Waking the Sleeping Giant? Or Creating a New Giant?

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Ted Leonsis

Here is a smart article about the challenges we face in building a great generational fan base for our basketball team. It also underscores the true importance to our franchise in qualifying for the playoffs this season and doing well in the playoffs. And for step one of our rebuild plan to have been achieved.

We truly needed relevance and the community needed to be able to embrace a winner. It had been a long time for the Wizards to show its fans that we have upside, and respect for the game and are worthy of our fan's time and emotional investment.

The info here seems daunting to some and it is all based on click streams and demographics. Clicks are not a true ultimate indicator of interest and success. Time spent and dollars invested are a much more relevant indicator. And of course, games and playoff games won is the most important indicator of success to a community. We all believe that as fact.

I also knew we had to create our own memories, new and fresh, to impart to our potential fans. We had to build from scratch a new fan base, in overlay of our small, rabid  and passionate fan base, as noted here. We needed to show respect and appreciation to our long term fans but we needed to create a new and expanded fan base. Expanding  the base is key for our franchise, tapping in to young fans and building tradition with them and loyalty with them is key for the Wizards. And our future.

We basically lost a generation of fans and now have to create the next generation of fans. That is a part of the rebuild plan as well for our franchise.

And the DMV is the best and fastest growing community in North America. So if we can build a winner and be smart about how we market and create a legacy and tradition - and the team performs well - we will change the color  coding on this map quickly. I am confident in the plan and that we can get real heat into these maps in the future.

To some, this will be called the "bandwagon". To be direct, it is truly needed for our franchise - we simply need to expand our fan base and build a new generation of traditions and memories all built on a winning team and playoff appearances and new star players and a high performing new team.

I will always show respect and high regard for our fans, but we simply need new fans to become a world class franchise as this article and map show case.

While the general and averaged data presented here is telling, I will add that every year we have owned the team, we have grown the fan base and the season ticket holder base. We have invested in infrastructure to be able to retain our fans and add news ones to the mix. And as to pixels, our own owned and operated media outlets have scaled and grown dramatically, our click streams as to unique visits, video starts, page views, e-commerce sales are all  booming.

"Growth is Good".

As noted, we will enter next season in a very healthy manner with well more than 10,000 season ticket holders and more than a 90 percent renewal rate from our fan base. Our last playoff game generated the most revenue of any game in the history of Verizon Center as a primary ticket sales line item, and the secondary market was quite healthy as well. In comparison to the heat map here, we are doing much better than many other communities as it relates to real world growth. I will also add that our sales for the game on Thursday night will generate more revenues in one day than the entire blogosphere locally has generated in its lifetime. I can run you all through that math one day if you would like. I only state that notion because it is relevant to click streams as a proxy for ultimate success. Do people value what you do with their time and with their dollars and emotions?

Season tickets are the life blood of any franchise in pro sports. Look to retention of the base and new sales to truly judge the health of a fan base, a franchise and the building of a community.

Thank you for highlighting these issues for us, and for understanding my mantra of "We are all in this together".  Building a thriving fan base that is emotionally invested in success and growth and team performance is what we need to do .  

Help us to rebuild America's basketball capital. I promise that wont be our tag line, but you get what I mean.

Posted in: Sports
next up:

Says It All

May 14, 2014

The Wizards were dialed in last night, and played with determination, focus and with a real team spirit that was great to see.

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