We love our Oakland A's, obviously. But we're not so crazy about how A's owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher market the team. Or, in their case, fail to market the team.
Which is why we started 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 is here. Part Three is here. To fill the gaping hole in the front office's marketing efforts, here are more ideas:
Bring back Fan Fest: Tens of thousands of A's tickets were sold at Fan Fest each year. So why did Wolff cancel it permanently in 2009? It doesn't make any sense. Held in late January each year, it drew about 20,000 fans each time, firing up fans and reminding them that the new season was right around the corner.
Expand the Junior A's Little League program: Does it even exist anymore? It probably does. Yet, I almost never see it advertised. In the East Bay on weekends, I often see children from the Junior Giants program — decked out in their mini Giants uniforms. It's smart marketing/advertising — nothing melts an old baseball fan's heart more than seeing kids love the game of baseball. Plus a potential ticket buyer is seeing the Giants logo on the kids' uniforms. In the meantime, where are the A's and the Junior A's program? It's lackluster, like everything else the A's do around their marketing.
Get a local non-cable channel to televise games: When the A's signed an exclusive TV contract with Comcast, they eliminated a large chunk of their viewing audience who have another cable provider, like Direct TV or Dish or no cable at all.
Send the Holiday Caravan to your team's hometown: Last year, Matier and Ross reported that the annual A's Holiday Caravan made seven appearances, with three of them being in San Jose and NONE in the team's hometown in Oakland. Way to be in the holiday spirit. Also, is that really any way to sell tickets?
Bring back A's Dugout stores: During the Haas years, the A's had an A's Dugout store in downtown Oakland. Steve Schott got rid of it when he and Ken Hofmann took over as owners in 1995. Again, it provides a physical presence in the community where merchandise and tickets could be sold. Bring it back, and not just in Oakland. With retail space rents way down, put an A's Dugout store in surrounding East Bay towns, as well as in the biggest towns in Marin, Solano, and Sonoma counties.
There are many more marketing ideas for reaching out to fans and corporations to sell A's tickets. If you have any ideas, please e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep 'em coming, and we will, too. Someone has to.