Revs' marketing (or lack thereof) issues

Discussion in 'New England Revolution' started by frankieg73, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. frankieg73

    frankieg73 Member

    New England Revolution
    Apr 8, 2001
    St. Petersburg, FL (not my choice)
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    We are all familiar with the size of the poor crowd at last week's home playoff game. Those of us who attend games know about the dead atmosphere created by a massive stadium that's only 10-20% full with fans sitting on only one side of the lower bowl of Gillette. The sparse crowd is mostly comprised of kids who don't know how to watch the game or don't know anything about the team and their quiet soccer moms.

    Without this thread becoming a bitch-fest about the club's and the stadium's security policies, what can the Revs' do to bring more adults to Revs' games to Foxborough? How do you define the target market? How do you convince them to buy more tickets?

    T service to the stadium for all Revs' games would be nice.
    More TV ads? Radio ads? Those fall mostly on deaf ears -- few people exposed to them like soccer.
    Can you convince the media to devote more time to the Revs? Especially in such a Red Sox/Patriots/Celtics area?

    What would you do?
  2. KaptPowers

    KaptPowers Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know I shouldn't, but I'll bite.

    As far as the local media I'm really not sure what they could do. Its clear they are not a priority. FDA getting moved over to cover the Celtics and being replaced by a high school writer (who to be fair is doing a solid job), getting little to mention on NESN's SportsDesk, TV faces like Gary Tanguay regularly mocking both team and sport on New England Sports Tonight...its tough. They only seem to get any kind of mention during the playoffs and then only briefly. NESN and NECN have, in recent years, had players and Brad Feldman (respectively) on their sports shows to talk about the team during playoff time.

    Back in July our local Revs media expert Sean Donahue weighed in on the local media thusly in a reply to me questioning the team's SuperLiga advertising:

    How to get the media to treat the Revs as a legitmate team and not cover them as a novelty or curiosity is kind of a chicken-and-the-egg thing. Does the coverage make the team bigger or does the team go out and make themselves bigger and then the coverage follows. I honestly don't know.

    T service to the games would be a start but I know the MBTA has been resistant to this in the past.

    As far as marketing to adults, I'd like to see it but its not going to happen the way I think the people who post here would envision it seeing as putting pictures on tickets and scarves in STH packages was the first idea the organization had in that regard. Oh, and getting rid of the "kids rally tunnel" as well.
  3. Nick Katz

    Nick Katz New Member

    Nov 22, 1999
    New England Revolution
    Marketing? What marketing? :rolleyes:

    How about giving local soccer rec leagues Revolution t-shirts. A friend of mine had a 6-year-old, who followed Italy in the European finals because her soccer teams name in the rec league was Italy. It should work for adult leagues, too.

    How about sending a Revs schedule to every new resident of Boston through the Office of New Bostonians? How about hanging out at soccer bars in Eastern Mass. and giving away free Revs mugs/pens/whatever?
  4. kazakal28

    kazakal28 Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wishful thinking but I'll give it a go.

    In my honest opinion the only way to capture enough attention is a complete rebranding/new stadium/Big name DP. Make it the hip thing to do in town as thats how it seems in Seattle and Toronto. All of these around the same time or season will put the team in the news and garner interest from non soccer fan adults looking for somthing cheap fun or different to do on a saturday night. A pub in or around the stadium like Philly is doing would help to. The current system just isn't working no matter how much marketing you do. Ownership needs to look around the league at what everyone else is doing and get out of 1996

    p.s. i love everything Seattle has done this far and i think Freddie was an excellent choice, and the type of player who would seem to attract a more mature audience.

    New Badge, DP, Stadium
  5. Brian in Boston

    Brian in Boston Member+

    Jun 17, 2004
    MA & CA, USA
    Given that Revolution owner Bob Kraft doesn't remotely treat his MLS franchise as a priority, it stands to reason that the local sports media aren't going to treat the team as a priority.

    Think about it: Bob Kraft is one of the - if not THE - highest profile pro sports owners in Boston history. What's more, he's a local boy made good. The local sports media - hell, local media in general - have fallen all over themselves for the better part of the last decade, showering Kraft and his Patriots with praise. After all, none of the media outlets in town wanted to risk being frozen-out of covering a 3-time Super Bowl championship-calibre squad.

    All of that being said, you'd think that Kraft could leverage his local hero status and the Pats' on-field success into consistently significant coverage of the Revolution. Said coverage hasn't been forthcoming, which leads me to believe that Kraft hasn't pushed the issue. Which, quite frankly, sends a message to the local media that such coverage of the Revolution isn't a priority for Kraft... so, why should it be a priority for them?

    Pro soccer still faces an up-hill battle for respectful coverage from a significant portion of the sports media, New England-based outfits included. Add to that the fact that there are long-standing MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL in the New England marketplace with fervent fan-bases that local media outlets feel the necessity to super-serve with coverage. In short, local media outlets are already looking for reasons to not cover the Revolution, thus freeing up broadcast minutes and column inches to dedicate to Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins coverage (as well as local college programs like BC football, basketball and hockey, BU hockey, etc.).

    Bottom line? If Kraft isn't actively pushing the local media to up their coverage of the Revs, it isn't about to happen. Frankly, given the fact that the Krafts don't seem inclined to use all of the resources at their disposal (cap space, roster slots, allotments, DP slot, adequately budgeted marketing efforts) to improve and promote their MLS franchise, I'm not inclined to believe that they're pushing the media to improve coverage. Which is undoubtedly interpreted by media outlets as being a case of the Revolution not being a priority to the Krafts.
  6. Beez

    Beez Member

    Dec 20, 1999
    Coverage can't make the team bigger over the long term. It can drive a burst of short-term interest in an event like MLS Cup (or, say, the Frozen Four), but the media can't create sustained passion for a team/league/sport just by force of will.

    The issue here is how "legitimate" a team are the Revs? Pulling less than 6,000 for a playoff game makes it clear that the number of supporters who deeply care about the club is extremely limited--and certainly not large enough to justify additional coverage, especially in a time when newspapers are shrinking and local TV sports segments (i.e., on the nightly news) are over in a blink of an eye. The burden is on the Revs here to recast themselves as something other than "a fun night out" or "a good take for the kids."
  7. Brian in Boston

    Brian in Boston Member+

    Jun 17, 2004
    MA & CA, USA
    Which they haven't. Which is interpreted - by existing fans, potential fans, media outlets and marketing partners alike - as a case of the Revolution not being a priority to the Kraft family.

    The Revolution are little more than an additional - albeit, marginal - revenue stream for the Krafts. The team is a means by which the Krafts are able to schedule some additional event dates at Gillette Stadium, keep their facility on the radar for hosting international friendlies and U.S. National Team matches, and - the family hopes - keep their "fingers in the pie" should Major League Soccer ever truly explode in popularity.

    There is no reason to believe that the Krafts are going to put major effort or expenditures into the Revolution. If anything, simply putting a competent team on the field that consistently makes the playoffs but doesn't win MLS Cup is currently the most valuable equation for the Krafts. In that way, they maintain the core of die-hard supporters the Revolution already has, keep the team on the local radar just enough to draw a small and ever-changing cycle of curious, casual one-off ticket-buyers, but don't achieve enough success to play into the salary-hike demands of agents negotiating on behalf of MLS Cup champion-calibre players.

    Bottom line? Bob Kraft is - though the Bruins would die for the Revs playoff runs - the Jeremy Jacobs of professional soccer in New England. Nothing more, nothing less.

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