SBD/Issue 48/Franchises

Grizzlies' Marketing Team Optimistic Despite Iverson Departure

Grizzles Moving Forward With Revised
Marketing Plan That Excludes Iverson
The Grizzlies Monday released G Allen Iverson, but Grizzlies Senior Dir of Marketing & Communications John Pugliese "sounded stoic and even optimistic" about a revised marketing plan, according to Scott Cacciola of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Pugliese said, "Our campaign was not focused around Allen. It was focused around the young core of talent we had. So from a campaign standpoint, nothing will change. We have a loyal group of fans who are in this 'Griz Country' and part of 'Griz Nation,' and we've gotten a lot of support in the last day." Pugliese said that his marketing team "caught a break with the timing of all this, considering new billboards are scheduled to go up Friday." Pugliese said that G O.J. Mayo, F Rudy Gay and "'animated elf characters' will pitch holiday ticket packages." All of the ads "will be Iverson-free." However, Cacciola notes the team did design a "slogan that played off Iverson's nickname, 'Answer the Call.'" Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are "not offering ticket or merchandise refunds to disgruntled fans." All Iverson merchandise at The Grizzlies Store yesterday was 50% off and "all 90 remaining replica jerseys slashed from $170 to $85, even though there was one important disclaimer: All sales are final." There also "remains the small matter of 3,000 Iverson jerseys that the team had planned to give away" prior to the December 4 game against the Mavericks. Pugliese said that the they are "awaiting delivery at U.S. Customs," and he has "no idea what to do with them." Cacciola: "Should the team still give them away? Donate them to charity? Something else entirely?" Pugliese: "There are a lot of options. We want feedback from fans" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 11/18).

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