Corporate Gobbledygook: The Real Problem in Columbus

Discussion in 'Columbus Crew SC' started by Bill Archer, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS feels there's nothing better than a "sports marketing" degree to get the job done.

    Soccer? Who cares.

    These guys might as well be selling floor mops or OxyClean. They have no feel for the game, no passion, no love. It's just a stepping stone on the way to their dream job with the NFL.

    First you get McCullers:

    "Rob Grady is a significant and strategic enhancement to our senior management team," said McCullers. "He is a seasoned sports marketing executive with diverse sales, marketing and branding experience that, with our current sales and marketing executives, comprises a very compelling team. Rob is well suited to lead this team in our continued pursuit to be the top Major League Soccer franchise in all revenue producing categories while providing the gold standard in sports entertainment experience and service to our fans."

    Then you get the resume:

    Grady joins the Crew from Sharpie/Sanford Corporation in Chicago where he served as director of sports marketing, consumer promotions & public relations. His primary focus there was on the execution and negotiation of Sharpie's multi-million dollar NASCAR investment - title sponsorship of the Sharpie 500 and the #97 Sharpie Racing Team.

    Prior to Sharpie, Grady was vice president/general manager for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League where he designed and managed the full start-up operation of the AFL expansion team in Chicago.

    At the collegiate level, Grady has served as assistant athletic director for marketing at the University of Miami, director of marketing & promotions at Northwestern University, and assistant director of marketing & promotions at the University of Michigan.


    Soccer? He'll pick it up as he goes along.

    It's like Flick wrote a few months back: it's all just a circus to these guys.

    http://columbus.crew.mlsnet.com/MLS...ent_id=16818&vkey=news_coc&fext=.jsp&team=coc
     
  2. TheImposter

    TheImposter Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Centerville, OH
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That was the problem!! We lacked a real good VP for sales and marketing! Damn, I feel so much better about next season now. Fear Rob Grady!!
     
  3. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I feel that this paradigm will permit us to leverage our synergies.
     
  4. schmuckatelli

    schmuckatelli New Member

    Nov 10, 2000
    ... and empower our stakeholders.
     
  5. TheImposter

    TheImposter Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Centerville, OH
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's was the problem all along -- no leveraged synergy in the midfield. And our attackers didn't display enough buy-in to our core processes regarding excellence in quality procedures. Look out MLS!!
     
  6. Eggy

    Eggy New Member

    May 28, 1999
    CBUS
    Does this guy have a stupid mustache like our Jim Smith?
     
  7. Onionsack

    Onionsack BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 21, 2003
    New York City
    Club:
    FC Girondins de Bordeaux
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem with the markerting directors goes beyond thier lack of knowlegde of the sport. They seem to have no idea how to market to other demographics, the lack of latino support for our league considering they are this country's largest minortiy is appauling. They try to market traditional US practices on a culture that isn't responsive to those tactics. It is like when Ford Motor company first tried to sell cars in Mexico. After like 2 years they couldn't figure out why the hell they were having such a hard time selling thier product. They got smart and did a 18 month investigation and guess what they found.....They had never taken the time to educate themselves on the cultural diffesrence between Mexico and America and that thier way of attracting customers and customer service just did not jive with Mexican consumers. They changes and have been extremely sucsessful ever since.
     
  8. Grouchy

    Grouchy Member+

    turkey bacon with swiss
    Apr 18, 1999
    Canal Winchester
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You mean Hispanic Heritage Night isn't working?
     
  9. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    I saw this opening on teamworkonline and almost sent in my resume....I guess I don't have such illustrious experience. :rolleyes:
     
  10. myshap

    myshap Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Screw the ********ing Hispanics. If they can't be bothered to show up to games without ethnic pandering then MLS doesn't need them.
     
  11. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Columbus Crew

    This is the wrong mentality. What needs to be done isn't easy, but it's obvious and will cost the club/MLS money. It's about putting Spanish commercials on Hispanic radio, flyers written in both English and Spanish. It's also about getting players such as Scott out in the community speaking at Hispanic organization's meeting. These small things help build a solid base for the Hispanic community to check out the team.

    If these things have been done, then there is room for argument.
     
  12. Eggy

    Eggy New Member

    May 28, 1999
    CBUS
    The Hispanic community will always support teams from their country over this one. Reguardless if they were born here or not.

    The reason is simple. Our league is not glamorous and it's usually not even considered "cool" to like MLS.

    Put yourself in their shoes. If you went to live in Cologne and all these people from Cologne are expecting you to support the Cologne Centurions, some NFL Europe team.... are you really going to be super die-hard Cologne?
    No, you maybe will go once or twice but never be completely a fan.

    So end the marketing to Latinos, because we can't even get our own kids in their teens who play soccer every weekend to go to matches.
     
  13. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    and....The Eurowannabe community will always support teams from some country where a distant relative once donated sperm, or some country they visited on vacation, or some country with some team that had a really cool jersey and some Brazilian player they've heard of but couldn't pick out of a lineup, over this one. Reguardless if they were born here or not.

    The reason is simple. Our league is not glamorous and it's usually not even considered "cool" to like MLS.
     
  14. CrewNorthEnder

    CrewNorthEnder New Member

    Sep 15, 2004
    Get a grip. It's not pandering, it's called marketing and MLS has failed miserably to bring in $$$$$ from this potential source. This particular source is one that understands soccer, so they should be an easy sell right?

    But our execs at MLS don't get it and need to learn from that target audience what will bring them out to games....
     
  15. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, but saying they like MexicSoccer and so they should like MLS is the same as saying they like food and so they should learn to love potroast and corned beef hash.

    Being a fan of America or Chivas is a tie with back home. It's a cultural and family thing: Daddy was a Tigres fan and I'm a Tigres man and my kid wil be a Tigres man.

    They aren't going to up and drop all that so they can follow the Dallas Burn.

    Plus, there's the quality issue. Personally, I don't think much of MexiSoccer. It's crap, frankly. But to them it's like an Irish guy who likes Guiness better than Bud . I may think Guiness is crap, you may think Guiness is crap, but Guiness is home. It ain't beer the guy wants, it's roots.

    MLS just can't drop this meme. It's logical, it's sensible, it would seem to be a smart move. But after almost ten farging years, they've proven that they just aren't interested and it's time we moved on.

    The MLS guys need to see that they're like miners who were sure they knew where a vein of gold was but kept coming up empty. There ain't no gold, boys - it's just rock.
     
  16. myshap

    myshap Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    No I just don't think you guys get it. They don't want advertisments and marketing. The Crew has a Spanish broadcast and on that same station advertising, they don't come out or listen to it. Hell I sit by people every single game that absolutly hate soccer, but wanted something to do and they find their way to the stadium.

    What the large majority of Hispanics want is a large number of top Hispanic players on MLS teams for no other reason then their Hispanic. MLS tried this with all ethnic backgrounds, placing Italians here, Hispanics there, Poles over there. It made MLS a compleate joke and if the player didn't work out or was traded, it created a backlash in those communities. Look at DC and the ELS community or the backlash in Dallas when they traded or wouldn't sign certain Hispanic players or a Hispanic coach because they didn't believe it was right for their organization. It shouldn't matter who is on the team as long as they play good soccer. As long as the large majority of Hispanics won't come to games but to see Hispanic players, then MLS is better of without them.
     
  17. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Your interpretation of the situation in Dallas is very far from the mark.

    Back in the days when the Burn actually drew Hispanic fans, it was because of good grassroots marketing by the Burn front office. It sure as hell wasn't because of the players that were on the team. You think that some second-tier player from Colombia is going to get Mexicans and Salvadorans to come out to the Cotton Bowl? And yeah, the Burn had a Salvadoran international on the team, but there aren't THAT many Salvadorans in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The Hispanic population of D/FW is 80-85% Mexican, and Mexicans aren't all that hog-wild over Hispanic players that aren't Mexican.

    No, it was because of the outreach efforts. You had a GM (Billy Hicks) who could speak passable Spanish to all the local Spanish radio and TV stations, then a GM (Andy Swift) who spoke it fluently. When Hicks was still running the team, Swift was the VP and was on the largest Spanish radio station in town at least once a week, taking phone calls from fans. Later, when he became GM, Swift still went on Spanish radio, but not as often. All of the Burn games, home and away were on the largest Spanish radio station in town. And when it came to outreach efforts and community appearances, the Burn front office devoted almost as much time, effort, and money to the local Hispanic community as they did to everyone else.

    Bill wrote something that was rather telling: "They aren't going to up and drop all that so they can follow the Dallas Burn." See, that's the thing. They never TRIED to get anyone to drop their prior loyalties. As Billy Hicks told me once, "We tell people, 'Look, we're not trying to get you to stop rooting for Chivas or America or Aguilas or Comunicaciones.' We'd just like your support of the Burn, in addition to the team you've rooted for all of your life." And I think that those fans appreciated that. It showed respect.

    And "respect" was what it all boiled down to. Every aspect of the Burn front office was geared toward telling all potential customers, whether they were gringos or Hispanics, "You are a valued customer," from the bilingual marketing to the outreach efforts in all parts of the community to having bilingual people on the phone who could answer questions or sell you tickets.

    Was it successful? Well, it was successful enough that the Dallas Mavericks ended up establishing a business relationship with the Burn to improve the Mavericks' outreach efforts in the local Hispanic community. And the 5,000 fans a game that the Burn have lost due to the Southlake debacle? From my eyeball surveys at the Cotton Bowl, I'd say that most of those fans are Hispanic. So obviously, the Burn were drawing Hispanic fans, even without the use of big-name tokens.
     
  18. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In my mind, having followed the league since BEFORE day one,while there have been some bonehead moves, marketing blunders and out-and-out stupidity from day one, the Great Dragon Stadium Fan Flush of 2003 ranks as the all-time dumbest, most insane and inept piece of MLS incompetence ever.

    They literally took a solid, loyal fan base, including the only significant Mexican fan contingent in a league supposedly starving for same, and simply kicked it in the ass.

    There ought to be a Stalin-esque purge of anyone even remotely connected with it. Fire them, flay them, put them on a raft' they should never be allowed within shouting distance of another fan as long as they live.
     
  19. myshap

    myshap Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    First I was just talking about DC and ELS problems, not about Dallas

    Second, I perfectly understand that Southlake and Swift leaving was a big contributor to the fan flush, but it was the first snowball in an avalanche. I seem to remember a huge backlash from the Hispanic media before the season started about getting rid of certain Hispanic players on the team and the highering of Colin Clarke as HC. I really think that was a huge contributor to the Hispanic community not coming back to CB.

    But still, why did it matter so much to the hispanic community that they highered Colin Clarke or traded away Suerez, Cerrritos, and Martinez and at least were thinking of dropping Pareja? Dallas replaced those players with like and in most cases better talent, but just not Hispanic talent. Why should that be the straw that breaks the camel's back? I liked McBride, West, Dunseth, and Clark and enjoyed watching them play, but when they left or were traded it didn't waiver my support of the club.
     
  20. Pauncho

    Pauncho Member+

    Mar 2, 1999
    Bexley, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Crew's real need is more world-class customer driven proactive excellence, not silly soccer stuff like a better coach. Everybody knows that.
     
  21. Brushes Sand

    Brushes Sand Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    polychronicqatsitime
    With no budget, and hiring the right people at standard MLS salary levels,
    the Dallas Burn drew 45% of their attendance up to 2002 from the Latino
    market, and 95% of that Latino attendance was Central American and
    Colombian. In the Dallas market, only the Mexicans refused to support
    MLS.

    -bs
     
  22. myshap

    myshap Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    That's just poor on my part. What I mant to say was when I said "DC and the ELS community" I meant it only for DC, not Dallas.

    Which goes exactly to what I am saying. Despite all the hard work done by the Burn, who before 2003 did the best job of any other MLS club in marketing to the Hispanic community IMO, 80-85% of the "Hispanic" community in Dallas, according to ElJefe, didn't want anything to do with the organization because it didn't have the make up it wanted. Then on top of that, the other 15 to 20% drop the team because they don't like where they were playing and don't come back when they move back because they don't like the ethnicity of the coach and the trading away of certain ethnic players. How do you combat that without giving up and just start blantly ethnic pandering to that group? Then how do you get by when you have to move players or replace coaches? That just get's you back in the same shity position you were before you pandered to that group.

    This is even a bigger issue in regards to Chivas USA. They want to specifically go after that Mexican-American demographic in the Hispanic Community and hopefully they succeed and show the rest of MLS how to do it. However, what happens when they have a mix of Mexican/Mex-Am, Anglo/African Americans, and different players of other Latin origin American born or foreign? As ElJefe stated Mexican-Americans aren't all that interested in watching other Latinos playing soccer and they sure as hell aren't interested in Americans playing soccer. What then?

    That's why I think you have to say ********'em. They need to show up to watch SOCCER or don't come at all. Get on the train or it's leaving ya and hopefully we can pick ya up the next time around. I'd say the same thing to Eurosnubs. Right now it's much more important to go after the 18-35 year old college market. They've shown they'll come to a game and be loud if you market to them. It's also more important to get those soccer mom's and dad's who bring their little shreaking bastards out to a game because maybe you get a little bonding between parents and kids, they associate that with their MLS experience, and keep coming back. Both those are better then beating your head against the wall going after Hispanics and Eurosnubs with their preconcieved notions.
     
  23. 9 Rush

    9 Rush Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    C'bus
    Evryone seems to have overlooked this guy's wife's name...

    Keyburn!

    Eh?!?
     
  24. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Frankly, I'm shocked that John Wagner even kept his job after that, considering that that whole fiasco was his brainchild.
     
  25. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The one and only difference to the Burn's player personnel between their final game at the Cotton Bowl in 2002 and their opener in Dragon Stadium in 2003 was the departure of Jorge Rodriguez. Granted, he was a fan favorite, but by the end of the season, most of his fans were acknowledging that his best days were behind him.

    However, Pareja was still on the team, as were Chivas Martinez, Ronald Cerritos, and Ryan Suarez.

    I'm not going to say that Zarco Rodriguez's departure wasn't a factor, because it was, but not nearly to the extent that moving to Southlake was.
    First of all, you may not have the same perspective that many of these fans have.

    Second, it wasn't just that they were traded. Suarez, Cerritos, and Martinez were all traded within five weeks of one another. That's not just a trade, that's a borderline purge. And I'm glad to read that someone thinks that we got equal or better talent in those trades. That makes two people who thinks so, counting Mike Jeffries, who made the trades to begin with. You know what we got in those trades? In exchange for Suarez, Martinez, and Broome (the token gringo in the trade), we got Gavin Glinton, Ezra Hendrickson, and a draft pick. In the Cerritos trade, we got Ali Curtis and a draft pick. You know how many of those players are still around? Zero.

    Don't get me wrong. I'll be the first to say that I don't really miss Suarez, Cerritos, or Martinez that much and I'll also say that the one player from those two trade whom we actually miss is the token gringo. But I can also see how, on the heels of the Burn not re-signing a fan favorite and the Burn's move from the very centrally-located Cotton Bowl to the whitebread suburb of Southlake, many Hispanic fans felt that maybe the Burn weren't really all that interested in their business anymore.

    So maybe I will agree with you to a certain extent. But I will still maintain that the #1 reason for the Hispanic fan exodus from the Burn, the one thing that got it rolling, was Southlake. And this is something that has been told to me by Andy Swift. The trades were just the cherry on the "Fvck you, wet backs" sundae.
     

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