As we stated last week, it is time to start looking at the candidates for the Footiebusiness Team PR award. In past years, the Award was defined this way: “Department recognized for consistent, accurate and proactive efforts in providing media members with information and generating coverage for its team.” However, because this is now a Footiebusiness Award, we think recognition for marketing and promotional efforts should also be included.For purposes of this award, the “2012 year” started when voting closed last October.
Last year the winner was Sporting Kansas City. The team effectively managed its social media presence, ensuring that fans and media were kept apprised of important developments all season long. The team’s leadership is active on Twitter, providing access to fans unmatched by most teams. The team shattered its own attendance mark, averaging more than 19,400 for 2011, a dramatic increase of 2,000 over last year. Sporting settled into its new digs and has become a fixture in the Kansas City sports scene. The team also had to manage the bad publicity from its affiliation with Lance Armstrong and LiveStrong, a known risk when they executed their stadium naming rights deal with the charity. On the downside, the team has failed to secure a jersey sponsor despite its increased popularity. Yet on balance, it has been another outstanding year for the Sporting Front Office.
Our second candidate is the Houston Dynamo. Long successful on the field, the team finally made its long awaited move to BBVA Compass Stadium. The team continues to get strong coverage in the local papers while managing more than 21k fans in its new fortress. That represented approximately a 3,500 per game increase in attendance. The team has managed great community outreach, fan events and charity efforts. The team had a broadcast deal with the local FOX Sports affiliate and a solid jersey sponsorship greenstar, possibly through 2015.
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