Thursday, September 14, 2006

Red Sox and Patriots PR

The sports PR landscape is starting to change in Boston. It has been interesting to see how the media has handled the news from these two teams.

The Patriots:

We all know the Pats like to release as little information as possible. At times, they don’t feel the need to announce players’ signing new contracts or other items that would interest a football fan. Why should they? Their stadium is sold out, the mantra across New England is “In Bill We Trust” and they have a season ticket waiting list of 50,000. Yeah…they really don’t need to spend a lot of time promoting the team. Win a Super Bowl and watch how the media comes to you.

It has been interesting to watch how the Pats handled the Branch situation. How many players really talked about Branch? The rookies sure didn’t since they are on probation. Belichick always would say, “Let’s talk about the players who are here.” We all heard from Brady earlier this week and I know one or two other players have spoke on the situation. How many times did Branch even speak about his holdout?

It is pretty amazing that Stacey James and the rest of his team was able to really control this story and not make it an issue for the team. Then again, the team has learned how to handle these types of situations after letting go of Law, Milloy, Bledsoe, etc.

It will be interesting to see if how the media secures quotes and information from the team this season.

The Red Sox:

How times have changed for the Red Sox PR machine. From the end of the 2003 season to the beginning of the 2004 season, I heard the Sox were in the newspaper every day during the off-season. Even though the Pats were on their way to the Super Bowl, the Sox still took center stage.

Now that the team is out contention for the Wild Card, things have gotten awful quiet. We knew that Theo put down a directive before he came back that management needed to reign in its love of coverage. As I have said before, how many times have you seen Theo interviewed on TV, radio or in the newspaper this year? In the past, this team would have been looking for any angle to generate news even if they were losing. It’s not the case anymore.

Times are changing in Boston. I am interested to see how the Bruins and the Celtics handle their PR and sports marketing activities this winter. These two teams should try to generate as much coverage and interest as possible.


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