I recently have had some extra time to think about the Mets’ marketing efforts of the last twenty or so years. While I understand the desire to expand the fan base, I think it keeps coming back to one thing and one thing only.
Win baseball games.
Win baseball games and Citi Field will fill. Don’t win baseball games and Citi Field won’t fill.
The Mets had no problem drawing in the late 80’s, at the turn of the century or in 2006.
In other years, they chased wild dreams:
“This is a big deal for us,” said Peter Koo, a New York City councilman who attended the news conference and is originally from Hong Kong. “I think a lot of people will come to see him, and he will make the Mets very popular with Chinese people.”
That player, Chin-lunh Hu. The article from 2011. Mr. Koo’s prediction did not come true.
If you google a bunch of ex-players (Shinjo and Matsui for starters) almost every article will refer to the “Asian community” from which the Mets are going to someday tap.
That market will get tapped when the Mets win.
In a step aimed at transforming Shea Stadium into a more entertaining family destination, the Mets and Nickelodeon will open an interactive kids theme park on July 1 that will test baseball’s ability to mix with Ren & Stimpy, green slime and Wienerville.
“This is a segue to what will happen in entertainment in the future,” Fred Wilpon, the Mets’ co-owner, said yesterday at a stadium news conference.
If the baseball isn’t good enough, build a theme park. That was the idea in 1994.
So, let me ask all the 26 year olds out there. How many of you have fond memories of those days at the Nick park at Shea? I don’t think I have ever met a human who attended.
OK 26 year olds, how about Mike Piazza? Does that ring a bell?
Now a question for the 46 year olds. Anyone remember Doc Gooden?
And here’s one for you 56 year olds. Anyone remember Tug McGraw?
Here’s the market you need…Mets fans. There were 4 million of them as recently as 2008 who had “brand affinity.” Don’t chase the market du jour or the gimmick of the month. Chase the Mets fans. They like winning teams.