SBD/April 16, 2013/Franchises

Chiefs' Clark Hunt Working Hard During Offseason To Improve Club's Outlook

Hunt is looking to make the Chiefs a more open organization
Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt has been "emphasizing a philosophy shift in the franchise" this offseason, and he is "doing everything he can to make sure the hiring of coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey is the end to a brutal four-year run marked by arrogance and detachment," according to Sam Mellinger of the K.C. STAR. Hunt said, "Certainly the football side of the Chiefs the last four years was more guarded in how information was shared externally. There’s still teams in the league that operate like that, but what I’ve seen in the last 12 months, attending ownership meetings and being on the digital committee, is an understanding that, hey, the model is shifting and we have to be more open." When former GM Scott Pioli was hired in '09, "he brought a hyper-secretive and isolated style that -- especially as the losses piled up -- turned off many loyal fans." The Chiefs now are trying to woo fans back with "gifts and technology." The Chiefs were the first NFL team to "use paperless tickets last year, and going forward, this will be their vehicle of choice." Hunt said, "Really, we want the experience with our fan base to be one where they’re an insider. Where they feel like an insider. Where they’re getting to see things, and hear things, and learn things that people generally don’t have an opportunity to do.” Mellinger notes the club is "adding a loyalty program that is part Foursquare, part frequent flier account and the first of its kind in the NFL." Fans can go to team events like next week’s NFL Draft party and "earn points." Those who collect enough points can "'buy' experiences that otherwise aren’t for sale, like pregame sideline passes or dinner with Reid" (K.C. STAR, 4/14).
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