McCutchen's Marketability One Reason He Is Becoming New Face Of The Pirates
Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen has "enough sizzle to captivate fans in Pittsburgh and around the country," as well as "enough marketability to singlehandedly sell scores of tickets and T-shirts," according to the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW's Rob Biertempfel, who wrote under the header, "McCutchen Takes Over As Face Of Pirates' Franchise." With his "outgoing personality and quick smile, McCutchen figures prominently in the team's marketing plan." His No. 22 jersey "flew off the racks last year at local stores." Taryn Orth, the assistant manager at The Pittsburgh Fan apparel store across from PNC Park, indicated that the late Roberto Clemente "is the best seller among Pirates merchandise." But McCutchen still "makes the cash register ring." Orth noted the store carries T-shirts of 3B Pedro Alvarez and C Ryan Doumit, but "those don't sell as well." Orth: "McCutchen is pretty much it." SI.com's Will Carroll: "He's a legitimate 30 (homer)-30 (steals) threat for the next decade. If you're a 12-year-old kid in Pittsburgh, whose jersey would you buy?" Biertempfel noted McCutchen apparel "was most popular early last season at Pirates Clubhouse Stores." However, while Pirates Exec VP & CMO Lou DePaoli acknowledged McCutchen's popularity, he "said the team won't market just one player." DePaoli: "Baseball is such a team game that we're never going to put all our eggs in one basket. It's not Player X. It's Players A, B, C, D and E. We market everybody equally as a group" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/27).
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT: SI.com's Ton Verducci examined the list of MLB's top-selling jerseys for '10 and noted "only two of the top 20 replicas are for players with West Coast teams" -- Giants P Tim Lincecum at No. 10 and C Buster Posey at No. 19. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies "account for half of the top 18 jerseys." Verducci: "I'll repeat what I've been saying: baseball is a top-heavy game. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are the engine to the business of baseball, and the other 27 clubs are boxcars along for the ride" (SI.com, 3/25).