Sunday, September 30, 2007

Larry Baines

No my name is not Larry Baines. I am not a graduate of Shawnee Mission West. No I am not a guidance counselor there either.

I am a Wizards fan though. Tonight at the Wizards season ticket holder galla at the Zoo they are going to say thank you to all of us and then we will relive all of those great moments of 2007.

In no way tonight are they going to ask you for your deposit for the 2008 season tickets. We all know that they would let us know where we are playing next season before they will ask us for our money. But, they have already started asking for money. Hmmm.

Here's to one more season at Arrowhead. So the Legend goes in Kansas.

Legends has it,
This has been
Baines Breath

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Hancock Lives

Thanks to freedom of speech, congratulations should go out to Wizards Fans everywhere. Also kudos to the voice of sanity in the front office.

What am I talking about? Here's the low down. An attempt to appease the fan base has been made by the Wizards organization.
Dateline 09/25/2007 6:49PM
Wizards announce benefits for Thursday ticket-holders

Great stuff here.
They are giving us Free Parking! For those of you that have been to a match this season so far nothing has changed. If you’re a season ticket holder, remember when they informed you that parking was included in your ticket package for the Beckham game? You get nothing and will like it.

"Buy one playoff ticket; get one free playoff ticket for the first home playoff game." It gets no better than this, especially if we make it to the playoffs. Woe is the season ticket holder who should use Ticket A, and B. Now, if you the season ticket holder wish to purchase extra tickets you may take advantage of this offer.

"A drawing for three kids to have a Wizards starting player...visit their school." Yes, your child has a 1 in..... lets see.. 25 to 30 thousand tickets sold for this match, and say 24% of those are children under 14 years of age. A 1 in 7,500 chance of being that lucky child. Just face it the odds are completely against your child winning this drawing.

NASCAR driver David Ragan signing autographs before the game. Not sure what car he drives but this is cool. Of course where in the Metro can you not meet a NASCAR driver this weekend?

A performance by the band Liverpool. Love their version of the White album. Excuse me. Do we not have a band at every game?

"[A] special pre-game tribute to Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones." Please make sure you keep beer away from all kitchen utensils, spoons in particular. We do not want beer to be flung at Cobi again.

"The first 10,000 fans into the stadium will receive blue and white thundersticks courtesy of game-sponsor M&I Bank, and the game ball will be delivered to mid-field by jet pack. After the game there will be a fireworks show and then Wizards players signing autographs." I like Fireworks. I liiiike Fireworks! I LIKE FIREWORKS!

Lets not forget the
Blue Flags in the KC Cauldron. Start at post#28

And last but not least do not forget tea bagging 2007. Just a little reminder. Thursday night, when the the game clock reads 12 minutes 16 sec, we throw
2 tea bags high into the air as a symbolic gesture of protest, such as our fore fathers did on Thursday December 16, 1773 to protest the Tariffs the British imposed on them. The 2007 Kansas City version of the Boston Tea Party.

One Last thing. What are the Wizards going to do to make the season ticket holders feel better about those extra tickets they purchased? With the exception of NASCAR driver David Ragan, and of course we can't forget the jet pack ball delivery, it sounds just like every other home game.

This has been,
Baines Breath.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Stamp Act of 2007

The British were coming the British were coming.
Just a little reminder, in case you did not get the memo,
Beckham's out 4 weeks with a knee injury. What does this mean?
This means the invasion was stopped somewhere in Louisiana along the Mississippi River and those of you in Kansas City will be spared any blood shed. This does not include your wallet. More than likely it has been bleeding so you could pay the extra tariff to see Beckham play. Granted you get to watch a Major League Soccer team every home game. Yes the LA Galaxy is also a Major League Soccer team. And yes you will see Donavon and Klein AGAIN. Yet someone in the Wizards Homeland Security Department (WHSD) decided to impose a tariff based on a single player's appearance. "This tariff was set up to help offset any unexpected costs that the British threat might have incurred," according to the head of WHSD. "This tariff was establish to protect you the fan, not pad our pockets, and it has not helped allow us to travel to Europe and see other

So now it is time to spin the Beckham injury.
In the August 30 article,
Beckham to miss game in Kansas City, Robb Heineman is quoted as saying "Regardless, it’s going to be a great game with the Wizards and Galaxy and going to be a great night at Arrowhead Stadium.” And I hope he is right. We need a win or our road to the playoffs will become frought with potholes. But what I find interesting is Wizards director of communications, Rob Thomson, boasts “We still have a lot of live music and contests … we’re still going to blow up this game into a big event.”

Thomson said there would be some sort of concessions or enhancements made by the club to ticket holders but that it was premature to say what those might be. “That’s something we’re going to have to sit down and discuss as a staff,” Thomson said. “We’ll try to add to or enhance the whole day, and I’m sure there’s something we’ll do for our fans as well."

This all appeared in the Kansas City Star on August 30. We, those that payed the tariff, still have heard nothing about these "enhancements". And as of this posting there is nothing listed on the
Wizards website, no press release or season ticket holder news flash e-mail.

The spinning continues.
According to an article on Sep 6 titled
Beckham injury has Wizards spinning no-refund policy, the Wizards have "bumped ticket prices to $35 and $50 for the Beckham game. Most single-game Wizards tickets range from $16 to $20. And where parking is free to Wizards games at Arrowhead this year, the team instituted a $10 parking fee for the Beckham game."

And here is my favorite "Wizards spokesman Rob Thomson earlier this week likened a possible Beckham no-show to attending a San Francisco Giants game where Barry Bonds did not play." But unlike the Royals you are charging us a Tariff. I have never heard of a Major League team in the USA changing it's ticket prices or parking fee based on one regular season game. Much less implementing that change to watch us take on the last place team.

So to the fans I have a suggestion on how to show the WHSD that you do not appreciate this tariff. Thursday night, when the the game clock reads 12 minutes 16 sec, we throw
2 tea bags high into the air as a symbolic gesture of protest, such as our fore fathers did on Thursday December 16, 1773 to protest the Tariffs the British imposed on them. The 2007 Kansas City version of the Boston Tea Party.

In memory of John Hancock

This has been
Baines Breath.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is This Thing On?

It is time to be visible again.

First I want to say I am sorry for the long silence. I was told that I was being too aggressive and only pointing out the negatives. And now it is time to be heard again.

Today I returned to my in-box hoping to be be humored by the tons of useless emails I receive everyday from those that deem me worthy of their sick humor. When, low and behold, the Wizards have graced me with a letter titled, Kansas City Wizards to Serve as Feature Sponsor of Fiesta Hispana This Saturday, Sunday. Screeechhhhhh. Crash. What was that pick up doing there.

WOW. Kansas City Wizards to Serve as Feature Sponsor of Fiesta Hispana This Saturday, Sunday. This is great. I wish I knew who in marketing came up with this one. This person is a genius. Or are they?

So here it comes. The thought collective is on the loose.

Why in the world with all the activities that are going on in Kansas City this weekend: Oktoberfest, The Plaza Art Fair and numerous (insert city Name here)Days, would you put all your eggs in one ethnic group's basket? Please someone think about this. Yes I know it is a Latino thing. And yes I understand that at least one 72-year-old rose gardener will not be attending the Fiesta Hispana. Have you not figured out the Latino thing yet? Allow me to enlighten you.

Yes they are are fanatics when it comes to the sport. Yet you have been trying to entice them to attend the matches all season. And with the exception of when Chivas USA, DC United, Mexico national teams, or Blanco and are in town they do not come to Wizards games.

Have you not noticed that when they do show up they are wearing the other team's jersey? They have no intention of returning to support our beloved Wizards. Let me explain. The day they breathe their first breath they support the club their father supported. And their fathers support the club his father supported and so on, and so on. You just can't crack that nut. After all look at your so-called Argentinean supports, they were not there for you Saturday night because they walked out en masse shortly after the second half started. They missed a great finish. Why did they get up and leave? Because a nice young man blowing a whistle during the second half is ejected. So all the Argentinians get up and walk out on our team. That walk out sure looked good on camera. And to think I thought they were there because they support the cause. That cause is supposed to be the Wizards.

One more thing about the Latinos and why you can't seem to crack that nut. You won't let them be fans. You have a cultural difference. For some reason the whole sit on your seat and clap thing does not work for them. Bless their attempt to follow your rules, but for them to truly show their support and have a good time they need noisemakers like whistles, drums, a variety of clanking and grating instruments. And when you have the noise element you can not leave out the visual elements, smoke and fire. As long as you suppress their culture you will have problems making them supporters. Try earning their support. Have you ever watched a River Plate game on Goal TV? What our supporters do is mild. They do what they know. Let them do it while keeping things safe. Relax.

Ahh Culture. Lets look at the cultures you have not marketed to.

I would like to start by pointing out that you have completely overlooked your primary market. The US fans who are born here and will die here. Growing up Wizards or US National Team supporters isn't good enough to get your attention? You seem to be losing this market as quickly as the Argentineans walked out. You might try throwing them a bone every now and then, and I don't mean a "discount" on this year's jersey.

Any of the Asian communities. Little Vietnam, Little China or the Koreans. Extra, Extra: Soccer is the quickest growing sport in Asia. These are communities in the Kansas City market you have not tried to crack. Why? Their families are not deeply rooted in a team as the Latinos or Europeans are. Seems to me like a great tradition could be started for them.

Or maybe any one of our many first or second generation African communities. Same thing goes. They are not tied to many large clubs either. Try marketing to them. Hell, the African Cup is this year's big soccer event in the region. And I seem to recall something like the WORLD CUP 2010 will be played in South Africa. HELLO Bueller.

And last but not least the former Soviet Republics. Most of these individuals have immigrated to this community searching for political freedom after leaving their homeland. During that time, due to the level of corruption in football back home, they have no individual team loyalty outside of the national team. Yet another untapped market. Hmmmm. I smell a pattern.

If a schmo like me can figure this out I would think that your brilliant marketing department could do the same. Try researching. It works.

One last thought. I might be able to understand why you have chosen to not be represented at the Plaza Art Fair. Cost, location, or maybe you have issues with more liberal minded people, like me for example. But why do you choose to support the Irish Festival, but not participate in Oktoberfest? Both cultures have 3 things on their minds:

1. Futbol
2. Beer
3. Fun (and more beer).

This has been,
Baines Breath