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Thread: Reds Brand/Business Model?

  1. #1
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Not only does the direction of the franchise on the field seem adrift, I'm really lost as to what the current FO is doing in terms of business model and branding. What is it they are trying to sell us? Obviously it's not winning baseball. But the messages they attempt to sell are all over the map.

    They've tried to draw fans to the stadium based on identities: Larkin, Griffey, Kearns, Bailey Cordero, etc. Sign a big name or hype a prospect such that the fanbase gets excited. The fanbase is conditioned to look for the next "silver bullet" player.

    They've tried to draw fans based on a new stadium.

    They've tried to draw fans by harkening back to days of yore. Whether it be getting scraptastic players (Sabo, Hatcher, Freel) or trotting out the next old Big Reds Machine member it seems like a lot of energy has gone into trying to sell the message that fans should come to the stadium because of a team 35 years ago.

    They've certinally relied heavily on $1 dogs and crappy give-a-ways. Bobble-head nights seem to draw well, but did the BBQ aprons really do much to boost gate attendence or attract new fans?

    They've tried targeting different groups. You've got the family sections, all you can eat sections and party decks. Yet, none of those seem to blend together around a common theme (you'd think it would be baseball).

    Last Saturday night it really struck me how completley disjointed all of the pregame activies are. First, you have complete faux excitement. You've got people lining up for the 3 or 4 cerimonial first pitches, the MDX crew trying to catch rings on their head, Gapper running around feeling up attractive moms, players milling around and the cheerleaders off to the side doing a dance number. Serriously, it's total trainwreck that's topped off by a retrospective video of great Reds past. Is that mess really what somone in the business department really thinks fans want?

    Now they have three mascotts. Three.

    I just can't get a read on what business model they are trying to set up. Are they trying to be low cost entertainment? A place for young hipsters? A place to see and be seen? A team soaked in history? An alternative to movies and paintball? All of the above? None of the above?

    They have zero brand identity, zero brand excitement and zero brand draw.

    The answer is obvious, win stinking baseball games, and the branding stuff will come. You would think that'd be a no brainer. But the FO seems to be working overtime trying to come up with different messages without any of them building around a theme or seemingly aimed at anything more than random targets. (I understand that it's not an easy task with such a horrable product).

    They remind me of the well-meaning parents who half-heartedly disciplined their child, and went on lots of vacations but can't figure out why she's a crack addict porn star.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    The answer is obvious, win stinking baseball games, and the branding stuff will come. You would think that'd be a no brainer. But the FO seems to be working overtime trying to come up with different messages without any of them building around a theme or seemingly aimed at anything more than random targets. (I understand that it's not an easy task with such a horrable product).
    Yup, fans go to baseball games to watch their team win the baseball game. Who would've thunk it would be so simple.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    They remind me of the well-meaning parents who half-heartedly disciplined their child, and went on lots of vacations but can't figure out why she's a crack addict porn star.
    You had me until the "crack addict porn star" comment. But, uh...otherwise I'd agree.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    I would guess that the branding decisions are made 100% independently of the baseball decisions. The two trades really gutted the ability to market the squad based on stars and HRs. Look for the marketing efforts for the remainder of the season to focus on the appeal of enjoying a night at the ballpark and cheering for the hometown team. It would be foolish to try to do any major repositioning with so few weeks left in the season and so many question marks about the '09 roster.

    I don't envy FSN Ohio's or WLW's promotion team. They're really stuck putting lipstick on a pig to get people to sit through these games.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 08-12-2008 at 06:57 PM.
    /r/reds

  6. #5
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Problem is, in terms of the model, you can't use simply one.

    Some baseball fans [read:RZ] want a winner first and foremost.

    Believe it or not though, some fans go for the atmosphere of the park. The giveaways, the dollar dogs, the music on the concourse. Still other fans see a bad product currently, though they love baseball, so they will come for the history and nostalgia...the BRM and such.

    I agree though that the pregame festivities at the game are disjointed at best. I don't think you need to intro all those groups. Just have the cheerleaders there. Just have the Pepsi Crew there. Don't intro them and make a big deal of it....although thats sponsorship supported and the Reds likely have to do it. Maybe they should do it between innings or something.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
    Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
    Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13
    University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    I couldn't agree more with what has been posted. The absence of any sort of consistent branding message has long been one of my biggest frustrations with the team management.

    Ever since the end of the BRM, there has been a clear lack of any sort of grassroots promotion for the Reds out side of--say--Hamilton County. Just look at the weapons that they now have at their disposal: 100,000 watts of radio coverage, a regional Fox affiliate, the Internet, and various MLB packages--the ROI for expanding the reach of your branding messages have never been more affordable. Of course, if they spend money so foolishly on the actual talent, it only stands to reason that they will also mismanage the marketing/PR budget as well.

    My son is nearly ten years old and is an ardent Reds fan. Sometimes, I try to glimpse the state of the Reds "nation" through his eyes. The last two weeks have been especially tough on him BECAUSE of the way the PR folks have tried to enhance the visibility of Dunn and Griffey in recent years. Of course, they were doing the same with Kearns in 2005, as well....

    Today's youth is tommorrow's sought-after demographic. To the best of my knowledge, my son is a Reds fan because his dad is a Reds fan. He has achieved no "buy-in whatsoever with the team, because the Reds have prioritized their stars over the team. This myopic strategy reeks of desperation and will eventually cause young fans to stray to the Yankees, Red Sox, or whomever is the flavor of the month on Baseball Tonight.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Member top6's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Everyone says "just win," but go back and look at the 1999 attendance figures.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    Everyone says "just win," but go back and look at the 1999 attendance figures.
    There's always an excuse. If they are "winning", then maybe they aren't in the pennant race. If they are in the race and winning, then maybe it isn't late enough since fans don't come out until the summer. If it is late enough, then maybe they aren't trusted enough.

  10. #9
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    Everyone says "just win," but go back and look at the 1999 attendance figures.
    Takes more than one winning season surrounded by years of crap to drive up attendence numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    There's always an excuse. If they are "winning", then maybe they aren't in the pennant race. If they are in the race and winning, then maybe it isn't late enough since fans don't come out until the summer. If it is late enough, then maybe they aren't trusted enough.
    So you are arguing against the idea that winning leads to increased attendence?

    So what is the key then? More mascots?
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    So what is the key then? More mascots?
    More catchers.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    I firmly believe that it would behoove the Reds to bring in marketing people from outside of baseball and pay them well enough to stay long-term and build something fresh and consistent. If they do have non-baseball folks in there already, then they're not serving the purpose such people should serve, and regardless I'm pretty sure it's not a collection of well-paid jobs.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  13. #12
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    I firmly believe that it would behoove the Reds to bring in marketing people from outside of baseball and pay them well enough to stay long-term and build something fresh and consistent. If they do have non-baseball folks in there already, then they're not serving the purpose such people should serve, and regardless I'm pretty sure it's not a collection of well-paid jobs.
    Agree 100%.

    They do some nice things but it's all a mish-mash. They are trying the shotgun method and it's not working IMO. Like you said, consistency of message is key.

    Some nights I've been at GABP and I've got one guy stuffing a Ohio lotto bingo card in one hand and a Dusty Baker beach towel in the other as I walk in the gate. Eagles swoop down to home plate before the first pitch. Anouncements for the Build-A-Bear booth are blaring. Oh look over there, its some patio tables and a wall of TV's

    It's a trainwreck.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Agree 100%.

    They do some nice things but it's all a mish-mash. They are trying the shotgun method and it's not working IMO. Like you said, consistency of message is key.

    Some nights I've been at GABP and I've got one guy stuffing a Ohio lotto bingo card in one hand and a Dusty Baker beach towel in the other as I walk in the gate. Eagles swoop down to home plate before the first pitch. Anouncements for the Build-A-Bear booth are blaring. Oh look over there, its some patio tables and a wall of TV's

    It's a trainwreck.
    Agree.

    Cincinnati is supposed to be a "baseball town" built on years of tradition. The gimmicks are cheesy and minor league. It's all just noise to me. I miss the days at Riverfront when all you heard was the "Charge" horn, the bland PA announcer, and the planes flying overhead pulling the flag advertisements.

    I can't imagine how awesome Crosley must have been.

    Why must everything be a circus nowadays? Are we that worried about losing the younger demographic's attention? Give them good baseball with drama and they will be into it.

    I'm also for going back to no facial hair and all white uniforms from the early 70's. Maybe it's stale, but baseball and especially Reds baseball is about tradition......and WINNING.

  15. #14
    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Organizational Competence.
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

  16. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Brand/Business Model?

    Signage.. the key is signage.

    Team goal is to Increase exposure and one stop name recognition, that's the goal... the brand is looking for a spokesperson, the marketing team hasn't seen one yet, thus they embrace minutia that stirs nostalgic emotions in hope that in turn creates the need to reaffirm those feelings with your spawn and thus create a new consumer base for future market avenues.


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