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Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/30/2006 5:56:00 PM
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I acutally had hope for Jamie McCourt, the wife of Frank McCourt and de facto owner of the Dodgers. Other female owners haven't fared so well (Marge Schott, Georgia Frontiere), but maybe McCourt would be different. Well, in my SI baseball preview issue this week, I read Mrs. McCourt wants to "revolutionize baseball giveaways." Her revolution? On June 29, the Dodgers are giving away lipstick. Yes, lipstick. What, she couldn't throw in some eye shadow, too? Who's going to go to a Dodgers game for free lipstick? McCourt also plans to institute more changes at Dodgers Stadium, among them, "activities for children." Ah, yeah, isn't there a certain activity already going on at the stadium? THE GAME! Why do children need to be entertained at a game? The game is supposed to be the entertainment. Maybe McCourt should put a little more effort into fielding an entertaining team and she wouldn't have to worry about lipstick and children's activities.


You know, I told my wife about this, thinking she would agree that it's silly, but she said something like "I would go to a game with you if they were giving out lipstick." She then told me about the "Lipstick Economic Indicator" (or something like that). Apparently economists use sales of lipstick as an indicator of how healthy an economy is. My eyes glazed over as she told me. Anyone heard of that?

A few years ago I wrote an article comparing the two Chicago stadiums as seen by kids. It was not even close - Comiskey is far more inviting for kids. Yes, young Cub fans can "enjoy the game", but kids get restless and impatient (so do their parents), and when there are a lot of other activities (many of which cost a few bucks), the kids enjoy the experience more.

I guess my point is, I'm willing to cut McCourt some slack. Baseball teams will always be able to bring in the baseball fan (of all ages and both genders), but sometimes you need a little extra incentive to bring in more casual fans like my wife or little kids.
Posted by kennruby at 3/31/2006 7:56:00 AM
Hardcore baseball fans do not go to games for giveaways in the first place. What Ms. McCourt is trying to do is attract that casual fan, in this case the female fan to the game. Once they do that, it's the teams job to make it an entertaining game for the casual fan. So yes she should worry about fielding an entertaining team, but having a giveaway geared towards woman is not a bad idea.

I've been to the AT&T park for Giants games, and they have many activities for kids as well. You want kids to enjoy themselves at the ball park especially at a younger age as this will also be more inviting for the entire family to go the park for family entertainment, and can possibly build a fan of the team for life.

I give Ms. McCourt credit for being somewhat innovative and trying to market to more than your hardcore baseball fan.
Posted by ehleman101 at 3/31/2006 5:52:00 PM
Yes, all of that true about entertaining the casual fan, but they won't come to begin with until they actually start winning games. Rarely does the casual fan come on their own accord - they are introduced/go with the dedicated fan.

I'm not suggesting that what McCourt is doing is contra to that purpose, but dedication to the product on the field has to come first, then you can do all those other things for entertainment.
Posted by Erickson at 4/1/2006 8:15:00 AM
I concur the game should be enough, but as the father of two boys, I can tell you the average child isn't that interested in the game until at least 7 or 8, and sometimes older. It is still a great experience to sit in your seats with your son for several innings, but having a playground available with either a view of the field, or a giant screen (a la Petco), I can enjoy the game and the environment, and the kids can run off some energy and have fun too.
Posted by LoveMyPadres at 4/4/2006 10:46:00 AM

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