Season Over = Pirates Marketing Over = Pathetic

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I think it was called marketing.  I guess it gets unplugged in October on Federal Street.  What.  Is.  Happening? 

We love Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.  Why in the world is it so damn hard to know what is happening with the team now? 

Don’t tell me there isn’t information to report.  It should be exciting — a manager search to take the helm of the Pirates ship is underway.  Two phenoms, or so we are told, are in Florida wearing Pirates jerseys.  A pile of arms have been drafted.  A number of promising arms are recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Some serious talent is playing in the Arizona Fall League. 

Let’s stop there because it’s not exciting.  Nothing positive is spinning right now.  There is nothing easily accessible for a Pirates fan on the exciting topics, just who their manager won’t be. 

Apparently the Pirates aren’t interested in self promotion of their talent.  The Pirates need more fans in the seats.  The Pirates need more fans in the corporates suites.  The Pirates need more corporate partners.  But with a lack of information on all of the young talent drafted, how can the Joe average Fan be excited?  How can the goals be reached? 

If you want to know anything about what is happening in Arizona.  Good Luck.   I hear some Pirates are playing out there.   One of them is the catcher of the future or something I guess. 

If you want to know anything about the instructional leagues you can read this.    One.  Article.  Whatever.  It’s a joke.   How about a video?  

Attention Pittsburgh Pirates:   It’s October 22nd.  Where is the news?  I need a fix dammit.  Someone once told me, fans are built in the offseason.   I think it’s more like this, fans are lost in the offseason. 

We talked to a big shot with the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.  A Pittsburgh Pirates season ticket holder.  A guy who loves baseball.  Loves it.  Well, guess what…he’s thinking about giving up those tickets.  Call it pressure from the family if you will. 

I bet if he could see some of the Pirates pitching talent in the minors on the Bucs website or an affiliate, the man would at least have an argument.  “Heh, look honey, help is on the way.  Those Pirates tickets are a phenomenal investment, it would be ridiculous to sell them now.”

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How much will it cost to try and get these season ticket holders back once they throw in the towel?

Check the ratings–baseball is being destroyed.   America is choosing awful, blowout NFL games over exciting MLB playoff games.  People are losing interest in baseball.  But Pittsburgh seems to be bucking the trend.  Sales were somehow up this year.

Even as the team is ignored completely upon the conclusion of the season.  Oh, wait…. a 2010 season recap is on FSN tonight!  Wooo!  Who!!  Who cares about this season, tell the fans about the future.  Ah, we could scream…  

Certainly the Pirates need to sell more tickets.  It must happen for the team to ever think of returning to winning baseball.  Talent takes investment.  The talent was bad last season.  Isn’t it safe to say that the fans deserve some hope.  Hell, how about some proof that the talent exists?     

What should the vilian of the Pittsburgh sports marketplace do in such a situation?  Rather than suffering at the hands of Bob Smizik and the minions, why wouldn’t the team take take matters into their own hands?  It could be a viral campaign–my guess would be such videos would get thousands of hits in just a few days. More importantly, it would put asses in the seats at PNC Park.

The timing is perfect.  The organization needs to be stabilized.  Shouldn’t the team be worried about the future and not how they are perceived?  Pittsburgh fans still bitch about Jack Wilson being traded for God’s sake.  The team can’t control those aspects of fanhood.

But the team for some reason has a lame duck GM.  It’s obviously struggling to fill the manager’s jersey.  And you know what, the only thing the masses want to discuss is the manager story.  Why?  Because there is nothing else…..nothing positive to discuss. 

Who really cares that John Gibbons isn’t going to be the Bucs skipper? It’s a marketing mess. It’s too shaky right now.  Is Coonelly really sticking around?  Will Huntington remain after this season?  The rumors are everywhere.  Who would want to take a manager job in these situations?  It’s a mess.  A mess that has been created internally.

And by the Pirates doing nothing it makes matters appear worse.

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The way we see it is this….

The Pirates marketing team should attempt one mission:  keep the eyeballs of Pirates fans fixated on the young talent. 

Fill their eyeballs with the young pitching.  Show me Neil Walker crushing baseballs at Pirate City.   Give me a video of Lambo extending his six game hitting streak in Arizona.  Better yet, show me Tony Sanchez throwing out that runner the other day.  Give me highlights of the Bucs young talent excelling in the very situation where the major league team struggled this season.  Some would joke, it would need to be a long video. 

But keep us interested.  Give us some hope.

Someone once told me, time heals all wounds.  I think that time makes people forget and on one hand that would be good for the Pirates.  But I think the scariest thing for Pirates executives to consider is if the fans just start forgetting the Pirates forever.  Why bother with going back to PNC Park? 

Time could be an enemy for the 2011 Pirates team.  Typically fans come flocking back because the team showed enough promise the prior season to make the fans miss the team.  The hope springs eternal theory….unfortunately, there is a lot for Pirates fans to want to forget about 2010. 

That’s why the next few months is crucial.  It has to be all about the future for the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Trouble is, the Bucs are running out of time.  Instructionals are almost over and other than a clip that was tweeted by Matt about the Bucs on FSN, we haven’t seen anything.  Zip.  Zero.  It’s a shame.   The opportunity might be lost.  How cool would it have been to have a couple months worth of video to watch daily at Pirates.com about the instructional leagues?  It could be a viral sort of reality show about The Arizona Fall League…the return of Tony Sanchez, the development of Jordy Mercer.  Sigh. 

If it was us, we would fire that clown at PiratesReport.com and get someone with a freaking video camera in Florida and in Arizona.  Seriously, what would it cost?  

Certainly the Pirates don’t care for all of the media attention in this town, so why not just attempt to direct it from their own perspective?  Don’t send me a blueprint—show me a blueprint.  People want to see the talent.  The Bucs have talent.  The pitching has been drafted. 

Why spend millions on pitching and nobody gets to see it except people smart enough to read Bucs Prospects  and Pirates Prospects

Better yet, give the camera to someone on the bench, upload it, hit publish.  Jackpot.  We saved you some cash.   Screw the reality show.

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A video of Taillon and Allie striking out opponents in Florida would certainly start healing some wounds.   Maybe a Lambo interview?  A highlight video on Mercer , some video of Wilson dominating on the mound…ah, screw it.  We’re talking about the organization that didn’t even bring in the Altoona Curve to celebrate with the fans at PNC Park.  Opportunities are constantly missed.

Something tells me the Pirates are glad the season is over.  Maybe the marketing department and public relations teams are relaxing.  Heh, you earned it.  See you at PiratesFest. 

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Follow us on http://twitter.com/RumBunter

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1.  Check out the blogroll.  If you want to see the Pirates who are playing in the Arizona Fall League, we have them all updated to click directly to their player page.

2.  The Altoona Curve is going to have comics on their Facebook page.  That looks cool.  Check it out.

3.  For some reason Tony Pena is being discussed heavily in Pittsburgh.  I didn’t know much about Pena until I read this.  It’s a phenomenal story.  Read it now.  Fist bump me later.

4.  We thought this was pretty cool. Thanks Adam.

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5.  In case you didn’t notice, we love villians.

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xxx

Topics: Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Pirates Blog, Sports Marketing

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