Friday, September 21, 2007

Fair is fair...

In this morning's Washington Times, Tim Lemke notes* that Caps players have taken to the phone banks to contact potential season ticket plan buyers. The easy comparison to make here is -- yeah, again -- to the stunt the Penguins pulled a short time back in having players deliver tickets to their fans. Nice, as far as it goes, but you've already got the fan as a customer. It isn't an especially aggressive strategy to build the base, unless one is thinking that future ticket buyers might get a visit from Sidney Crosby.

Pittsburgh is in the enviable position, though, of having a lot of buzz generated by their performance last year and having the Last Best Hope for the NHL wearing the black and Vegas gold. The Caps are, as any fan of the club knows, a team that has had a history of struggling at the gate.

Hockey might be the most fan-friendly sport there is when it comes to fan-player contact. Players seem to be especially willing to make themselves accessible to fans of the sport. To have players take the time to make a couple of dozen or so phone calls is a credit to them in terms of both their attitudes toward fans and the seriousness that they bring to making the franchise successful.

It is also a nice, as well as savvy, touch on the part of the Caps front office. Whatever one thinks of the pricing strategy the club might pursue (and we've been there, so we won't rehash that), this is a club that desperately needs to put fans in the stands. As Donald Brashear put it in Masisak's piece:

"We really need the fans' support. It's a big part of our success, and at times when we get down we could use a little pep, a little more from the stands."

So fair is fair...nice work, guys.

* Not so nice work by The Peerless, having failed to give Mr. Lemke credit for the article in the original version of this post. Our apologies to Tim and Corey for our foul up.

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