You may remember a year ago Fox Sports San Diego announced that they would enlist the help of SDSU's Marketing 472 class to promote their Padres coverage. The project would benefit both FSSD with a cheap and youthful perspective while at the same time SDSU students (who are mostly Giants fans) could gain some real world experience. Well, in June of last year a winning team was chosen and their project was put into action.
The problem was, from the article, I couldn't tell what exactly the winning campaign entailed. Sure they had a slogan "This is my town" which on the surface seemed mostly meh, but the reasoning behind it felt more like an insult to the Padres fan base than a rallying cry.
"Through our research, we found that San Diego locals are very happy to be in San Diego and are extremely proud of the their city, but do not share that same pride with the local San Diego sports teams," Chow said.
While I'll begrudgingly admit that an element of that hypothesis is unfortunately true, it's not the fan characteristic that I'd want to brand the fan base with. Yes, they're just trying to target that portion of the population, but I think that's putting the cart before the horse. These fair weather fans are followers. If you invigorate the actual Padres fans, they will follow.
It'd be nice if Padres marketing related to Padres pride, but if they're intent on using civic pride then I'd prefer something like Dex's slogan "Don't be such a f_cking tourist. Go San Diego." which not only incites pride in San Diego, but adds intense shame for those transplants that hold onto their out-of-town allegiances.
Anyway, there weren't many more details in the article about the proposed campaign, just some vague generalities about things going viral, creating synergy and references to social media. It didn't sound like FSSD had much to work with from my outside perspective.
At Saturday's Padres FanFest however, I saw with my own eyes the marketing campaign come to life. It was in the form of the #basebug a Volkswagen bug painted like a baseball.
The idea itself isn't new, the Cardinals have a base bug too, but I'm told it was suggested by the SDSU program. I liked it so much that I tried to convince FSSD to let Dex and I drive it to Spring Training, but no one was buying it. But maybe they would buy an old beat up 60s or 70s era Volkswagen Bug and let fans drive it places. I could see a lot more people tweeting pictures of it, if it were broken down on the side of the road.