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11-19-02 07:17 PM #1
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- Aug 2002
Beane said his wife, Tara, was highly impressed that the Sox arranged for Katie Couric to sing her ''Happy Birthday'' on the Beanes' answering machine as part of their effort to land him. The gesture helped ease her initial concerns.
The Jays' general manager is front and centre in the first stage of the campaign. The first television commercial, which will begin airing this weekend, aims at capturing season ticket buyers.
It opens with Jays shortstop Chris Woodward writing on a blackboard in the team's dressing room. A closer look reveals that he's writing lines that say, ``I will not swing at a 3 and 0 pitch."
Ricciardi enters and informs Woodward that he's got a long way to go to reach 500 lines.
Ricciardi's voice then tells viewers, ``Disciplined baseball means better baseball. It's part of our plan." Ricciardi then tells a dejected Woodward that his ``S looks like a 5."
It's clever and both Woodward and Ricciardi reveal themselves as natural actors. But will a promise of disciplined baseball encourage people to open their wallets for season tickets?
Allamby says the campaign will include plenty of humour to ``humanize the players," he says the players are not the focus. ``We tried that in the past and it didn't work that well."
The Blue Jays will have their work cut out for them this spring as they try to lure fans into newly renovated Dunedin Stadium.
That's because the New York Yankees, traditionally Toronto's top spring training draw, make only one Grapefruit League appearance at the Jays' home field. Toronto opens its 28-game pre-season calendar on Saturday, March 1 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., then plays host to the Philadelphia Phillies the following day.
New York makes its only Dunedin Stadium visit on March 15. The Jays also play the Yankees in Tampa on March 3, the only other time the clubs meet.
Cardinals confirm higher prices
By Joe Strauss
Of the Post-Dispatch
The Cardinals confirmed Tuesday they have raised season tickets by an average of nearly $3 a game next season, marking the advent of the $40 seat as well as a reduced cost child's seat.
The price hikes represent an average increase of $2.85 a ticket over 2002. Should the Cardinals announce a similar jump in single-game ticket prices in January, the average seat would rise from $21.66 to $24.51, almost double the average price ($12.36) in 1997 and nearly triple the 1991 figure ($8.32). The increase probably will put the club's tickets among the game's 10 priciest; at the same time, payroll is projected to jump from $74 million to no higher than $76 million, roughly its 2001 level.
"We want to be in the top third, the top 10, of payroll," Cardinals president Mark Lamping said. "We need to have ticket prices that support that."
To get there, the Cardinals raised the cost of an infield field box to $40 and an outfield field box to $34. Prices for an infield loge box and outfield loge box also jumped to $37 and $29, respectively. Only a few seat classifications will cost less than $20 a game - terrace reserved at $17, upper terrace at $9 and bleachers for $11. The club has christened a kid's season ticket that allows children 15 and under to purchase an upper terrace season ticket for $2 a game - $162 for the entire schedule.
The Cardinals, who carry a season-ticket base of about 20,000, have drawn more than 3 million in attendance the past five seasons. Based on a $2.85 average increase and a sixth successive year drawing 3 million fans, the hike would provide the Cardinals an additional $6.7 million after deducting taxes.
Lamping cited other "financial pressures on the organization" for the increases, including skyrocketing insurance costs in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.
The cost of insuring guaranteed, multiple-year contracts also has soared since Baltimore Orioles outfielder Albert Belle, once the game's highest-paid position player, was diagnosed with a degenerative hip condition in November 2001, only two seasons into a five-year, $65 million contract.
Chairman and general partner Bill DeWitt Jr. estimated last week that the game's enhanced revenue sharing will cost the Cardinals an additional $4 million next season.
Lamping said, "The new collective bargaining agreement has brought with it some uncertainty. We have a pretty good idea what's going to happen in revenue sharing. It's not a positive development for us but in the long run it's good for the industry."
Lamping also noted the city's 5 percent entertainment tax as diluting the benefits of any increase. Elimination of the tax is part of the deal for a new stadium, projected as a possibility by 2006.
"We want to keep the team together. But we are facing some negative economics," Lamping said. "We can't be in a situation where we're losing money every year."
DeWitt put the Cardinals' operating losses at about $7 million last season and has made a break-even 2003 a higher priority.
Lamping said the Cardinals' "objective is to try to get to break-even. I can tell you we have to have a lot of things go right for us to achieve that objective. Tell me where we are at the end of July. Given the chance to improve the team, ownership has proven it will do it even at a cost. Where will we end up at the end of the year? I'm not sure our fans follow the team via the financial page. They follow the sports page. Making and losing money probably aren't the most important things to the fans."
Lamping stressed that revenue derived from a ticket increase is not being used to underwrite expenses for a new stadium.
Brewers go to bat for female fan base
By DON WALKER
Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2002
As part of their new marketing push, the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday announced two new campaigns aimed at women, an increasingly important part of baseball's fan base.
The most interesting program will be called "Women on Wednesdays," in which the Brewers will bring women-oriented events to Miller Park for 13 games next season. The events, all aimed at women, will feature special to be announced pre-game programs, promotions, demonstrations, screenings and in-game events.
The program will be presented by Kohl's Department Stores, the Menomonee Falls-based retail giant.
This week, Scarborough Sports Marketing released new data that show Major League Baseball, compared with the other major professional sports, has seen the strongest gains in female fan interest.
Since 1998, according to the report, baseball's fan interest level among women 18 years of age and older had increased 16 percentage points, from 12% to 28%. That was the largest percentage increase compared with the other major sports, plus the Professional Golf Association, pro soccer, NASCAR and the Women's National Basketball Association.
The increase in interest is due in large part to a program baseball began in 1999. The Commissioner's Initiative on Women in Baseball began to reach out to women as a means of expanding their fan base and increasing attendance. Wendy Selig-Prieb, chairwoman of the Brewers' board of directors, was a prime participant in the effort.
"We're very pleased to hear about those numbers," Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday.
Ulice Payne Jr., the Brewers' president and CEO, said Thursday that women were decision-makers in the household and the Brewers' new program was designed to reach out to them in new ways.
The Brewers also announced that they had opened a retail cart called "Brewers Baseball Basics" at Mayfair Mall that will be open through the end of the year.
A version of this story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 15, 20
© Copyright 2002, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved.
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