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Volume 20 No. 42
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Plugged In: David Samson

Miami Marlins President David Samson talks about the teams and the fans of South Beach, why it’s good for the Marlins to be featured on Showtime’s series “The Franchise” this summer, and how decisions are made at the executive level.

It’s constantly making choices. And we have the best advisers we can have around us. We all have great organizations and great people working with us, but I promise you we’re not right every time. None of us. You can’t be. But we’re the ones making decisions and getting blamed for it as faces of the franchise. That’s fine; that’s what we signed up for. The key is to make the decision of whether you’re playing offense or defense, then making sure that you have ownership support in that decision, getting through it and waiting for the next one.

On South Florida teams:
I want the Heat to win the championship. …  I want the Dolphins to be in the Super Bowl because can you imagine what would happen in Miami?  … What if we had a decade like Boston just had? Can you imagine what would happen to the Miami sports landscape; how much more valuable all our franchises would be?

A marketing challenge for the club: Florida is, I think, the only market where we’re a purely vertical market, which is terrible. You talk about regional teams in baseball: People drive hours to go to a Cardinals game or to a Reds game. Generally, you take your ballpark and draw concentric circles around it. After two or three circles, we’re … in the water.

What’s  behind “The Franchise”? The whole point is, how do we differentiate access now?  How do we get viewers to tune in and pay attention for more than 140 characters?

What worries him in social media: What consumers are doing, I’m afraid, is they’re more apt to listen to other fans versus the credibility of your own company tweeting or Facebooking about what you’re doing.

On listening to fans: One thing you have to be very careful of when you’re running a team these days is you can’t be too reactive. When you have a plan, if you become too reactive to what is going on in social media and the court of public opinion, you will end up having a rudderless ship and not able to actually do anything.

A piece of inventory he wishes he could sell: Online. … MLBAM has been unbelievable with the creation of wealth for all the teams, but you’re asking what would be nice.