Marlins Convinced Appearing On Showtime's "The Franchise" Will Help Marketing Efforts
The Marlins are convinced that their appearance on Showtime's series "The Franchise" this season will "help their marketing and branding efforts," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Marlins President David Samson said, "If we want to be dominating in Latin America and be a dominant force in this game, it doesn’t just happen on the field. It has to happen off the field as well. Every time our Q rating increases, it makes being a Marlin cool. It’s been 10 years of struggle in that." Jackson reports the Marlins have "no veto power over what Showtime can use," and there will be "very little sacred or secret" when the cameras are on. Samson said that the net will have "permission to tape closed-door meetings involving himself," manager Ozzie Guillen and team Owner Jeffrey Loria. Samson: "Our franchise has undergone a complete transformation on and off the field. And now it's going to be in front of a national TV audience for them to witness. Samson said he told players, "We made a decision to allow cameras into our life for better or for worse." He added, "When Ozzie is your manager, and the team we have and the new ballpark, we are a walking distraction. It's up to our players and our front office to get past that and realize we need to win" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/14).
PLAYER APPROVAL: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi notes the arrangement was "contingent upon the approval of the players' union." Marlins C and player rep John Buck said that he "wasn't thrilled when Showtime first approached the club." But his concerns "faded after he checked with friends" on the Giants, who were featured in the series' first season. Buck said, "It's not like we don't have cameras on us already. I'd rather not have a camera in my face all the time, but it comes with the job, I guess." Samson said, "We were approached and they had me at 'hello.' Any time you can give fans unique access to what we do, we've always said we are in the entertainment business. I think when the cameras roll, it's going to be some kind of interesting" (PALM BEACH POST, 2/14). MLB.com's Joe Frisaro noted cameras will "have access to meetings, the clubhouse and pretty much everyplace the Marlins will be, starting with their arrival at Spring Training in Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 22" (MLB.com, 2/13).
SHOW TIME: USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale notes Showtime "plans to start running its weekly series after the All-Star break, and, unlike a year ago with the Giants, it hopes to continue the series through the pennant race." The Marlins became "appealing to Showtime with the hiring of Guillen, along with the addition of" SS Jose Reyes and Ps Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Carlos Zambrano (USA TODAY, 2/14). DAILY VARIETY's Rick Kissell noted though a premiere date "hasn't been announced, it's likely to launch around mid-July." Kissell wrote the Marlins make for an "interesting introspection in 2012." Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins: "I think we'll end up with a show this year that is about the operation of the club. I want a show about how the team is run. I want to really develop the front office characters as much as the players. 'Moneyball' has come out and has opened people's eyes to the operations of a front office. This will be the real version" (VARIETY.com, 2/13).
SPEAK UP: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk offered some tips for the upcoming season of "The Franchise." Kaduk wrote, "Don't shy away from the ballpark controversy." He added, "I'd like to see the complete picture of opening night, including any and all protests that may surround the debut. Folks in south Florida are angry with the way that owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson got their public funding and any unbiased documentary will include coverage of the opposition." Kaduk also wrote, "The more Latin flavor, the better" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/13).