I’ve lived most of my life in Southern California, which means I do certain things and like certain things. For instance: Halloween Night is meant to be spent at Irvine Meadows listening to Oingo Boingo. Freeways are referred to as the number without an article before them (you take 5 North to 405 North to 10 West. No ‘The Five’. Heathens.). And arguably the best fast-food burger joint around is In-N-Out.
Man, I love me some In-N-Out burger. I had last Friday off, so I headed over to my closest location to pick up lunch. As I drove through the shopping center, I saw a poster advertising the showing of MLB games at a sit-down restaurant. It made me do a double take, but as I was in a hurry I didn’t stop to take a picture. When I went back over the weekend that particular poster* was gone. However, the front door had a small advertisement mimicking what the poster showed.
I have nothing against DirecTV. They’re trying to convince businesses to buy their product, and provide marketing materials to those businesses. This ad sits on the front door of a local Oggi’s. I have nothing against Oggi’s Restaurant either. They’re trying to attract baseball fans as paying customers by showing them games they might care about. The issue I have with this ad is in the team shown on it. Some focus group deep inside DirecTV determined printing ads showing the Dodgers would do more to attract customers than printing materials showcasing the Padres.
There was a time when all of San Diego could be considered Los Angeles Dodger country, back when they were the closest major league team. That lasted all of 3 years. When the Angels came into existence, they were geographically closer to us than the Dodgers, so one could argue we turned into Angels country for about 8 years. That all ended before I – and, I suspect, most of you – was born. We’ve been nothing but Padres country for the past 40+ years. So why wouldn’t that display have a Padre player on it? Are more people in our local area interested in watching the Dodgers than in watching the Padres?
That a major restaurant would be OK with having an LA-logoed player on an ad for baseball in San Diego ought to scare the beejezus out of the Padres marketing people. Businesses will advertise however they think will best drive business their way. It speaks volumes that this particular Oggi’s restaurant believes having a Dodger on an MLB ad stuck to their front door is a good way to attract business.
On Sunday, the Padres unveiled an addendum to their 2013 promotional schedule. Padres Public had details and some commentary about it yesterday. Adding flesh to what was one of the sparsest giveaway lists I’ve seen from the Padres is a good thing – a very good thing. San Diego has always been conflicted about the teams we locals support. Specifically regarding the Padres, years of losing, uncertain team ownership, and poor baseball decisions have taken their toll, and driven some fans back into the arms of the teams from the north. The tide needs to be stemmed.
Ron Fowler’s note in Sunday’s paper was a start. The new promotional schedule is a start. Exciting players like Jedd Gyorko, Kyle Blanks, and Chase Headley are a start. But as this ad shows, there’s still lots of work to do.
*That phantom poster had both a Dodger and a Giant player prominently displayed on a 6′ by 4′ banner.
I post pretty regularly on Tuesdays, and sporadically on Twitter @Padres_Trail.