The Red Sox are planning an event at the University Mall in South Burlington, Vermont. It’s packaged as a fun event for fans – and the perpetrators of this insult may even believe that’s true. Make no mistake, it’s just another punch in the gut from a relationally abusive and manipulative Red Sox ownership. Here is a translated list of the opportunties for fans.
- Ticket purchase vouchers for a pre-sale
Translation: Our gift to you is an opportunity to take more of your money. On top of that, we’ll waste a huge chunk of the day the tickets go on sale. The ‘Virtual Waiting Room’ is now a legend of Red Sox Nation! It is your God (of Red Sox Nation<tm>)-given right to bond with others over this oppressive and insulting branding strategy!
- Red Sox themed giveaways
Translation: For free, you can continue your primary job as a walking advertisement for our brand.
- National Anthem singing contest “Sing Your Way to Fenway” (one winner will be selected at the end of the event and that person will have the opportunity to sing the National Anthem before a regular season game in 2012)
Translation: Embarrass yourself in a highly competitive endeavor designed to manipulate your adolescent desire to be noticed.
- Visits with Wally the Green Monster
Translation: OK so this one is awesome. No really, it’s exactly like McDonald’s transforming itself into cartoon character playland. Brand the kids as young as possible.
- Sales of the Fenway Park Coffee Table Book
Translation: None needed. This is honest capitalist marketing.
- One of the recent World Series trophies on display
Translation: Forget about September. Etch this imagine into your brain. You are a winner. All that you do reflects ‘champion’. Even when you’re just going to the mall, you are better than everyone else. Winners don’t care about excess credit debt. Champions spend money. Live big, #1.
- Red Sox Nation memberships for sale
Translation: The worst! Since when did being a fan require a membership card?! Can’t even get into this one…
- Face painter/Balloon artist
Translation: Keep the little ones entertained while daddy melts his credit card.
- Red Sox historical artifact display
Translation: We can’t forget that we have a history of losing and a big chip on our shoulders. That’s what brings us together. Suffering makes us close. Let’s trauma bond a little – it’s stonger than love.
To contrast this with something completely different, let’s look at some highlights from PirateFest.
- 93.7 The Fan autograph party featuring free autographs with Pirates players, including Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, James McDonald, Daniel McCutchen, Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, Chris Resop, Brad Lincoln, Alex Presley, Michael McKenry and Clint Barmes. Also – autograph sessions with Pirates alumni Doug Drabek, Andy Van Slyke, Jose “Chico” Lind, Mike LaValliere and Kent Tekulve.
Meet actual players. Pretty cool.
- The KDKA baseball field, which will host Youth Baseball Clinics with Pirates coaches.
Major League experts teach kids baseball. Awesome.
- Q&A Sessions with the players as well as “Ask Pirates Management” with president Frank Coonelly, executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle.
Get answers stright from the source. Engaging.
- The chance to join your favorite players in versions of Pirates “Minute to Win It” and “Jeopardy”, take on Pirates players in “Wii Home Run Derby”, play “Deal Or No Deal” and take part in Pierogie Eating Contests.
Have fun with the guys you watch on TV. Memorable.
- The Y108 Kids Fun Zone featuring many activities for children, including inflatable rides, batting cages and speed pitch, along with nutritional information on a variety of foods available at Giant Eagle.
The team is helping their community make healthier choices. Wow.
- A charity raffle with proceeds to benefit Pirates Charities.
The team is using its influence to re-direct money to underresourced initiatives. Impressive.
- Information on 2012 Pirates Season Ticket Packages and Group Outings.
- Information on the Pirates 2012 promotional schedule.
Note: “information”, not “opportunity to purchase”…
Two different teams. Two very different styles of building relationship with their fans.