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Does America Care About A Yankees-Phillies World Series?

Posted by Anthony De Rosa on October 27, 2009 03:49 PM

Yankee fans are no doubt excited to find themselves back in the World Series after a six-year drought. Most fans would be thrilled to have nine post-season appearances and a World Series title over the past decade, but fans of the Bronx Bombers are a spoiled bunch.

The Yankees are not just a national, but a global brand, far exceeding any other US baseball team. However, New York regional World Series matchups are not big attractions. In fact, when the Mets and Yankees squared off in 2000, it was then the lowest rated championship contest in the history of baseball.

Ratings for last year's Philly-Tampa Bay World Series were the worst since that Subway Series. The highest-rated game drew only 15 million viewers, down from 20 million the year before, when the Red Sox and Rockies squared off. Ratings tend to be better when the teams are from different regions. (Retirees and vacationers bind Tampa closely to the Northeast.)Continue reading...

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Phillies' Rise Mirrors Philly's Rise

Posted by Anthony De Rosa on October 23, 2009 03:09 PM

It pains me to say this as a lifelong Mets fan, but the city of Philadelphia is on the rise.

Make no mistake, Philly has always been one of the best cities in America, but its cultural significance, like any major city, ebbs and flows. The cult hit "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was just picked up for syndication by Comedy Central after it became a breakout phenomenon on the FX network. The Philadelphia Phillies were last year's baseball champions for the first time in 28 years, and are headed back to the World Series again this year.

It wasn't always this sunny in Philadelphia. The Phillies faced an epic collapse, not unlike the one the Mets did in 2007, back in 1964. They had only been in the World Series twice in over one hundred years of the team's history, and had the dubious distinction of being the first sports franchise to amass 10,000 losses. The Phillies have had 72 losing records, including 16 consecutive from 1933-1948. There have been a lot of lean years for the Phillies. Cubs fans may still be waiting for their championship, but at least they've had ten trips to the World Series to attempt it.Continue reading...

Red Sox Still Selling Disappointment

Posted by Anthony De Rosa on October 13, 2009 02:36 PM

Certain sports teams seem to cloak themselves in the warm blanket of lovable losers. The Chicago Cubs own that brand, but the Boston Red Sox, despite winning two rings in the past decade, seem unable to let go of their comfortable woobie.

After reeling off 95 wins this season, their playoffs ended with a thud with a sweep at the hand of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Jonathan Papelbon, the Sons of Sam Horn's clown prince, raindanced away a 2-run lead in the deciding final game, giving up three runs in the ninth inning, and allowing the Angels to advance to the AL Championship Series.

While winning can fill a bandwagon, in some cases, like Red Sox Nation, losing can become a brand all its own. Despite having gone 101 years with no World Series win, and having the chance at one ruined in epic fashion, the Cubs still pack 'em in, with the sixth highest attendance in baseball last year. The Sox don't trail far behind, at eighth. Why do people keep coming back to have their hearts broken?Continue reading...

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After Dismal Season, Mets' Branding Strikes Out

Posted by Anthony De Rosa on October 8, 2009 02:16 PM

Fans and foes agree: the New York Mets have been one of the past decade's most disappointing baseball teams. But the team's problems go deeper than who's starting at first base, their epic final-month collapse the past two years, or this year's spate of injuries. The Mets have a big branding problem.

The issues begin with the new stadium. The Mets aligned themselves with Citigroup. Oops! The Mets couldn't have known that Citi would soon become the poster child for unchecked corporate malfeasance. But they could have tried to replace Citi after it took the huge bailout, rather than leaving taxpayers with the impression they are paying the Mets millions for Citi's naming rights.

CitiField is, strangely, a homage to a team that doesn't even play in New York anymore: the Brooklyn Dodgers. Owner Fred Wilpon grew up a Dodgers fan, and wanted to build CitiField in the image of Ebbets Field. This works architecturally.

But they forgot to add anything to the stadium to represent the Mets. Its colors don't reflect the team's blue and orange: The wall is black, the seats are green.Continue reading...

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