SBD/August 31, 2011/Franchises

Is Dolphins' UF Celebration A Valid Attempt To Sell Tickets Or Just Misguided?

Meyer has agreed to participate in Dolphins' celebration of UF national championship team
The Dolphins' plan to celebrate the '08 Univ. of Florida national championship team during its Oct. 23 game against the Broncos generated a lot of discussion on the afternoon TV talk shows yesterday. ESPN's Michael Wilbon said selling tickets is “what this is about.” The Dolphins are "facing the prospect of not selling out all their home games for the first time in like 13 years," and they "want to sell some seats." Wilbon: "If you say the words ‘Tim Tebow’ loud enough anywhere in the state of Florida, a 100,000 people will fill your house." However, the Univ. of Miami feels that "their home NFL team is kicking them while they’re down." Wilbon said, "I get that, but they also turned down a chance to be honored by the Dolphins.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "It’s the state school and you want to sell some tickets because Tebow’s back in town” (“PTI,” ESPN, 8/30). L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said the team is "just trying to sell tickets.” Plaschke: “What’s wrong with putting butts in the seats which creates more income for workers down there?” Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “I don’t have a problem with it because it’s just a promotion." However, he added, "I don’t know why people in Miami aren’t buying Dolphins tickets. They love the Dolphins. They’ve bought tickets when they were worse." But ESPN's Bomani Jones said of the idea, "It’s so contrived and it’s so ridiculous. And on top of that, the University of Miami for the last 25 or 30 years has been the team for the city of Miami. It seems to me from this distance that it is insulting to that program" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 8/30). Miami-based WAXY-AM's Jorge Sedano said, “It’s almost like inviting people to root for the opponent. I don’t understand that logic.” Sedano said Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, “having grown up in Miami Beach, has to really be a Dolphins fan." Sedano: "He just doesn’t know how to be an NFL owner yet” (WAXY-AM, 8/31).

HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic's Ivan Carter said of the Dolphins' UF promo, "One of the worst ideas marketing-wise I have ever heard. I know they want to sell tickets, but … dumb.” Carter later asked, "Is that what that franchise, once proud franchise, has gone down to? They used to just have to open the door and they would pack that place.” Washington Post columnist Jason Reid: “When you look at where this organization once was, where this franchise once was, and where it is now, the fact that they felt this was even something that should be thought about -- it’s kind of sad” (“Washington Post Live,” Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 8/30).
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