The Chicago White Sox are “All in.” It’s the marketing slogan for 2011 and it reflects what the front office did this past offseason; sacking up, buying more chips and shoving ’em towards the middle of the table with authority. A lot of MLB teams did likewise. The Detroit Tigers did some heavy very short term investing. The Oakland Athletics bought themselves some power hitters.
And rivaling the Sox moves, the Milwaukee Brewers went about as ALL IN as a baseball franchise can in single winter.
The Sox carried this AGGRESSIVE approach over into their opening day blowout of the Cleveland Indians. Like a drunk frat-boy with no shame and low standards, they rapidly got right out after it, and jumped on anything they came across early and often.
And these extremely aggressive methods can be found everywhere up and down the organization.
By Paul M. Banks
Starting on the field.
New acquisition Adam Dunn led the offensive surge in Cleveland with a home run, a double and 4 RBI. Carlos Quentin went 3-5 with a HR and 5 RBI. The Sox hung up a “crooked number” of 8 in the fourth inning, which brought them to a quick 14-0 lead. They won 15-10, so that final score is a bit misleading. Make no mistake, more than half the innings were “garbage time” yesterday.
Continuing in the front office.
They dealt prospects and spent big time money to put/keep this team together. The marketing department is also acting like riverboat gamblers in doubling down on promotion, and if there was a theme to the Sox blogger conference call featuring Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brooks Boyer last week, “aggression” would be it.
Boyer said both the team and BP will be more aggressive this year in advertising the BP Crosstown Cup, presented to the winner of the already mega-over-hyped Sox/Cubs interleague series. (Again, I still don’t understand what will happen if they split the six game series 3-3, but whatever).
And in the board room.
Last year, the BP Cup was overshadowed by two huge events: the Chicago Blackhawks winning the NHL Stanley Cup, and BP giving the world the greatest ecological crisis in human history. It takes real cajones to keep a corporate partner known first and foremost for that. On the conference call, Boyer said the Sox sense that BP has taken appropriate actions to live up to their responsibility to the Gulf Coast, and BP “wants to show off what they continue to do, and they haven’t backed away from anything.” We’ll see how it plays out. ”
With the fans.
“That really, to me, represents what a White Sox fan is about as well. White Sox fans don’t back away from anything, they take responsibility, and they’re not afraid to say it and show it,” Boyer said in describing the mentality of the typical Sox fan.
As someone who’s been described by media contemporaries as “a little bulldog” when I’m out in the field, I like such a description for my team.
The Sox are now doing “dynamic pricing” on all tickets, with an initial focus on the lower premium box seats. This means there will be more price changes for game tickets, and factors include: team record, weather, pitching matchups, and giveaways.
It probably also means you the fan will be paying more, and the team itself will see higher profits, but that’s unrestrained capitalism for ya! I do like this approach over a more flat and equal pricing structure. As a MBA, and economics geek, I’m up for any practice that helps lead the “invisible hand” of the so-called “free market” towards better shaping supply, demand and price equilibrium.
In Social Media
“You’re going to see a very aggressive approach, you’re going to see it more on our Twitter, promoting our Twitter and our Facebook than you have before. We really want to be able to build the community, whether you’re a hardcore fan or whether you’re a casual fan, we really want to be able to build that community and let people talk.”
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbankFollow paulmbanks