Let me start off this blog by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! And now that the holidays are over, we’re back to our regular routine of analyzing every move made – or not made – by our favorite team.
The title of today’s blog has nothing to do with the holidays we all have just experienced. The season to which I refer is the most crucial of all for the Tigers. Ticket-selling season.
This is the season where PR, Marketing and Ticket Sales go into high drive as they attempt to maximize the number of full and partial season tickets sold before spring training starts and fans’ hopes are still at their highest..
And they’ve got their work cut out for them.
No big signings this year, unless you count Alex Avila. And this particular contract could actually do damage within the fan base – based solely upon perception, not reality.
No big news. No news conferences featuring Mr. Ilitch’s snappy comments. In fact, sadly, no Mr. I to be seen.
And at last count, 25 players signed to minor league contracts. Other than that? Zzzzzzz….
And that’s the problem.
For the first time in many years, the Tigers have generated zippo excitement in the off-season. Many fans, including most of us and the media, are confused about their direction for 2017. No big news, combined with a couple questionable holes that remain unfilled, and a team that is one year older is not the formula to get Comerica’s phones ringing off off the hook.
Add to that, the signing by Cleveland of a significant player who will bolster their team. Oh, and the report that the Tigers remain as 1 of 2 teams out of 30 not to yet have made a significant roster-related move this off-season.
Last year, there were reports that ticket sales were lagging in January. Shortly thereafter, Justin Upton was signed unsurprisingly. But this year is a different one that breaks from the tradition of the past 10+ years. It’s unlikely that anything significant will happen and probably more likely that fans may see one of their favorites depart in January.
So given that those in charge of boosting ticket sales have fewer selling points, just what will they do?
It’s time to jumpstart their Redemption (players who will actually be better), Reminders (players who had great years) and Reassurance (guys who have now figured it out) strategy. Best utilized by reaching out to those select few journalists who are only too happy to print whatever they are given without doing the required analysis in exchange for access and information.
If you didn’t catch it lasts year, this strategy was covered in https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/social-media-leapfrog/ .
Over the next couple of months, which Tigers will be the subjects of stories reassuring the fan base that the Tigers will be just as good – or even better – than they were in 2016? Let’s group them into their rightful categories:
REDEMPTION – Mark Lowe, Mike Pelfrey, Anibal Sanchez, Anthony Gose, Tyler Collins,
REMINDERS – Michael Fulmer, KRod, JV, Miggy, Iggy, Nick Castellanos, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, JD Martinez, VMart
REASSURANCE – Mr. I, Al Avila, Brad Ausmus, Lloyd McClendon, Shane Greene, Daniel Norris, Bruce Rondon, Drew VerHagen, Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Wilson, James McCann
And if PR, Marketing and Ticket Sales don’t reach their goals? We can probably expect to see some special ticket offers earlier in the season. Just don’t expect the overall prices of tickets to come down. There’s still the matter of that pesky $200+ million payroll…..