but do they manage to do it there without so many obnoxious fans and idiots and maintain their high attendance? I would think we would want a crowd more like that and would attract one more like that just because there are a lot of Sox fans that would come out of the woodwork to go to games if they started winning.

Bobby Thigpen
05-07-2004, 11:19 AM
I guess saying it is a meaningless stat is oversimplifying the issue. What I meant to say was that most people that complain about the Sox needing to improve attendance seem to make it out that they need to do it simply so we can lord it over the Cubs like it is some sort of victory. Most don't mention it so that the Sox can use the added revenue to get more free agents. It's just another stat for most people in their Cubs/Sox arguments.

alohafri
05-07-2004, 11:19 AM
I hate it when there are more than 28-30k fans at the game...too many lines at the concessions and restrooms, and too many ne'er-do-wells (mostly scrub fans).

But if 35k+ fans per game will cause JR to buy some quality players and give us a WS winner, then bring 'em on! Otherwise, I prefer the Sox to be Chicago's best-kept baseball secret.



---Mrs. Aloha

ewokpelts
05-07-2004, 11:54 AM
It's a double-edged sword. I'd take it if it meant that the Sox could compete fairly, in the standing and in media perception.
Gene

scottyl
05-07-2004, 12:45 PM
I understand that people like being surrounded by knowledgeable fans, but (right or wrong) this really can't be an issue. We have to draw more fans. PERIOD. Now if that is getting more "real" Sox fans off their butts and to the ballpark, great! But if not I'll take what I can get so long as it helps us get and keep a winner on the field.

In today's game you have to fill seats. We need people to show up so we can quit spending like a small market team. How you market that team, though, will influence how people act. If you make the White Sox experience about the team and the team's tradition, you'll get more involved fans. Doing the opposite will get you Wrigleyville-type fans. It has been chronicled time and time again that many show up across town to watch the ivy grow, buy a beer and watch Sammy hit a dinger--doesn't matter if they end up losing. That's not what White Sox baseball is about.

When the Bulls won their championships, there were plenty of Michael Jordan fans on board. Did that make those championships any less enjoyable? Heck no!

Elitism will turn off the casual fans we need to get us over the hump. I am unwilling to give up the chance to win just so I can talk to the guy next to me about the relief pitcher's ERA in games played at night when the temperature is above 73 degrees and the humidity is below 60 percent.

BigFrankFan
05-07-2004, 12:50 PM
I think the SOX are a good enough organization quality wise to win a WS w/out having to draw the Wrigley crowd.

What I want is a little better attendance so that we have about 10 MIL more a year to spend on talent. Gordon on the 2004 SOX puts us at 20+ wins right now. I have no doubt of this. KW knew the talent he was losing there.

In that regards moderate changes will do it for me:
1) Metra station with a MLB themed restaurant
2) Some kind a repeat business specials to generate more repeat business
3) Lottery giveaways of SOX merchandise for ticket holders
4) Some kind of mascot driven on field races for the kids in the 7th inning. These same mascots can frequent the ball park in the other innings to say hi & take pictures of the kids.

I want the SOX to reach out more to the family ticket then the alcoholic one. I think we should remain distinctly different from the N siders in that respect.

I think all the way back to the opening of the Cell & what just 10 MIL more in payroll could have done for this team. I think we definitely would have won at least 1 WS Championship.

Mickster
05-07-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by BigFrankFan
I think all the way back to the opening of the Cell & what just 10 MIL more in payroll could have done for this team. I think we definitely would have won at least 1 WS Championship.

When the Cell opened, the Sox were drawing quite well and were playing quite well. Attendance wasn't really an issue. Jerry certainly HAD the money to spend but simply didn't. I am of the belief that JR and the owners aren't currently "raking in the dough" under the current economics. Are they losing $$? No way. Were they in better financial circumstances in the early 90's? Absolutely. They were making money hand over fist. Might have been one of the more profitable teams in MLB at the time. We weren't leading the league in payroll at that time... Could we have? I am certain.

Bobby Thigpen
05-07-2004, 01:19 PM
Some kind of mascot driven on field races for the kids in the 7th inning. These same mascots can frequent the ball park in the other innings to say hi & take pictures of the kids.

Why? I have NEVER heard a single person say they were taking their kid to Busch to have their picture taken with Fredbird.

If you make the White Sox experience about the team and the team's tradition, you'll get more involved fans.

I would take such a crowd as well, but in the past some people have advocated such insane things to draw fans as putting in a ferris wheel. These are the ideas that I'm saying would not get the Sox a very good crowd.

I guess what I'm saying is that I would also be all for enlarging the REAL Sox fan base. Making more and more people like the people that are on this board, diehards, can only be a positive. However my point is that alot of people just seem to want to bring people to the park to boost attendance numbers for the sake of not hearing about empty blue seats. They want to bring in the idiots with some of their ideas and I'm not really interested in doing that.

GoSox2K3
05-07-2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by BigFrankFan
4) Some kind of mascot driven on field races for the kids in the 7th inning. These same mascots can frequent the ball park in the other innings to say hi & take pictures of the kids.

So, you want to bring back Ribbie and Rhubarb to increase attendance?
:R&R

kennyv
05-07-2004, 02:14 PM
Watching games on TV I have been amazed at the low attendance... and I kinda get worried as the bottom line is this... although this is a game and we love our White Sox... the organization needs revenue in order to survive as well as succeed. To me that would seem more important then worrying about who is there and what is their demographical standing in life.

But... that is me... :smile:

zach23
05-07-2004, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Mickster
When the Cell opened, the Sox were drawing quite well and were playing quite well. Attendance wasn't really an issue. Jerry certainly HAD the money to spend but simply didn't. I am of the belief that JR and the owners aren't currently "raking in the dough" under the current economics. Are they losing $$? No way. Were they in better financial circumstances in the early 90's? Absolutely. They were making money hand over fist. Might have been one of the more profitable teams in MLB at the time. We weren't leading the league in payroll at that time... Could we have? I am certain.

That's wrong, they did spend back in the early 90's. They didn't have the highest payroll in the league, but they did have the highest in their division in 1993 and 1994. There were only a few teams that outspent them those two years.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/yearly/yr1993a.shtml
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/yearly/yr1994a.shtml

It goes without saying that they have not been spending like the upper echelon teams the past several years, but you can't say they didn't have competative payrolls back in the early 1990's.

nasox
05-07-2004, 04:31 PM
As many people have said before, and will say again, winning solves everything.

Lip Man 1
05-07-2004, 10:16 PM
According to the PBS Documentary Frontline: The Trouble With Baseball (Aired, March 1, 1993) the Sox had the second highest operating profit in MLB for the 1992 season at 22 million dollars.

The book The Lords Of The Realm by John Helyar concerred listing the Sox as second behind the Dodgers.

Lip

soxnut
05-07-2004, 10:24 PM
Casual fan or not, bring 'em in, we need the $ for players. If you need to talk baseball with someone at the game, bring someone--I think they're called friends.

BigFrankFan
05-08-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by GoSox2K3
So, you want to bring back Ribbie and Rhubarb to increase attendance?
:R&R

Obviously they didn't catch on & with names like that why would you think they would? You need something much better than that along the lines of baseball. How about a kid like mascot with a big baseball for a head (but not too big) wearing a cool SOX leather jacket with SOX on the back & front? As for a name well that's tough.

I kind of like Black Jack but it's got to be catchy name.

Some of you got confused with the extra 10 mil comment.
We didn't win a series pre-strike in the new park because Toronto was too good & the strike occured when we were the best in the league. I'm talking the post-strike years. If we had just 10 mil a yr to spend (on avg) in those years we still wound have probably won a WS. You don't need a big increase in attendance to warrant the extra $ spent on talent. That's why I'm suggesting moderate ideas to draw upon the family crowd vs the alcoholic one.

soltrain21
05-08-2004, 04:46 PM
I am currently watching the A's vs. Twins on MLBTV and next week the A's are having "Reggie Jackson weekend." Jerseys on Friday, number retired on Saturday, bobbleheads on Sunday.

I think this is a really great idea, and the Sox should do this too. You don't have to make numbers get retired, but I think this is a really smart promotion.

1951Campbell
05-09-2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Bobby Thigpen
While reading some of the numerous posts on here about how the Sox need better PR and to increase attendance, a question came to my mind that I think needs to be answered. If the Sox were able to successfully market themselves and draw the more casual, hip and trendy fan to ball games, would we want them there?

My question stems from the fact that this is precisely what we make fun of the majority of Cubs fans for, bandwagonning and just following the flock of "cool" people. Let's say that in a different world the Sox became the hot ticket in town and they suddenly started drawing the buses from Iowa and people just there to buy into the Sox propaganda. Wouldn't that tick us off more than what the Cubs do right now?


I think the goal is to get attendance up to the point where the money brought in can pay for more players. Let's face it...the Sox don't have the history, park, and cachet to ever even have to worry about being an Iowan tour bus destination, even if they average 38,000 a game. And be glad for that.