Further to Kent's observation (#40 below) about the full-page newspaper ad congratulating Hinske on his award while also promoting Opening Day 2003, here's an interesting related piece from today's Globe & Mail. It talks about some unorthodox and innovative sales efforts by the team's (new?) VP sales and marketing, Paul Allamby.
Two of the campaigns mentioned are a free flight to Dunedin and BBQ with Ricciardi and the players if you buy a season's ticket before Dec. 2, and a June Skydome sleepover for dads and their kids during the Cubs (Sosa) series. I like them both, because they're aggressive and fun, thinking differently about incentives to bring people to the park. The former is a whole lot better than a wine-and-cheese with Paul Godfrey in an dark empty Skydome, which would have been the kind of thing I'd normally expect, and the latter is a little wacky and very family-oriented. Best of all, there'll be no more of those awful 2-for-1 ticket giveaways that undermined the fundamental value of the product.
I like the freshness that this approach brings with it. It's designed to send the message, "You really are important to us. You're the reason we're in business, and we want to give something back that makes you feel special." I think that will tap into a nerve, especially in the Toronto sports market, where often fans are at best taken for granted and at worst taken for idiots. Just wanted to point to this as another, significant way in which the organization is finally starting to get things right.