Before the season Toronto and Hamilton were handed 500 000.00 each to increase their marketing budgets. Has anyone seen anything come of this in these markets ?
Here's one thing Hamilton did:[url=http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2012/04/ticats-new-play-action-program-targets-grassroots-football.html?cid=6a00d83451bb7469e20176155009a1970c]http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2012/ ... 5009a1970c[/url]
Here's what Toronto did with their money:[url=http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/12/argos-acquire-qb-ricky-ray]http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/12/ar ... -ricky-ray[/url]
But did the $500,000 for each team increase ticket sales? It works out at roughly 1,200 fans per game at an average ticket of $50.
Hamilton has also started to offer free transportation to season ticket holders from neighbouring regions, such as Brantford and St. Catharines (in addition to free busing already available from places within Hamilton). Instead of having just one black and gold day in Hamilton or Burlington, they had 3 this year, in Hamilton, Burlington, and St. Catharines. They're holding an upcoming practice in Waterloo.
These things are new to the best of my knowledge, though I don't know whether or not any of it is paid for by the half million.
It seems also that the money was intended not just for marketing, but for investment in minor football, which the initiative described in robsawatzky's link above does.
This is exactly what the doctor ordered. Hamilton appears to be making wise use of their allotment.
Marketing should never be an overnight effort. It needs to be consistent, continuous, and long term. Especially in a gate driven league, the teams need to find and support deep hooks into the community and keep them there forever. It doesn't take long to drive a franchise into the ground through poor on field performance and lousy marketing, but it can take years of sustained effort to build it up to where it becomes an important part of the community and is high on the list of entertainment options. Nowhere is this more true than in southern Ontario where the competition for the hearts and minds of fans is most intense.