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How do you market the Royals?

Dec 22, 2010, 4:34 PM EDT

Kansas City's Soria and Pena celebrate after the Royals' win over Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

The biggest star on the Kansas City Royals was Zack Greinke. With him gone, James Dornbrook of KC Biz Beat wonders how the team will go about marketing itself.  He asked Royals spokesman Toby Cook. The response:

Cook said that right now, the Royals will focus on marketing the ball park and slowly introduce the minor-league players who are going to make up the core of the team from mid-2011 through the next few years.

“With the fact that we’re about to be named as having the No. 1 minor-league baseball system in all of baseball and that this trade made us even stronger, we feel like we can encourage our fan base and season-ticket holders that things are actually better now with our process of building,”

I don’t know much about marketing so maybe I’m out to lunch, but you’d think that Joakim Soria’s name would be mentioned in this kind of article at least once. I mean, he’s only one of the best closers in baseball.

  1. agelardi - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    When the focus of your marketing is your stadium and not your players, you’re probably gonna have a rough year.

    • Detroit Michael - Dec 23, 2010 at 8:26 AM

      Years ago when selling the team yearbook was a big deal (maybe it still is for younger fans), I remember that it was a truly bad sign when the cover photo was of the manager. It’s a similar theory.

  2. sdelmonte - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    What good is promoting a closer when he’ll have few opportunities to shine?

    Now I am wondering what other bad franchises do. Anyone seen any ads for Islanders?

  3. diamondduq - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    The problem with your Soria example is that a team like the Royals, like the Pirates, can’t market players because they essentially have an open door policy when it comes to their roster. As long as more salary is going out the door than coming in the door it’s wide open. To market Soria and then trade him mid-season would be extremely deceptive by the Royals but by marketing this as a young, up-and-coming team in a gorgeous ballpark is something that’s not likely to change. Besides, do you really want your biggest draw to be your closer? No one shows up to the game until the 7th inning and then only if you’re winning? Probably not a good ploy.

  4. jkcalhoun - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    They’ll always have 1985.

  5. crkreg - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:50 PM


    Never heard of them.

  6. uyf1950 - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    How does anyone market a team that for the better part of 3 decades has been mediocre (that’s being kind), can’t get fans into the ballpark and has just traded away their best player? The answer is simple – In every program you include a map with directions to Bush Stadium in St. Louis.

  7. yankeesfanlen - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Hey! Nice seats, good food, and you get a baseball game thrown in. And……sometime the Yankees even come to town so watch the boys now at low prices…..everyday.

    • jamie54 - Dec 22, 2010 at 5:30 PM

      How about marketing yourself to opposing team’s fans? Example: Seats just above the dugout are $?? at Yankee Stadium, you can get them for $?? here at KC, so the cost to fly and stay overnight, rent a car, might just be cheaper than comparable seats in Yankee stadium? Win-win. Yankee fan gets a great seat while he watches his team beat the crap out of KC, and KC gets the revenue from Yankee fan for the empty seats. Or local Yankee fan comes out and scoops up the seats. I ‘m sure Yankee fans do the same thing by going to Baltimore.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 22, 2010 at 5:33 PM

        Kinda like the Gnats do to Phightins Phans. Or is that still taboo?

      • yankeesfanlen - Dec 22, 2010 at 7:21 PM

        Always low prices and good visiting teams……Always. Live better, save money….come to KC! Open 24 hours!

  8. sportsdrenched - Dec 22, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    They do what they’ve been doing since 1995….hyping up the opposing team, give-a-ways, fireworks, etc.

  9. Utley's Hair - Dec 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Zack Greinke showered here!!

  10. Utley's Hair - Dec 22, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Come watch Kansas City’s best pro baseball team, and take home some of George Brett’s pine tar.

  11. aious - Dec 22, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    You market them by comparing their system to be the next Tampa Bay system where the young guys came up and produced. Make it a large campaign focused on potential and with their system rated so high by just about everyone, it could work early on.

  12. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    Did I miss a beat here somewhere, did they trade away Billy Butler?!

    I feel like Butler–who seems pretty much to be the offensive cornerstone of the current roster–is probably a decent guy to market around right now. He’s essentially done what everyone expected Gordon to do before they rushed him through the system and stunted his growth as a ballplayer.

    If they develop the guys in the minors properly, they’ll have a seriously bad-ass ballclub in the next two or three years, if they pull another Gordon, it’ll be status quo and they’ll suck.

    I figure marketing around one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball isn’t a bad-idea, lots of teams have done it in the past. Marketing around the best (on paper) cache of young talent in all of baseball isn’t a bad-idea either. On the roster, yeah, I’d focus on Butler and give a nod to Soria.

    They could also go with some sort of PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE schtick using guys like George Brett-Billy Butler-Mike Moustakas as the cornerstones of the campaign. Tie all of that in with the stadium that’s been there for it all–and continues to improve–and you’ve got a golden campaign.

    I’m now accepting freelance marketing offers…but only from last place ballclubs!

  13. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Dec 23, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    ROYALS BASEBALL: Where the greats of the other 29 teams get their feet wet.

  14. Utley's Hair - Dec 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    The Kansas City Royals: In the Top 30 of Major League teams*

    *(if only in name and payroll)

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