This is part three of our ongoing series: How to Market the A's Better to Oakland and the Bay Area. Part One can be found by clicking here.
Part Two can be found by clicking here.
We started this series because Lew Wolff and John Fisher do very little in marketing the A's to A's fans. So, to fill the gaping hole in the front office's marketing efforts, here are more ideas:
Celebrate the history of the A's more: It was nice to see Joe Rudi back at the Coliseum this year, but one 1970s Throwback Day per year doesn't cut it. The Oakland A's have one of the best team histories from which to draw, but in the past 15 years, the Giants have run circles around Steve Schott and now Lew Wolff, in terms of celebrating their team's amazing tradition. Baseball is all about nostalgia and tradition. So, it boggles the mind why the A's currently don’t make much use of their uniquely rich and colorful history.
Advertise in foreign languages: During the Moneyball years, the A's should have had Spanish-language billboards with Miguel Tejadas face in Oakland's largest Hispanic neighborhood, the Fruitvale District. Why can't the A's and Gio Gonzales do that now? They can do the same with Kurt Suzuki in Japantown in San Francisco, or in the Tri-City area (Fremont, Union City, Newark) where the Asian population is quite large. If those local markets have been previously unenthusiastic about A's baseball, maybe it's because no one has reached out to them.
College Nights: Hold a separate Stanford Night and UC Berkeley night and St. Mary's Night and Cal State East Bay Night, etc., at the Coliseum during different A's games. Also, we recommend setting up a ticket window at each of the campuses of the four-year universities where you can sell A's tickets for a student discount all season long. Also, hold A's events in the main student center one day per year at each of the campuses each March (a month before the season starts) to generate interest right when people are starting to think about baseball. If you make it affordable for these students to enjoy a game when they're broke and eating ramen three nights a week at age 20, they might reward that loyalty by buying A's tickets when they're older and have more disposable income after they join the work force. There's also a long-term strategy of gaining new fans from people that come from all around the country to attend local universities and whose loyalties are up for grabs when they move to a new area. These same students eventually settle down, of course. And if you win their fan loyalty then they'll raise their future kids to be A's fans once they've started a family and bought a house in the Bay Area. Promotions such as College Nights work for the short term and the long term for a MLB franchise’s health.
There are many, many more ideas for reaching out to fans and corporations to sell A's tickets. We'll share more of them next week. In the meantime, ask yourself: Why aren't Wolff and Fisher doing at least some of these ideas in order to sell tickets? Oakland isn't failing Wolff and Fisher, rather it's these owners who are failing Oakland.