Another free tutorial, compliments of "your" Hamilton Bulldogs, on how to completely erode a fanbase in just under a season.http://thespec.com/Sports/article/743513
In a season where you've posted a whopping 49 wins, rather than telling anyone with ears about this record-breaking season, the Bulldogs have decided to build brand equity by loudly revving the proverbial moving trucks. Wow, I'd actually pay to see the full seminar on this marketing adventure -- if nothing else, it would be quite comedic.
After spending more than 10 years in advertising and marketing, this case study would rival many of the head-scratching greats, like "The New Taste of Coke", that find their way into university text books across the nation.
This quote here is one of my fave's --"I think there are more Bulldogs fans in Montreal than there are in Hamilton," said Andlauer, who has been critical of both the lack of fan support and political support in Hamilton."
The humour certainly isn't lost on me. I find it pretty hilarious that someone would dream of overtly marketing a Montreal team in Hamilton. And, of course, throwing a pot-shot at your potential customers is giggle worthy as well. A rather abrasive way to invite guests over, I'd say.
But, wait, it gets better. Check this out...
"...And Hamilton, he said, shouldn't worry about being without a hockey team. "Hamilton is a proven AHL city," said Andlauer who thinks another NHL team would look at bringing their farm team here if the Bulldogs ever left."
A fantastic way to end the article. To me, this basically says that if an owner wanted to come into town and put a half-decent effort into it, then a team could succeed -- as it is a 'proven AHL city'. Confusing, yet enlightening at the same time.
It sure doesn't seem all that long ago that the Dogs were eyeing in on 6,000 a game. The on-ice performance certainly couldn't be better than this year. Alas, the city's connection to the team seems to be at it's weakest. That equation leads me to but only a few conclusions -- most are evident in this article.
I also find these befuddling strategies so suprising now that, just down the road, the Ticats seem to be doing exactly what's necessary. Building a connection with the fans, fostering an emotional bond with the brand, and solidifying the team as a fabric of the community. When the on-field product was, arguably, some of the worst in CFL history, nearly 20,000 were still willing to lay down cash to watch it.
I'm not saying this market isn't without its challenges -- there's no doubt it isn't easy. However, there's 'trying, struggling and failing', and then there's simple self-sabotage. As a diehard hockey fan, and near-obnoxiously proud Hamiltonian, I want to get behind this team. Now, I'd say even a trip to the finals would make it difficult for me to open my wallet for them.