I’ve been thinking about how I would go about promoting the Devil Rays, if that were part of my sentence for some particularly heinous crime.
It’s tough. You can’t try to convince people that you’re going to win, because they’ve been watching for six years and they know which Sandberg you have on your team.
You can’t tell them about hope for the future, because even a casual fan can see that there’s no hope in the near future of passing the Orioles, let alone the Blue Jays, Red Sox, then the Yankees.
And you can’t use the Wrigley Field approach, selling drunken fun in the sun, because you play here.
You can’t even sell the team on the nine games they play against the Yankees at home, the only games that the mostly-100-year-old retirees from New York City who comprise your market care about. After all, it’s only nine games, and the Devil Rays know they’re bound to lose seven or eight of them.
So maybe the Devil Rays do have the right idea with the silly ad Jim described of the kids discussing the merits of Tino Martinez and Aubrey Huff. You’ve got to go for the kids. But, as in most activities, the D-Rays are going about this the wrong way. Here’s the text of my radio ad, which would run on, like, Radio Disney.
“Kids. Are you stuck visiting at Grandma’s house with NOTHING to do but watch Wheel of Fortune? And you can’t go anywhere because you can’t drive and our public transit system is nonexistent? And there are no other kids in the neighborhood because the only kids in Florida are at Tomorrowland right now?
I bet your Grandma doesn’t even have any video games.
That’s right. Being at Grandma’s sucks. It might be the only thing that sucks more than . . . . YOUR TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS!
Get Grandma to drop you off at the ballpark today! Tropicana Field: it’s the best place in Tampa to run around like a deranged orphan!”
I suppose I should give my email in case the Devil Rays want to give me a consulting contract. Oh, and the ad should be read in a wacky, kid-friendly voice.