Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Das Boot

Gone are the fireworks. Here is some sort of sub-based AWOOOOOGA. The Bog has the story.

A few things caught my eye...

First... Is Andy Feffer the dumbest goddamn person on earth? Does he realize how terrible he sounds? Does he know what he's actually saying, or has the man who worked for the Charlotte Bobcats and worked for the weakest union in pro sports -- so weak, that they never found success til they freakin' disbanded! -- just have this poop dribble out of his mouth?

“We’re only six years old; we should look for brand identifiers [Is this like a cattle brand?] in the market that differentiate [never use a big word when a smaller one will do] us not only in the marketplace but in sports. [how do the Nats not exist in a sports marketplace? What other kind of marketplace do they exist in?] The Nationals should be developing something that’s brand-centric [SBF nods in agreeance] and distinctive from other teams in the market, and from other teams in Major League Baseball [since they can't win].

It’s less about fireworks [please don't notice they're gone... look over here! -->]it’s more about the overall fan experience [could this phrase be any more vacuous? it sounds good. Hey, I'm a fan... they're looking out for me!] and our ability to deliver [unless you work for UPS, you're not delivering anything, budddy] something new and different. [but not necessarily better... or similar...] Looking at the overall schedule of 81 games is important; it’s not just about 13 Friday nights [because we're doing all sorts of similar non-things on the other 6 nights a week too. We didn't want to single one night out and make it special. Some days are more equal than others]. What’s popular yesterday [like Feffer's MBA] and today, you shouldn’t rest on it [like Feffer's vacuous MBAspeak]. You have to always look to do something different [or nothing at all]. And that doesn’t mean we have it figured out [nor will we /fails_upward].

Reread that last paragraph. What is it actually saying? What message is he communicating?

Second thought...

"But Feffer said eliminating the fireworks from the post-game celebrations and also the regular Friday night fireworks shows was really about trying to be distinctive; he also said financial considerations did not influence the decision."

1) It's as likely that they had fire permit problems as anything... remember when they sprayed the Fire Chief with debris, and he shut them down? Supposedly, the fire chief is the reason the red tent is gone this year. Crackdown perhaps?

2) If 1 isn't the case... do we really believe that money had zero factor? I don't think the Friday attendance was up markedly above what you'd expect. (Check my work, please!). And it's likely that the extra boost from 'works wasn't worth the cost. But to say that it was ZERO factor? If it was making them money in extra tickets -- no matter how unoriginal -- do you think they'd have stopped it?

Third thought...
Mets Suck!!!

10 Comments:

  • Brilliant write-up Chris. Feffer is either an idiot or thinks everyone else is an idiot. Either way, he's an embarrassment to the Nats. I could list 100 non-unique things about the Nats Park experience that should be dumped before fireworks. And it's too bad Steins didn't mention that Feffer killed Charlie Slowes's homerun call. FIRE ANDY FEFFER.

    By Anonymous Pedro G, at 4/26/2011 6:56 PM  

  • Does "Hasenp" Feffer actually believe Screech is unique even among DC teams? And what's so unique about cheezy game "hosts" and park announcers? Shit, even the Racing Presidents are Brewers Racing Sausages with different faces. For the LOVE OF GOD LERNERS, FIRE ANDY FEFFER.

    By Anonymous Pedro G, at 4/26/2011 7:10 PM  

  • Bang Zoom... sniff sniff...

    By Blogger Brian, at 4/26/2011 9:12 PM  

  • I think Andy is onto something because when I think of DC, I think of submarines. My sister just took her family up there and I was all like "Don't forget to do all those submarine things!" and she was all like "Duh, why do you think we're going to DC?"

    When they replace the submarine horn with ushers passing out collection plates will that be not about money?

    By Blogger Harper, at 4/27/2011 12:26 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jenn Jenson, at 4/27/2011 1:08 AM  

  • I don't have anything against developing distinctive traditions at Nationals Park. In fact, that sounds like a good idea.

    But if Andy Feffer is sitting in his office, thinking of ideas, that may not be the solution. Based on every quote by him that I've read over the past year (and letters sent to season-ticket holders), I don't get the feeling Feffer cares about baseball or fans. Instead, his generic mumbo jumbo makes it sound like he's not paying attention at all.

    The Nationals should consider making an investment in developing a polished entertainment product. I get the impression that the front office continues to be both understaffed and subject to small budgets for developing a better product. A better product is partly new ideas, but it's also taking care in implementing all ideas. The details, like proofreading, do matter.

    In addition to making a real investment to develop distinctive ideas, the Nationals should learn from other teams, even if that means we sometimes aren't distinctive.

    After a weekend in Pittsburgh, one thing I suggest the Nats copy is more baseball-focused use of ribbon boards. What a joy to be in PNC Park, where one ribbon board ALWAYS has balls, strikes, outs, and the score, and where about half of the rest of the ribbon boards almost always have baseball information, from batting average to pitch speed to ERA to scoring to the horizontal and vertical movement of each pitch. Great stuff that increased my enjoyment of the baseball game, which is, after all, why I went to the ballpark.

    By Blogger Jenn Jenson, at 4/27/2011 1:16 AM  

  • I think something that is unique and brand-centric would be mis-spelling the team name on the jerseys. Hey! It worked once and nobody forgot that, right?

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 4/28/2011 2:43 AM  

  • "Honk the U.S. Navy Submarine Horn, a Curly W is in the books!" Yeah, doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

    I actually don't miss the fireworks after home runs and wins (the latter are so rare it hardly matters anyway). But to tie the death of Friday Night Fireworks to this effort to "differentiate" Nats Park from other venues is so laughable that I can hardly believe an actual human being with an IQ over 50 would say it.

    But maybe he's right. We wouldn't want the 9,000 souls who tune into Nats Extra on Friday night after the game and see fireworks exploding over Johnny and Ray's heads to think that the Nats are doing something that's not totally unique to entertain their fans, would we? And the 10,000 or so people who stick around after the Friday night games to watch the fireworks clearly think that it's a lame and "undifferentiated" marketing gimmick. That might discourage them from coming to the Park some other night.

    Maybe they should blow that submarine horn for 15 minutes every Friday night and see how many people don't run screaming from the stadium. Or they could put together a 10 minute file of Navy recruiting videos. That would bring out the crowds for sure, right?

    Pathetic.

    By Blogger Section 222, at 4/29/2011 10:21 AM  

  • Jenn Jenson makes an excellent point about PNC Park. Maybe if I went there 30 times a year I'd not be so impressed, but it's just a far superior fan experience. In addition to excellent use of hte ribbon scoreboard to provide statistical information, they have very clever scoreboard introductions of the players, even from the visiting teams. They even have Manny Sanguillen sitting and signing autographs at his own BBQ joint. (Is Jose Vidro doing anything these days?)

    Of course, the views of downtown Pittsburgh are so phenomenal that nothing the Lerners could do could match it. DC doesn't have anything distinctive about its skyline that can be seen from the Park. Oh wait, it does, but those vistas got in the way of the money making parking garages so Uncle Teddy decided they had to be sacrificed.

    By Blogger Section 222, at 4/29/2011 10:32 AM  

  • I moved to Lynchburg last year and haven't been back to a game since (though I watch faithfully on MASN, thanks to DirectTV -- the Nats aren't on Comcast cable here, and don't have a local radio affiliate either), but they are still playing "Sweet Caroline," the anthem of the New England Evil Empire? Get rid of it, and if the pink-hatted Ivy Leaguers who temporarily populate Capitol Hill don't like it, tough. What a poorly marketed franchise!

    By Blogger VP81955, at 5/04/2011 5:05 PM  

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