Tag Archives: Washington Nationals Promotions

Hot Start; Let’s Keep It Up

Great first two games for the Nats so far.  Let’s see if JZimm can keep pace with the rest of the staff and put goose eggs up there today.

Last night felt like a football game.  I actually think I was colder last night than I was at any football game this past season.  By the way, black mark for ownership on another promotion.  They can never seem to get those right.  If you are having dollar dog night, you should 1) start cooking them before the crowd arrives, 2) cook more than you usually do and 3) have additional staff since there will be a lot more business at those stands.  If you don’t do that, it’s yet another addition to the long list of bait and switch moves by team ownership.  Wouldn’t you rather have your fans in their seats rooting for their team instead of waiting on line in the concourse for 3 innings for a hot dog?  If you did, last night’s situation wouldn’t have happened.  But you want to give the appearance of a good promotion, without having to live up to the deal.  I took a look at the lines and bought nachos instead.  But really, if you’re going to do a promotion, do it right.

Joining Harper on the 2 homer game list already this season:  Michael Morse.  Yep.

Finally, it’s good to see that we re-signed Chris Young today.  Nice to have someone like him stashed in the minors in case we need him.

Nats Come Home Friday Along With a New Ballpark Addition

Alright, I am turning over a new leaf as of today, getting back to posting a lot more often. Really looking forward to the next homestand, especially with the opening of The Bullpen right across from the stadium. We will finally have a place for pre and post-game beers, live music, etc. check it out at http://www.thebullpendc.com/www/

Last night’s game was another entertaining one, although it had an ending that we’ve seen all too often this season: our opponent scored into the double digits and we lost despite our usual offensive explosion. Restating the obvious, we need pitching badly, both starters and relievers. And this is why is hurts so badly that the front office did not do more in the off-season to sign some decent free agent pitchers. At this point in the season, if we go after someone other than a free agent like Pedro, we’re going to have to give up some young players from our farm system, which we obviously don’t want to do. Guys, there is a delicate balance between investing in and stocking your farm system and spending free agent money to plug current holes. You did a solid job putting together an offense for this year, yet you did noting more than scrape up a few tiny band-aids to cover wounds that were much too big on the pitching front. At least the games are fun to watch, as you never know what could happen when we are at bat. Let’s get back on the winning track tonight.

Another Arrow in the Quiver

Now that the Nationals have inked Odalis Perez to a minor league deal, the team has another prospective starter to compete for a spot in the rotation and push the younger guys in camp.  The signing speaks volumes about the free agent market this year, since most observers at the end of last season expected Perez to seek a major league deal for several million dollars, after his solid (albeit unspectacular) performance for the last-place Nats last season, while making $850,000.  My how things have changed since then.

Interesting Nats press release today, in light of my blog post yesterday: “The Washington Nationals today announced their 2009 “NatsTown” marketing and advertising campaign…”.   Will be interesting to see what they roll out.

Only a few days left to submit your cover letter and resume to be one of the Presidents in the 4th innning race during the 2009 season.  Not sure what the pay is, but the demands don’t sound too bad.  You only need to be able to run with a 45 lb costume, and make at least 40% of the games.

Putting Fans in the Seats

I think we all realize that this season is going to be a tough one for the team, as we have not added any significant free agents, and unless we have 4 or 5 John Lannans come out of nowhere during spring training, it’s going to be a long year. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not excited for the season to start in about 2 months, as are most true baseball fans.

Since we don’t have a group of exciting new players to attract crowds to the ballpark, the team needs to think outside the box a little in terms of its marketing and promotions. They need to come up with creative ways to draw people there. They could bring in an occasional national musical act for a pre-game and post-game concert. They could also bring in regional acts to do the same thing, ones that won’t draw 10,000 additional fans but might draw several hundred. Acts like this can draw 500 people, which would more than pay for the $2-3,000 price tags they would carry. Calculate at least $5,000 in ticket sales, and add in sales from concessions and this is a no-brainer for the team.

There are plenty of national brands who would be willing to give free product to the team to hand out at their games and offer fans an enticement to come. Anything from burritos to new CD releases to free samples of an endless list of products, the team could send out an RFP and they would be inundated with consumer product companies looking to jump on the chance to have a ready-made audience of 15-25 thousand people to whom they could instantly give away samples of their product. News flash to the team: people like free stuff. And while team hat and t-shirt day are nice, there are other items that the public would respond to as well. This is especially true if the team is trying to expand their fan base. An established baseball fan would respond to a free hat giveaway, but someone who hasn’t been to a game in years would be more likely to come see a game if a pop star’s new CD was being given away at the door. The team could sift through the proposals and select some items that would be truly valuable and exciting to fans, and with very limited expenditure by the team, have a couple of huge attendance nights.

Here’s another one. Have some game-day contests where a lucky fan or fans get to take some batting practice swings with the team, or shag fly balls on the field during warmups. Do it a couple times per season. You’ll have an extra 1,000 to 3,000 families bringing their kids to the ballpark on those nights, each kid dreaming of getting on the field. And they will be there long before game time for the contest, leaving plenty of time to buys souvenirs while they are waiting for the game to begin.

Many of these promotions would require very little expenditure by the team, with potentially large returns. You would have hundreds and sometimes thousands of fans buying food, drink and souvenirs, and more importantly you will be cultivating a fan base for the future. Even with a sub .500 team, a full stadium is a lot more fun and has a lot more energy than a 1/3 full stadium. And in this economy, averaging over 20,000 fans per game is probably a pipe dream without throwing a change-up into the marketing mix.