Friday, July 3, 2009

The Reboot of The Blog? We'll see...

Since my last post (17 months or so), the Tigers played for the national title (and blew it), the station made a brand switch from ESPN to Fox Sports, everyone in Memphis became a Titans fan, the Steelers won the Super Bowl, Tim Tebow continued to win at life, John Calipari left for bluer pastures, the Grizzlies drafted a Tanzanian, and now Allen Iverson wants to play for Memphis. I could keep going, but my head would hurt.

I actually just rediscovered my blog last night. I always felt like I was more in tune with what all was going on when I was writing, and I'd like to get back to that. It also helps when I am subbing in for Geoff and Gary or Vernon - so that I'm not 'cramming' the night before.

So, what's on my mind?

I guess I'll throw in my comments on the Allen Iverson interest. Vernon and Calkins had similar takes - that if you're going to bring in Zach Randolph, you might as well go all out and acquire as many troubled souls as you can. They are obviously joking, but let's entertain the idea - and maybe step back and reframe just what the true needs of this franchise are.

I was a big Rubio fan, but not necessarily of the player. What I mean is that I was a fan of the idea of a player like Rubio playing for Memphis. It was flash. Excitement. There would have been a chance that you might see something great at the game.

Lots of people in this town speak about the 'needs' of this team - a power forward / veteran presence / a backup point guard / where to play OJ... And while I find all of these to be true, perhaps it misses the point.

I address 'needs' for what they are. What necessities do I require in order to be successful? And what opportunities do I have to immediately address these necessities?

For the Grizzlies, in my outsider opinion, the real 'need' is... (wait for it)... selling tickets. If finances are as bad as they made to seem to be, then this is the immediate necessity.

And we all know that if the team was better (win 40+ games), they'd sell more tickets. That's easy. But the opportunity to make the team that much better is not immediately available. That would require increasing spending significantly, which as we all know by now - that ain't happening.

So, I would encourage the Grizzlies to take any opportunity they could in order to sell tickets. As someone who is in sales and manages a sales team, it is vitally important to have something you believe in when you are selling. So when the Grizzlies' sale staff is working on their season ticket, corporate, and group sales - what is their pitch? That's a message that I'm not sure has been developed by the organization (and with very little help from the owner's public '3 year plan' that seems to continue to be delayed). This could lead to your sale staff being unsuccessful - and when the sales staff isn't selling, they don't make as much money, and they go do something else so that they can. Sales people (good ones) follow the dollar. If the sales people leave, then money and time is spent obtaining new sales people, and potential ticket sales are lost in the meantime, and still nothing has been created that would assist the sales staff's product. It's not a good situation.

Let's reset - what options are immediately available that will help the Grizzlies sell tickets? If Allen Iverson is calling - I'd be listening. He is exciting, his merchandise would be flying off the racks, and he's a draw. AI sells tickets, and that's what you need.

And why not? What could you really lose? I don't see Iverson in the same mold that many people have put Zach Randolph. AI's older, and the only issue of any recentness was last year's refusal to play off the bench.

That's easy to solve - start him.

If we are concerned about the 'development' of our young players - I find that faulty, because it's still not addressing the need - selling tickets. Get some butts (and dollars) into that building - that can help you the most with improving this franchise.

So, I implore Mr. Heisley and Mr. Wallace to break out their revenue/expense breakeven graph on how many tickets Allen Iverson would sell you. If we're on the positive side, do it.

Give your employees something to sell. And your fans something to watch.