Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Argument Against

OK, so in today's Register there's a great and informative story by Business Editor Cara Baruzzi about why sports teams keep failing in New Haven. Cara lays out all the reasons, including the ones that proved to be the downfall of our lovable Cutters.

Now we know that the Cutters really lacked corporate sponsorship, and that's what did the team in. Well, if you read my column about how to save the Cutters (which is not online for some very frustrating reason), you know that my whole plan revolves around turning games into entertainment during which fans drink $1 beers. In Cara's piece, the idea of changing the whole how-a-team-makes-money-and-operates paradigm is never questioned. We never go outside of the box. All we hear from executives and experts is how a model franchise runs. Well, that's not working here, so let's shift the paradigm; let's turn it on its bum.

Here's the deal: You want corporate sponsorship? Well, clearly most Cutters games end around 9:45. You're not going to bed then. Heck, that's more than three hours before my normal bed time, before I get my pajamas on and get tucked in. What do we do in that time? We go to a Cutters-sponsored Happy Hour, of course. We get local bars to be our corporate sponsors and in return we host our after-game celebrations there. This is a good idea.

That's about all I got. But the key to all of this isn't why the Cutters failed, it's how every one of these teams fail. It's not because of Yale Field and stadium amenities; that's way too easy of an answer. It's really about branding. Too many people didn't know the Cutters existed. But, when a good promotion came to town, say midget wrestling, the Cutters still drew fans. So getting the word out through $1 drafts daily and cool promotions like "Take You Picture on a Pony Night" would work.

I'm not giving up. I'm not a quitter.

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