Originally Posted by KingXerxes
They have simply got to get away from tying the team's wins to the teams fortunes at the gate. Other franchises have done it (Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals) and so can the White Sox. Granted they've dug themselves a big hole, but they've got to lose this "win or go home" attitude and start appealing to a wider audience.
This all may come at a cost of the die hard fans, but those die hards will not leave. They will simply have company at the ballpark.
The three teams you mention have built in selling points that go far beyond the baseball game. Be that their field, their tradition, their neighborhood, etc. The Sox have none of those things going for them. Right or wrong the ballpark is still viewed unfavorably nationally, there is simply nothing to do within a few blocks of the ballpark and their most widely known traditions mostly consists of infamous moments like throwing the Series, forfeiting a game due to blowing up records and fans jumping on the field to beat up coaches and umps.
Changing those built in negative perceptions won't be easy. If they can get the neighborhood built up it will help, but Reinsdorf has long resisted that and I believe they have some kind of airtight liquor agreement where no bars are allowed a certain distance from the park, so instead of having a thriving area that people want to go and hang out in and then catch baseball they've got a parking lot - actually several.
I honestly think their best bet would be to market to families, lots of promos to drag mom and dad and the two brats down to the game, cheaper prices would help a lot, but that won't help them M-Th even in the summer.
Part of their problems were created by the Trib owning the flubbies for so many years and effectively being their marketing arm. Now that those days are over the Sox still have to fight those conceptions the Trib helped create. I don't know what the answers are, and I agree they need to find ways to market the club better, but what form that should take and how they combat the natural logistic issues they have (dead isolated neighborhood) I don't know. Hopefully someone with a better marketing mind than me can figure it out.
Maybe a simple marketing campaign built around smiling people having fun at the ball park with fireworks and kids catching baseballs and that kind of thing instead of focusing on the players would be a good idea. It certainly can't hurt.