White Sox Interactive Forums
Sox Clubhouse
 Soxogram: 
Congratulations on winning the AL ROTY award unanimously, Jose!

Welcome
Go Back   White Sox Interactive Forums > Baseball Discussions > Sox Clubhouse
Home Chat Stats Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #136  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:05 PM
Dan H Dan H is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Highland
Posts: 1,992
Default

GoSOx 2K3:

I agree that blaming the fans doesn't anyone anywhere. It has been done for a long time and I don't see any real results from it. I wish attendance was better, too, but I believe attendance has deep rooted problems. Brooks Boyer said a few years ago that it takes time to build or, in this case, rebuild a fan base. For a time, I thought the team was on the right track, but things regressed. Scapegoating fans is counter-productive.

One troubling thing is the public absence of Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems. But he can go on Sports Net and get Chuck Garfien to lob him some easy questions. It could help some if he reassured fans some. I hated the White Flag Trade but at least I knew what Reinsdorf was trying to accomplish. I have no idea of what he is thinking now.
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:31 PM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,596
Default

This has never been a popular suggestion on these boards, and I get why. Guys (and gals) posting here have an extrememly passionate connection to the team, and therefore disagree with me because I'm going after casual fans, but here goes again:

The Chicago White Sox need a complete marketing overhaul.

One cannot market a sports team solely on the basis of winning. Wins help to be sure, but over the past 30+ years the fan base has slowly morphed to where the only thing the White Sox are judged on is wins and losses. There are gratuitous (and rather stupid) "Dog Days" and such, but overall fans are now of the opinion if the White Sox aren't going to win, why bother going to a game? This is a disastrous sentiment. The fact the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 should have bought them 20 years of "Aloha" from its fan base and Chicago in general, yet here we are - eight years later - wondering why they can't draw.

Everything needs to be changed to market the team to a more casual brand of fandom. Television, radio, ticket prices, parking prices, concession prices, number of day games - everything needs to be on the table. People have to want to go to the ballpark to see a game, and have a good time - win or lose.

The broadcast booths - as will be no secret to anybody - have long been a pet peeve of mine. With a short interruption in the mid to late 1980's, for the past 30 years we've been "treated" to Ken Harrelson broadcasting White Sox games as if his audience consisted of nothing but pitching coaches and batting coaches. It has no mass appeal. Nor does Farmer for that matter.

Before everybody starts retorting they don't want a generic announcer, I will counter if you're happy with the hypertechnical idiosyncratic styles of these guys, then don't bemoan the fact the White Sox have such a regional following.

If you want a large fan base that shows up at the gate consistently, you have to at least try and get one. Once there is some consistency at the gate, which isn't solely based upon wins and losses, the White Sox will have enough stability to pursue whatever strategy they wish to accomplish goals. Until then it's going to be like managing a business which has no working capital - even the smallest disruptions in the plan are going to look like major calamities.
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:31 PM
RKMeibalane RKMeibalane is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 17,394
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan H View Post
One troubling thing is the public absence of Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems. But he can go on Sports Net and get Chuck Garfien to lob him some easy questions. It could help some if he reassured fans some. I hated the White Flag Trade but at least I knew what Reinsdorf was trying to accomplish. I have no idea of what he is thinking now.
I don't mean to imply or suggest something that's unsubstantiated, but does anyone with ties to the White Sox front-office know about Reinsdorf's health? He's no longer a young man, and has not been for several years. Might his absence from the public eye the past few seasons be related to problems that haven't been made public. Again, I'm not suggesting that this is the case, as I have no supporting information, but am wondering if members with sources around the White Sox know more than I do. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:45 PM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,596
Default

"Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems."

Again, one of the major marketing agendas needs to be to stop the whole "Us against the world" attitude.
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:14 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
WSI Prelate
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lakeview
Posts: 18,277
Default

The suckiness of the franchise's approach only reinforces what awesome fans we all are!
__________________
Ridiculousness across all sports:

(1) "You have no valid opinion because you never played the game."
(2) "Stats are irrelevant. This guy just doesn't know how to win."
Reply With Quote
  #141  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:38 PM
Jerko Jerko is offline
2008 WSI Pick 'Em Champion
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 10,275
Default

I look at it this way: when the team struggles, it looks like the players aren't putting in the effort. When Dunn bats 4th and plays first base almost every day, it looks like the manager isn't putting in the effort (we had enough of that in 2011). When the uniforms, the montage, or whatever gets changed or downgraded, and we bitch about it and get blown off, it looks like the marketing crew isn't putting in the effort. When fan favorites are allowed to walk so we can keep overpaid stiffs, it looks like the front office isn't putting in the effort. When you go to the park and half of it is closed, it seems that the stadium staff isn't putting in the effort. That attitude has been trickling down to the fans for years now IMO. It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?
__________________
Playoffs? PLAYoffs?
Reply With Quote
  #142  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:55 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
WSI Prelate
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lakeview
Posts: 18,277
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerko View Post
It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?
I was just thinking whether I would make my fewest number of games in over a decade today. The answer is probably, at this point, which sucks.
Reply With Quote
  #143  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:00 PM
SI1020 SI1020 is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Deep in the heart of Dixie
Posts: 4,419
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingXerxes View Post
This has never been a popular suggestion on these boards, and I get why. Guys (and gals) posting here have an extrememly passionate connection to the team, and therefore disagree with me because I'm going after casual fans, but here goes again:

The Chicago White Sox need a complete marketing overhaul.

One cannot market a sports team solely on the basis of winning. Wins help to be sure, but over the past 30+ years the fan base has slowly morphed to where the only thing the White Sox are judged on is wins and losses. There are gratuitous (and rather stupid) "Dog Days" and such, but overall fans are now of the opinion if the White Sox aren't going to win, why bother going to a game? This is a disastrous sentiment. The fact the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 should have bought them 20 years of "Aloha" from its fan base and Chicago in general, yet here we are - eight years later - wondering why they can't draw.

Everything needs to be changed to market the team to a more casual brand of fandom. Television, radio, ticket prices, parking prices, concession prices, number of day games - everything needs to be on the table. People have to want to go to the ballpark to see a game, and have a good time - win or lose.

The broadcast booths - as will be no secret to anybody - have long been a pet peeve of mine. With a short interruption in the mid to late 1980's, for the past 30 years we've been "treated" to Ken Harrelson broadcasting White Sox games as if his audience consisted of nothing but pitching coaches and batting coaches. It has no mass appeal. Nor does Farmer for that matter.

Before everybody starts retorting they don't want a generic announcer, I will counter if you're happy with the hypertechnical idiosyncratic styles of these guys, then don't bemoan the fact the White Sox have such a regional following.

If you want a large fan base that shows up at the gate consistently, you have to at least try and get one. Once there is some consistency at the gate, which isn't solely based upon wins and losses, the White Sox will have enough stability to pursue whatever strategy they wish to accomplish goals. Until then it's going to be like managing a business which has no working capital - even the smallest disruptions in the plan are going to look like major calamities.
I don't think you have to worry about being belittled for going against the grain, like some of us are. You have credibility and quite frankly have earned it. You do make some good points, although I think following such a plan you outline would be fraught with the peril of making some things bland and vanilla and others unpalatable to some long time fans. Look at the dismay and disgust many have over the changing of the intro and the constant loud canned interruptions during the game. Brooks and company seem to fall flat on their faces when they try to be edgy and hip. Someone made the point here earlier, and I am paraphrasing, when you try to appeal to everyone you end up pleasing no one. Not only that, but I think no matter what the Sox do now they are in a weak position. They just do not have the following among the fans, and the clout in the sports media both locally and nationally that the Cubs do. They blew a golden opportunity when they couldn't follow up on their success in 05. In short, like you I'm up for a comprehensive shake up from ownership on down. We will probably have some areas of agreement and others of disagreement on how it should proceed. In any case, it will never happen under the current ownerhip group.
Reply With Quote
  #144  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:32 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
WSI Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chubbuck, Idaho
Posts: 26,379
Default

For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.

Lip
Reply With Quote
  #145  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:43 PM
Carolina Kenny Carolina Kenny is offline
WSI Personality
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,048
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerko View Post
I look at it this way: when the team struggles, it looks like the players aren't putting in the effort. When Dunn bats 4th and plays first base almost every day, it looks like the manager isn't putting in the effort (we had enough of that in 2011). When the uniforms, the montage, or whatever gets changed or downgraded, and we bitch about it and get blown off, it looks like the marketing crew isn't putting in the effort. When fan favorites are allowed to walk so we can keep overpaid stiffs, it looks like the front office isn't putting in the effort. When you go to the park and half of it is closed, it seems that the stadium staff isn't putting in the effort. That attitude has been trickling down to the fans for years now IMO. It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?
Jerko, I agree. I hate to say it, I thought Jerry was the best owner the Chicago sports scene ever had. However, his time seems to be past him, and he is old. Unfettered loyality to under-performing employees, now seems just to be laziness on his part resulting in moribundedness.

We are in need of new and younger ownership with a freaking VISION and not more recycled marketing. The Cubs will soon be on the ascent and the Sox will be talking about moving, " because the fans don't support us."
Reply With Quote
  #146  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:44 PM
kittle42 kittle42 is offline
WSI Prelate
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lakeview
Posts: 18,277
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.
That'll put butts in the seats.
Reply With Quote
  #147  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:59 PM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,596
Default

SI1020 - I think you and I overlap in agreement on many things. First and foremost though is the strange loyalty which ownership has toward certain people.

I agree in trying to please everyone, you'll just end up in a big mess, so I would suggest they try and please the largest segment of the population - the casual fan.

For years people screamed at Bill Wirtz for not televising Blackhawk home games. They told him over and over how a television broadcast is basically a three hour free commercial for the product you're selling - but his loyalty to ticket buyers trumped all. A week after his passing, the Blackhawks announced they would start televising home games, and the rest is history. While their good fortunes were a combination of a great team and a new approach, their tickets are now a very hot commodity. The same can happen with the White Sox.

Most people's exposure to the White Sox is via television and the radio. You turn it on and have to listen to palaber about how Adam Dunn's right shoulder flew open at that last pitch, and he couldn't reach the outside corner with his swing and not since Ol' Ted Williams has Harrelson seen a hitter who could keep that shoulder in line and put a hurtin' on a lefthander throwing an Uncle Charlie.

The clicking sound your hear in the background are televisions turning off all over your neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, there is a role for an analyst during a broadcast - and that role is when something needs to be explained or expanded upon to a casual fan.......not every single pitch.

People call many announcers these days "vanilla", but almost every announcer - with exceptions - has been vanilla since they started broadcasting baseball, and the reason for the vanilla announcer is so the game can speak for itself. Again please note I completely understand announcers such as Caray, Dean, Uecker and a few others had personalities which were woven into their broadcasts, but most of the others (Harwell, Buck, Scully, Brickhouse, Rooney etc.) kept their own personalities out of the broadcasts. They had a certain style, but they didn't want to become the show - they allowed the game to be the show. Here we've been stuck with announcers who, for far too long, are intent on being the story themselves to a large extent. Just announce the game.

The ballpark experience is great, but it isn't incorporated into the marketing well enough. Instead of constantly beating the drum about kiosks where you can throw a baseball, or learn to hit - how about simply setting the scene of a beautiful sunny day, a hot dog and game? Win or lose a great time is practically guaranteed! Nope - we got to identify with the third baseman as he talks about winning it all this year.

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.
Reply With Quote
  #148  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:20 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
WSI High Priest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,467
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.

Lip

If we give fans a good pregame video, all they'll do is complain about our small, outdated scoreboard.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #149  
Old 04-17-2013, 12:40 AM
voodoochile's Avatar
voodoochile voodoochile is offline
Soda Jerk/U.P.W./Lester Pooh Bear
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 47,954
Blog Entries: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingXerxes View Post

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.
__________________

Riding shotgun on the Sox bandwagon since before there was an Internet...
Reply With Quote
  #150  
Old 04-17-2013, 11:00 AM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
WSI Church Elder
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,596
Default

Voodoo - Great to hear from you. I think we're on the same page.

I'm not a marketing whiz myself, but I do think they need to stop marketing every game as a battle, every season as a war, and each player as a warrior.

I agree the White Sox are in a big hole, but a bit of it is their own making. Obviously the Cubs have a big advantage, but instead of trying to differentiate themselves, they flirted with going head-on against them. Sponsors (WLUP years ago and the Southtown as well) started running direct confrontational ads involving the Cubs and White Sox (and believe me I posted against those when they were taking place). It made the White Sox organization look small, and I don't think it paid any dividends over the long haul.

White Sox fans know they have a great stadium, an entertaining team and certainly a fan base large enough to support the franchise. Capitalize on those elements, and stop making it a win/loss or life/death situation.

It's baseball, and it's a good time win or lose - that's the message which needs to get out there.

I do agree 100% with you on the dead zone around the park. You're not going to have a Wrigleyville-type of development due to the fact that the neighborhood doesn't consist of high density population which keeps those places going during away games and the off season, but I would have thought by now you'd see destination locations (restaurants and such) popping up in the general vicinity of the park.

Last edited by KingXerxes; 04-17-2013 at 11:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



Forum Jump




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:29 AM.




Design by: Michelle

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site-specific editorial/photos Copyright ©2001 - 2008 White Sox Interactive. All rights reserved.