O’s e-mail suddenly works! Happy Birthday!!

March 03, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Here’s the latest marketing effort by the Orioles that won’t provide much revenue, but will get people in the building in 2009.  Everyone has a birthday — and now, you’ll get a free O’s ticket to commemorate your special day.

You have to give them credit:  They’re trying.

After years of not only IGNORING the fact that they have a ticket-selling problem, but downright DISPUTING it, the club has obviously come to grips with the issue:  too many empty seats.

Now, they’re actually doing marketing.  They’re going out of their way to bring people into the building.  In reality, they’re making it almost impossible for you to NOT attend a home game at some point in 2009.  

It’s good stuff.  Finally.  

Now, it’s time to slap them around a bit.

If you don’t want to read the bad stuff, hop off now and head somewhere else so you’re not overwhelmed with more “Anti-Orioles” garb from “the guy who hates the team”.  (Supposedly).

I was able to promote the “Free ticket on your birthday” concept because I received the press release from the team today. I didn’t get it second-hand.  It wasn’t forwarded to me by another media member.  I received it from the Orioles, directly.

Obviously, I’m on their e-mail list.

They have my e-mail:  drew@wnst.net

Here comes the bad stuff.  Go away now if you don’t want to read it.

They ONLY acknowledge my e-mail and my existence when it’s convenient for THEM.

Free poncho night…e-mail Drew.

Player acquisition…e-mail Drew.

Tickets going on sale…e-mail Drew.

Jeremy Guthrie riding his bike to the ballpark…e-mail Drew.

Free ticket on your birthday…e-mail Drew.

But…when Drew has a question for them about a policy, procedure, player acquisition or anything I would like to know, guess what they do?  

They act like my e-mail doesn’t reach them.

I’m evidently NOT a member of the legitimate media when I can’t get a credential for spring training.  In three weeks, I’m going to “apply” for a season media credential for 2009.  I won’t get it.  I’m “not a member of the media”, I guess.

But I AM a legitimate member of the media when they send out their “press release” for the media to review and publicize on their behalf.

When I e-mail Greg Bader, he doesn’t respond to me.

When I e-mail Monica Pence Barlowe, she doesn’t respond to me.

I’ve e-mailed John Angelos and Andy MacPhail over the last three weeks.  No reply from them, either.

It’s one thing to get an e-mail from someone and respond with, “We’re not able to give you that information.”  The Ravens do that occasionally when I contact them about their salary cap, a player contract or some other team-issue that I’m interested in knowing more about.  ”Sorry…we can’t comment on that.”

Fair enough.

But ignoring my e-mail and/or phone call contact efforts – as in, when I filed for my spring training credential last month – and then sending me an e-mail when it’s a team-related item they’d like me to pass along to my (one) listener(s)…that’s evidently OK.  

No, it’s not OK.

It’s bush league.

And, while it’s standard operating procedure for the Orioles to mistreat people who aren’t on their payroll, I’m not going to tolerate it in 2009.

I took it like Ned Beatty in Deliverance last year when they mistreated me.

I’m not taking it in 2009. 

Picking and choosing WHO they want to talk with in the media – and picking and choosing WHEN they want to acknowledge that your e-mail actually reaches them – isn’t going to fly anymore.

When I filled out the spring training credential request form, guess what I heard back from the Orioles?

Nada.  Zip.  Zero. 

When they want me to kiss their ass,  they send me stuff to promote for them.  And, by the way, I do it.

That’s the funny part.  I do it for them.  I promoted their “kids under 10 get in free on Thursday” thing last week.  I’m writing about “Free ticket on your birthday” offer today.  I talked about the “Ride your bike to the ballpark” promotion last year…mainly because it was a concept I floated out there for their use two years ago and they took it upon themselves to use it.  

So, I promote their stuff.  I read their e-mails and do exactly what they want:  I talk about it on the air and blog about it at WNST.net.

However, when I need THEM or I reach out to THEM, they suddenly have internet issues at The Warehouse.

Coincidence?

Of course not.

Bush League?

You bet.

It’s not going to fly anymore.  

When they do “the right thing” – like giving people a free ticket during the month of their birthday – I’ll promote it for them.

When they do “the wrong thing” – like ignore my e-mails and phone calls, I’ll promote THAT too.

At some point, when the Orioles start acting professionally like the Ravens, I won’t have to call them on the carpet anymore.

Until then…

I’ll continue to call it like it is.

When you don’t respond to my e-mails and calls when I need YOU — but then, you send me e-mails when you need ME, I’ll call that Bush League.  

Every.  Single.  Time.

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