October 2005: Raptors Launch "New Era" Marketing Campaign
As the 2005/2006 NBA season approached the crack Toronto Raptors marketing team (the same team that brought you "Fire Guy") was cooking up an ingenious campaign to put the asses in the seats. After several seasons of different variations on "Come See Vince Dunk*" the team was forced into brainstorming a little harder as VC was no longer around. Who could they market to the fans? Who could put the asses in the seats?
Nope, too likely to be traded.
Let's not put too much pressure on those slender shoulders.
Ummm, let's save him for the STD awareness campaign.
Things were looking grim for the marketing team but then inspiration struck... let's feature Raptor Management -- Sam Mitchell, Rob Babcock and Wayne Embry -- the braintrust to lead us into this "New Era" of the franchise.
Fans will surely flock to the ACC to see Sam Mitchell stand on the sideline and not understand how a zone defense works; or maybe the ability to watch Rob Babcock in action figuring out how to get three quarters for a dollar. That's what NBA Action is all about! We'll sell business suits with "Embry" stitched on the back!
Now the marketer in me realizes that this campaign was completely retarded but the cynical bastard in me believes it was also pure genius. Let's read between the lines: why craft a marketing campaign around the players when they are just interchangeable parts, ready to be swapped out at any moment on any whim? The fans are really cheering for the franchise's choice of management and the decisions they make. Better yet, considering Babcock didn't even last the season fans are pretty much left cheering for the decision-making process of one Dick Peddie. I can't wait for next season's campaign: "Peddie, You May Hate Him But He Sure Can Make Money!"
* - Disclaimer: Vince might actually not dunk and instead launch fall-away 3-pointers all night, that is, when he's not whining about his knee.