Red Sox Notions
New Englanders’ love affair with the Red Sox is legendary. Youngsters dream of playing on the hallowed turf, and the organization does everything possible to get fans of all ages to drink the Kool-Aid.
What is the State of the Art of Red Sox notions, and where can the Sox take this $200 million dollar marketing machine? Of course, we’ll praise the obvious, the great charitable work the Sox do with the Jimmy Fund, the Red Sox Foundation, and sponsoring such successful promotions as the Ring Raffle. Of course, only winning allows the opportunity. After all, who’s ponying up ten bucks, charity or not, for an ALCS Runner-up headband?
First, you can become a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation, for a mere $9.95. Multiracial, multilingual citizens of the Nation, authenticating the reality of Nation Building, regale you. Citizenship entitles you to Game Day Audio from MLB.com, not terribly useful when watching NESN, an e-newsletter, double-secret probation pages on www.redsox.com, and commodity trading selections from John Henry’s staff (just kidding about the commodity picks).
If you own a home, a lawn or garden, or maybe a flower pot, you can purchase official Red Sox grass (no, not certified by Bill Lee), culled from the infield at Fenway, lovingly cultivated in Rhode Island, and returned to you, in a pizza box, for a mere $150. I know I saw this, and no, I only saw it, I don’t smoke it.
The pregame show Wednesday night highlighted a few notions from the Souvenir Store, from specialty Wallys, to hats of every color, although they left out the fantastic Red Sox jackets (thanks for mine, Sis).
We all know about the Sox’ Fenway tours, concerts at Fenway, and functions and weddings at Fenway. Why knot?
Still, we’re only scratching the surface on possibilities, and some of them may have a limited shelf life, so I’m offering them up for JH and company to get on board as soon as possible.
It’s a lock! No I’m not talking about the self-proclaimed Forehead Twins, Don and Jerry, but the Red Sox Mane Man, Johnny Damon. Damon might be considering to fleeing to greener pa$ture$ in the Bronx, so why not offer locks of hair from Johnny. Surely, he must get a trim now and then, plus whatever you can retrieve from a post-game shower, and Johnny can get a percentage, too. It’s a win-win for everyone. Revenue potential: $.
The Huck Finn Paint Promotion! I’m not sure that the Green Monster actually needs painting, but don’t let necessity interfere with genius. You get a paint company to supply paint (“Sherwin Williams, the next best Williams after Ted, official paint of the Boston Red Sox”) and get fans to pay for the privilege of painting the Wall. All right, so there may be some liability issues out there, but there’s always “AFLAC, The Official Insurer of the Boston Red Sox.” Revenue potential: $$.
Dirt Bags in Dirt Bags Offer. Surely the Sox have to constantly maintain and replenish the field at Fenway. Why can’t the Sox bag up some Fenway dirt and package it in small bags with some of our favorite opponents? Just for starters, I’d love to get one with Scott Kazmir and Lou Piniella on it, although we might have to call it Bean Bag promotion that day. There’s Jason Giambi, looking very muscular after adjusting his, er, training regimen this year. Baltimore’s Orange bag would have Raffy, maybe with skull and crossbones, and we could even have some “blasts from the past” like Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson. Revenue potential: $$.
Finally, we have the piece de resistance, or maybe more current, the big enchilada. The John Henry Red Sox Development Mutual Fund. Sox fans, accompanied by a certified letter from their City Hall, and a minimum contribution of $1,000 dollars could invest in either a plain vanilla or IRA mutual fund run by John Henry. Henry, one of the global investment geniuses, would invest our money (better than most of our mutual funds) and a small portion (we’ll call it the R-B-I fee) would go towards funding Red Sox operations and signing current, and acquiring future, players. Another feel good touching everyone’s most sensitive nerve, the money nerve. Touch it and everybody jumps. Revenue potential: $$$$.
Not only do I care about the Sox, so do my patients. Wives tell me their husbands talk to them more after the Sox win. Patients tell me their sleep improves when the Hose triumph. Dogs get better walks after the local nine wins. Children get pocket change to buy candy. It’s just good cents.
-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check