Monday, September 26, 2011

Stupid marketing ideas

I love my Cleveland Browns. (And my San Diego Chargers. And my Pittsburgh Steelers.  Yes, I support multiple teams in a set order of priority.  I'm allowed to because of the Browns move.  If you don't like it, blame Art Modell and his enablers.)   The Browns have always been our family flagship, win or (mostly) lose.  The Central Indiana Browns Backers are some of the best. most knowledgeable football fans anywhere.  But, like me, no matter how painful it is, they do not hesitate to call the Browns out for their mistakes.

And this ... well, it may not be fair to call this a mistake, but it is really, really stupid:

Who needs a Super Bowl Championship, when you have the World's Largest ... Browns ... Flag ...?
Before every home game, they unfurl what they call the "World's Largest Browns Flag."  Why?  We don't know.  They say it's "a source of pride for Browns fans across the world."  Except, well, most football fans care more about wins and losses or team uniforms than flags.  And you wouldn't know of this particular flag unless you actually attended a Browns home game.  In the last 3 years or so.  No, this is not an ancient tradition that just sprouted up a long time ago like the Terrible Towel, the Charger Cannon or "J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS!"  As I just indicated, this did not appear until, like, 3 years ago.  This is manufactured marketing crap.

Both team president Mike Holmgren and owner Randy Lerner respect the tradition of the Browns and football in Ohio.  I get that.  I'm fine with that.  That's why I continue to support them.  But the "old" Browns, for all of Art Modell's arrogance, greed, stupidity and malice, rarely tried manufactured marketing like this, or like the "logo" for the Dawg Pound (which was mercifully discarded).  The best traditions develop not from marketing ideas, but organically, whether from the fans themselves, the players (like the Dawg Pound) or some really quirky one-in-a million deal like Myron Cope's intention of annoying the visiting team with the Terrible Towel.  Browns fans have always been among the best and most sophisticated in the NFL.  They do not need or want slick marketing.  They want good football.  And alcohol.

If not ... completely satisfied with what the team has done on the field in recent years, Browns fans are very definitely happy with Holmgren and Lerner's efforts at restoring other elements of the Browns tradition with such things as the Ring of Honor, changing the uniforms to an older version and bringing back (and even updating) the Browns fight song (Hi O-HI-O!) and the Brownie elf (which is very popular in Cleveland, even if unknown nationally).

The "World's Largest Browns Flag" is rather insulting to such a sophisticated fan base who knows marketing crap when they see it and most definitely does not like it.  Best example was years ago when Modell sold the halftime of a Monday night game to Ford to promote the "all new" Ford Taurus.  Even though Ford is very big in Northeast Ohio, with, among other things, a huge foundry in Brook Park, the fans rained down boos on the entire event.

Short story long: dump the flag.  Give us something we can appreciate, like a right tackle.

1 comment:

  1. So,...let me see. Brownie Elf = NOT Silly, Big Flag = Silly. Brownie Elf = Sophisticated, Big Flag = NOT Sophisticated.

    End result? Browns fans who like Brownie Elves = NOT silly, yet Sophisticated.

    O-HI-O! That explains it.