I stumbled across a really good article about how the Devils are trying to improve their business. Most people default to “win and they will come” but even that hasn’t worked in New Jersey. A bunch of cups. An all-time great. New building. Empty seats. So they hired some guys to improve The Brand. From the profile two things jumped out at me.
“There’s an old expression: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” So he’s spent the last six months dropping seeds.
I am going to steal it because it puts to words what I have been screaming about for six years here on Mets Police (our anniversary is tomorrow).
I think a lot of the Mets current problems go back to goofing with the brand since around 1992. They owned the town in the 80’s but when the losing came couldn’t hold on to the fans. Then the swoosh jerseys, Mr. Met 1.5, a half-assed Nickelodeon theme park I never understood. Piazza covered some sins but black jerseys, Omar’s unnecessary marketing that made some of us feel excluded, chasing this hypothetical Asian market…it was always the gimmick of the minute.
Back to the Devils
He is still trying to figure out the culture. “Who are we, really?” he asked. He points to a group of cheerleaders standing on a platform. “Is that really our brand?” he wondered, and it seems clear he already has an answer.
Specific to the Devils – yeah that cheerleader thing does always feel weird to me.
So we don’t have a time machine, all we can do is fix things from here out.
What is the Mets brand?
I think The Brand is Pitching (check), Mr. Met (check), stuff I will bundle as “The 7 Line culture” (check), families not Wall Street guys (check-ish), great broadcasting (check), Meet the Mets (organ, original lyrics, check), the original Apple (check), and yes Banner Day (check). I wish the park had been a little better (many of you overrate it and need to travel to some other parks and/or sit upstairs if you happen to write for a newspaper or host a daily radio show) but it is what it is.
Maybe they have finally figured it out.
Now they need to stick with it. And stick with it for more than five minutes. If the Astros switch to lime green uniforms and they sell don’t switch everything Mets to lime green. If someone starts doing the YMCA Grounds Crew don’t copy it (that did happen in Queens). Or Sweet Caroline (also happened in Queens).
Be the Mets. Just be the Mets. We’re fine being the little brother and the butt of jokes. It only makes the winning that much sweeter.