Meet the MacPhail Nominees: Memphis Redbirds
11 teams (representing 11 leagues) have been nominated for the trophy, and the
winner will be announced on Dec. 3 at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards
Luncheon. Over the next several weeks, this fine blog will run interviews with
representatives from the nominated teams, in an effort to shine some
light on their promotional strategies and philosophies.
Today, we speak with Jason Potter, Director of Marketing and Promotions for the Pacific Coast League’s Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals). The Redbirds consistently rank among the top-drawing teams in Minor League Baseball, and Memphis’ AutoZone Park is widely considered to be one of the best facilities in Triple-A.
Prior to this season, had your team ever been nominated for the MacPhail Award? If so, ever won it?
In 25 words or less, what is your team’s general promotional strategy?
It’s not as much about what we do, it’s how we do it. Simply stated, we strive for a "perfect game" every time we open the gates to our fans. We approach each game with the idea that it is a privilege to have our fans decide to spend their time with us. We want to exceed their expectations in order to capture their imagination and convert those that are new to our product from "ticket buyers" to "fans", and make sure we keep them as such.
What were some of your biggest promotional successes from this past season? Anything that just didn’t work?
The Civil Rights Game was the biggest promotional spectacle I have had the opportunity to be a part of in my career. The atmosphere in the park was one of great significance, as if the fans were aware of the magnitude of the afternoon. All in all, a tremendous tribute to the game’s history and place in the future.
As far as missteps, we had plenty throughout the season. I don’t think any of our promotions in and of themselves didn’t work, rather elements failed when we were not well prepared. It goes back to the importance of how we do things versus what we do. Any promotion can be successful and entertaining to your fans if it is thought through thoroughly and well-executed.
What is your favorite sports promotion of all time?
My favorite promotion to be a part of each year is our Kids Opening Day, a standard promotions
classic. To see the joy on the faces of the kids as they participate in the events of the day and the resulting smiles it brings to the adults in the crowd, it reminds me every time why I do this for a living.
Now it’s time to start planning for 2008. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for next season?
Our focus for promotions in 2008 is to communicate early and consistently to maximize the impact of our promotions calendar. It’s pretty simple, but we’ve found time and again that although there will be certain promotions of pop-culture relevance as the season goes along, the ones we can communicate season-long on our pocket schedules have a leg up on the rest.