The NY Mets are my team. When a young ‘un in NYC with no money and nothing to do, I’d sit in my studio apartment listening to the Mets and keep the box score on yellow lined paper purloined from work. I attended the first ever Word Series Game at Shea stadium (Thanks, dad.) and got my first business lesson when Tom Seaver was traded – he looked awful in red, by the way.
Marketers these days are all “We don’t own the brand, consumers own the brand” and I couldn’t disagree more. It is the mission of marketers to organize and direct the conversation around their products. Sadly, New York Mets fans want to talk about one thing: team payroll. Then about Bernie Madoff and Jose Reyes. And Mets management is letting them. The conversation is dominated by money. When Sandy Alderson took the bait the other day in response to why the Mets had not resigned Jose Reyes huffing “We lost $70 million last year,” he was not managing the Mets message.
Every minute, every hour there is something baseball-like to talk about for the Mets. There are roster and farm team heroes to bring to life. The Mets fans who love the brand – not those people who stand on the Shake Shack line for 55 minutes – need organized reasons to continue to love the Mets and they aren’t getting them. There is no organizing principle for the Mets brand that lays the groundwork for the marketing, hence the conversation defaults to money. Here’s my suggestion for Fred, Saul and Jeff: Embargo any talk about money by marketing, management and players. And talk only about the game. That would be a start. Peace.