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

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