Disclaimer: I live in Seattle and I'm a Sounders FC fan.
I read a lot of blogs and ever since the MLS showed up in Seattle I've been both a Sounders FC fan and an overall MLS supporter. I'll be one of many fans accross the nation watching this Saturday when your Colorado Rapids take on San Jose in the Eastern Conference final (I'll spare you from reading further criticism on the rediculousness of the Eastern/Western Conference playoff system). The TV raitings will probably not be that great, but I'll be doing my part as I know many Sounders fans will be (and fans of other teams).
It pained me to read this morning how the Rapids front office is marketing this playoff game (or rather not marketing).
After selling more than 11k tickets in their playoff opener with less than five days notice, the Rapids face the challenge of again selling tickets on a short turn around. Interestingly, the team is not aggressively pushing any promotional offerings in advance of the game, but through their website, there are two deals being offered to attract fans... To locate these deals, a fan must click through the website to the ticket page. The front page of the website contains no reference to the offers.
I've heard a number of pleas from other fans of other teams that they want to "export" the success that Seattle is having to their own teams. Fans of teams that are not Toronto, LA, Seattle, or Philly get very defensive when their teams are ridiculed for low attendance. I don't blame them. They want to know what can be done to make their own clubs successful off the pitch like these other teams.
Well, Rapids fans, here is your chance right now. Call your front office out on this one. Why aren't they aggressively marketing this one? Do they even want people to know that their club is two wins away from a championship and that Denver residents have a chance to see one of those wins on Saturday?
If you're looking to take ques from Seattle in order to export success, take a que on this one. From the moment that Seattle made the playoffs, tickets were on sale and links were provided off of the front page to buy tickets. Season ticket holders had the ability to buy speculative tickets to all rounds of the playoffs about a week before Seattle had even clinched a playoff berth. The marketing of playoff matches was agressive to say the least.
I intend to watch the playoff game in Commerce City on Saturday [Ed. To be clear, I'll be watching on TV, I'm not traveling to Colorado for the game] and will probably be rooting for the Rapids. However, what a shame it will be to have the stands less than half full again. Marketing matters and the lack of marketing speaks volumes about the Rapids front office.
Colorado Rapid fans unite and let it be known that the front office needs to (nay, must) care as much about their team making the playoffs as you do. Don't accept excuses. They owe you results in the form of TV adds, newspaper adds, online adds, creative special promotions, giveaways at the gates, and most importantly, butts in seats.
Follow-up: If you've read this far, keep reading the comments. Things are not as bad as the footiebusiness.com editor (or I) make them out to be. It appears quite a bit is being done to promote the game. Hopefully it will result in a big turnout.