After much thought about what to blog about in the absence of DBJ (thank you for the opportunity, by the way), I have decided not to add yet another voice to "what ails the Blue Jackets". Fire Hitch, trade Huselius, bring Filatov back, send Mason to Syracuse... whatever! Frankly, the arguments are all running together after such a sad stretch of play this season. I'll leave those decisions to Scott Howson.
So what to write about? There are four topics about which I would consider myself *uberly-knowledgeable*: hockey, coffee, miniature pinschers and marketing. So, while I sit here with my minpin (Puckey) while drinking a cup of coffee (yum!), I will discuss hockey marketing.
About a year ago, I wrote a blog discussing the numerous reasons that the Blue Jackets should hire me in their marketing department. Obviously, no one in the CBJ offices read the blog, because I do not work in their marketing department. So I will use this platform to re-hash (in a nice & respectful manner, of course) a couple of the many, many, many gripes that I have with the existing Blue Jackets marketing.
I admit, I love the Civil War concept for the Blue Jackets! Nationwide Arena boasts a Civil War-era cannon that commemorates Ohio's enormous role in the Civil War. GREAT!!! They ask us fans to "Carry the Flag!" I'm carrying it!!! But why stop there?
Let's "Carry the Flag" from the moment the Arena doors open until the final victory *BOOM* of the cannon! And that can start with the Pepsi Power Patrol. Nothing says "Civil War" like driving out onto the ice in a dune buggy shooting t-shirts into the crowd, eh? I get that Pepsi is a sponsor and needs to be incorporated into the mix, but come on... I can't even go into the IGS Energy Blimp. I just can't. Now, the Boom Jackets are a nice touch, but 10 drummers (or however few there are) just isn't much of an impact. Have at least 50 drummers all around the arena on every level of the arena all playing at once.
Speaking of music... the current music selection is brutal - almost painful. Keeping with the Civil War theme, how cool would it be to hire a local punk band and have them do a couple remakes of Civil War songs? Think about it - the team skating out to a high-energy, pumped up version of Battle Hymn of the Republic or Battle Cry of Freedom - it would be something completely unique to the Blue Jackets... something that would tie into the theme and give them an identity. And the crowd would love it!
And let's not stop with the entrance song. Let's give certain players their own theme song! Let them hire a local girls' band to do a fresh, "hip" remake of Hey, Mickey! and whenever Rick Nash scores a goal, let Hey, Ricky! blast through the crowd! Each time Jared Boll beats the snot out of someone, play Animal I Have Become! Whenever Steve Mason makes a killer save, I want to hear Brick House! I can't be alone here, right?
The best way to get people in the seats at Nationwide is through quality publicity. Quality publicity. They really missed a terrific publicity strategy this year. Coming off of the first ever playoff run in franchise history, interest in the team was at its peak. Wouldn't a series of commercials with a relevant and funny storyline featuring the "Young Guns" (which could easily be part of the Civil War theme) have been great? They could have filmed eight commercials at once in the off-season, and released a new commercial each month from September through April. I know that these guys aren't actors and that they don't all have a major grasp of the English language, so make them like silent movies... problem solved! And they really shouldn't limit the existing commercials to Fox Sports Ohio - chances are, if you are watching Fox Sports, it is because you are watching the Blue Jackets games already (No offense to Access Cavaliers). Get them on some mainstream channels in prime time!
That's a good start, CBJ Marketing folks... no?
If you are still reading... first, THANK YOU! Let me tell you a smidgeon about my CBJ self. I have been a Blue Jackets season ticket holder since day one. I was sitting in the same seat at the Inaugural game that I sit in today. I have been through an awful lot with this team, and I am extremely passionate about them. I am not a fan who threatens to turn my tickets in unless a coach gets fired or a player gets traded... the Blue Jackets are MY TEAM. I will vehemently support any player who is fortunate enough to wear a Blue Jacket's jersey. You could say that I am "dug in."
By the way, the boys beat Edmonton 4-2. Hopefully they will Carry the Flag into Calgary and return home with a second road victory.
Until next time...