Under the new plans, 41 game licensees will receive approximately half of the playoff games, and the other games will be guaranteed for 20 game plan holders. The Yankees are clearly counting on 12 and 15 game partial plan holders to upgrade to the 20 game plans and the very desirable playoff tickets they now guarantee. Since the new stadium opened, 20 game plans only received a postseason pre-sale password, although similar plans at the old stadium promised a small postseason ticket allotment.
In a vacuum, this is a logical business move - it never really made sense for a half season plan to receive full playoff rights. But to longtime, loyal Yankees season ticket holders, it comes off as something slightly more offensive. We're forced to accept the fact that if we jump ship because of this business decision, it won't hurt the Yankees bottom line. We're disposable commodities, easily replaced by partial plan ticket holders upgrading to 20 game plans.
Needless to say, we're disappointed in this decision from a fan relations and fan loyalty standpoint. As we mentioned, it makes sense to slowly phase out the 41 game plan if it doesn't make sense for the team financially. But a better way to deal with those affected would have been to reach out to them personally and work out a thoughtful solution. Unfortunately, season ticket holders were subjected to a generic form letter and a table presenting them with the bad news:
With each passing offseason, it gets more difficult to justify remaining a Yankees season ticket holder.
This statement goes against the very fabric of this blog's existence, but we fear that the value of the live stadium experience is degrading. With each new high definition technology, added camera angle and on-screen "PitchTrax" box, watching at home on a big screen HDTV or at a bar with friends is becoming increasingly more appealing. Think about it - in terms of knowing exactly what happens, as it happens (one of the main benefits of attending a live sporting event in the first place), the stadium experience is lacking. This point is backed up by our recent experience at Yankee Stadium for game four of the Yankees' 2010 American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers.
During that pivotal game, there were no less than three defining moments in the game that fans in many areas of the stadium (including our section, section 428) were left wondering about:
Ok, we have to admit, we didn't notice this one on our own. Our old buddy Matthew from the Pinstripes Plus message boards emailed in with the amazing revelation that the man holding the "A Sign Of Life" sign on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium is the same man who held up the iconic "Mr. November" sign during the 2001 World Series. Don't believe us? We have visual proof:
It seems that this guy really has a knack for creating signs that are tailor-made for being published on the cover of newspapers. He even stays relevant across decades and in new stadiums. Proof that a great fan-created sign never goes out of style.
We wanted to reach out to "Yankee24" to ask him some questions about his sign-making skills, but the Yankees.com message board makes people wait 24 hours before posting anything. Perhaps this blog post will somehow make its way to "Yankee24" and we'll have the opportunity to ask some follow-up questions.
In the meantime, let's hope the Yankees show more "signs of life" tonight in Arlington!
UPDATE (10/22 8PM): Apparently "Yankee 24" is an impostor (is anyone surprised that the Yankees.com message board provided bad information?) We received an email from the son-in-law of the REAL sign guy, and we're trying to get in touch with him. Apparently, he's been a season ticket holder for over thirty years . Nice story.
Today, the Yankees sent out details about purchasing 2010 postseason tickets to partial plan ticket holders. For those "new to the game" it is the first experience in a somewhat confusing but ultimately rewarding endeavor, which is actually getting more efficient with each passing year.
The details are as follows (we translated the fine print for easier comprehension):
2010 Yankees ALDS & ALCS Postseason Ticket Pre-sales for 20-Game Plan, 15-Game Plan, 12-Game Plan and 11-Game Plan Licensees
- On September 22, 2010 at 10am, there will be an ALDS & ALCS PRELIMINARY pre-sale for 1,000 randomly selected partial plan Yankees season ticket holders. (The drawing will take place on September 20, and won't actually be completely random. It is actually a weighted drawing based on season ticket seniority and the number of tickets in your plan).
- On September 24, 2010 at 10am there will be an ALDS & ALCS pre-sale for the rest of the partial plan Yankees season ticket holders. People who participated in the preliminary pre-sale will not be eligible for this pre-sale.
- All partial plan season ticket holders will be limited to purchasing two tickets per round for one game. For example, someone can get a pair for game one of the ALDS and a pair for game seven of the ALCS, but they couldn't get two pairs in the same round.
2010 Yankees World Series Ticket Pre-sales for 20-Game Plan, 15-Game Plan, 12-Game Plan and 11-Game Plan Licensees
- On October 15, there will be a World Series PRELIMINARY pre-sale for 500 randomly selected partial plan Yankees season ticket holders. (The drawing will take place on October 13, and will use the same weighted system as ALDS and ALCS tickets).
- On October 18, there will be a World Series pre-sale for the rest of the partial plan Yankees season ticket holders.
- All partial plan season ticket holders will be limited to purchasing two tickets to one potential World Series game.
After these pre-sales take place, very limited quantities of 2010 Yankees postseason tickets will go on sale to the general public, but those dates have not yet been announced.
The Yankees used a system very similar (if not the same) last year, and it was a surprising success. Preventing full-season and 41-game plan ticket licensees was a great idea last year and they continued that policy for 2010. We have tickets to every single game anyway - giving us a chance at more is just giving us tickets to sell. Looking back into the archives of New Stadium Insider, we can see that some of our Twitter followers had a lot of luck last year, with many getting the chance to witness at least one or two games during the epic postseason run. Hopefully the feedback will be as positive this year.
For those wondering - here is our post about 2010 Yankees postseason ticket prices.
The Yankees' chart, describing the above (after the jump):
The Yankees quietly announced 2010 postseason ticket prices today - always an exciting event for Yankees fans accustomed to watching their favorite team play meaningful baseball in October. For a few years in the mid-2000s, this was a bittersweet day. On the one hand, it signified that the postseason was right around the corner. On the other, it meant digging into the wallet for an increasingly large sum of money each time an invoice arrived in the mail. Fans on edge about 2010 Yankees postseason ticket prices can finally breathe easy - aside from certain sections of Field Level Seats, the prices are largely unchanged from last year.
After bad PR about regular season ticket prices for their brand new stadium in 2009, the team smartened up and announced surprisingly cheap 2009 postseason ticket pricing last year at this time. Those prices were significantly cheaper than proposed postseason pricing for the 2008 postseason (which never happened), and some seats were even cheaper than 2009 regular season prices.
Confusing segmenting of Field Levels Seats aside, 2010 postseason ticket prices are strikingly similar to what we saw in 2009 - good news for anyone still feeling the effects of a tough economy. We're unable to produce an intuitive side-by-side comparison chart, but below is the Yankees 2010 postseason ticket pricing grid, followed by the 2009 version. Please note, the 2009 version reflects pricing before the mandatory franchise and state fees which were $2 for Bleacher tickets, $3 for Grandstand tickets and $6 for all other tickets. If you add those dollar amounts in, you'll notice that most of them match up with the 2010 prices.
The 2009 chart and some additional analysis can be found after the jump (click the "READ MORE" link below)
Anyone who has been to Yankee Stadium in the past couple of years is familiar with the Zales Yankees Fan Marquee. If not, bless your lucky soul, but we're about to ruin your day:
The true level of annoyance doesn't come across in that video, but anyone who regularly visits Yankee Stadium cringes at the thought of the Zales Fan Marquee. In fact, it proved to be so annoying that the Yankees actually toned it down in the past month, with the announcer cutting out some of his ridiculous schtick. At the end of the day, the only fans who come away with positive thoughts about Zales after witnessing the "fan marquee" are the people who were featured on it - and they paid $100 out of pocket for it to happen. [UPDATE: As commenter "Crazy Karl" pointed out this money goes to charity (the Yankees Foundation). Definitely worth pointing out, but there is no way for anyone experiencing it at the game to know about the good cause.]
The point we're driving at here is that brands need to rethink their ad spending at live events (sports, concerts, etc). The first step is to make better use of mobile marketing and engagement. If you look around Yankee Stadium on any given night, almost everyone has a phone in their hand for large chunks of the game. Instead of wasting huge sums of money on disruptively loud ads, why not try to engage fans via the mobile devices that are ALREADY IN THEIR HANDS? Next time you are at a game, take note of HOW MANY PEOPLE have their smart phones in their hands for most of the game. If we're the marketing folks at Zales, we're looking at the negative reaction to the "Fan Marquee" and we're brainstorming ideas on how to connect with all of these consumers with smart phones at the ready.
MLB's "At Bat" app for the IPhone seems to be the most likely avenue for marketers to tap into this potential. The current version of the app has integrated "At The Ballpark" features that allow fans to see game check-in history, view final scores for every game attended, see a list of ballparks visited and see how well their favorite teams have fared when checking-in at a game. With location based services and social networks becoming more ingrained in culture with each passing day, it is only a matter of time until we are marketed to in completely new and hopefully more effective ways.
UPDATE: We have selected a winning entry. The entry played up the "Buster Olney on Twitter" meme:
Heard this - I'd like to use this certificate for the Take Me To The Vino tour at the end of (more) #Contests
(2/2) September. Thanks!
And the winner is Dan Rodriguez. A representative from Goldstar will be contacting you with your prize shortly.
We realize that we haven't come through with much content lately, so we're hoping a little bribery will get you back in our corner. Thanks to a strong partnership with Goldstar.com, we are able to introduce the first ever NYY Stadium Insider contest and are offering a $50 gift certificate to the winner.
Goldstar.com is free to join, and they offer significantly discounted tickets to leisure activities such as live entertainment, theatre, concerts, dance, film screenings, sporting events, and spa services all over the country. Earlier this year, we discussed some great deals that Goldstar.com was offering on Audi Yankees Club tickets and batter's eye tickets at Yankee Stadium. We even snagged some of the batter's eye seats for the significantly discounted price and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Right now, there aren't any Yankees tickets left for the 2010 season, but they do have some other sports-related events that might be of interest to you such as New York Rangers preseason tickets, craft beer tours and even a Rocks Off booze cruise to Citi Field.
Today's contest is simple; head over to Goldstar.com, locate an event that you'd be interested in putting a $50 gift certificate toward (it can be any event in any city) and add your response in the comments section below. Pro tip: if you weave humor into your response, you'll have a MUCH higher chance of winning the prize. That being said, everyone isn't funny, so be sure to enter and give a good reason why you should win the certificate!
We can check IP addresses, so please, no shenanigans. Feel free to "like" this post, re-tweet it, digg it, do whatever you have to do.
Looking forward to reading your entries!
Did that provocative title draw you in? Take a look below:
Apparently this happened in section 420B, and it seems like it happened in the past week or so. If any of our readers were sitting in section 420B on that fateful night, we're wondering the following:
- How did this all start, and how does it involve the weird beard guy in the ESPN shirt at 0:27 of the video?
- What did the old guy do at 1:48 to provoke the NYPD officer to throw him down the stairs? Was something truly offensive said? Were those last two ugly minutes preventable?
- Most importantly, isn't there an age limit on getting drunk and acting like an idiot?
We realize that posting Yankee Stadium fight videos will go a long way in cheapening the NYYSI experience, but that video just left us with so many questions.
Feel free to chime in with any knowledge of this incident via the comments section.
Editor's Note: The following post comes to us from Bobby Calise, formerly known on New Stadium Insider as "Fake Ian Kennedy" (don't even ask). Bobby has brought us such gems as "The Ice Cream Of The Future - We'll Miss You" (about Dippin' Dots) and "Free Souvenirs" (about the downfall of traditional tickets in the StubHub age). Bobby was also our in-house reviewer for a while, bringing us his opinion on books such as Peter Golenbock's "George" (part 1 and part 2) and Marty Appel's "Munson: The Life and Death Of a Yankee Captain" (link). After a long hiatus, Bobby is back with a discussion about what your jersey or player t-shirt says about you. This list only includes current players, and it is one man's opinion. Feel free to chime in via the comments. Bobby tends to get sad when nobody comments on his posts.
As the Yankees head into the last two months of regular season, the playoff chase is heating up. And so in a David Puddy-like effort to support the team you may find yourself shopping some new Yankee gear to wear at games or just for watching from a barstool.
Whether it's a simple navy player shirt (about $15-$25) or an authentic polyester jersey ($165-$200), deciding which number to buy can be a daunting task. When making your selection, bear in mind that player whose name and number you wear on your back might say more about you than you think.
Player: Derek Jeter, #2
Resume: Yankee captain, five World Series rings, spotless reputation, lifetime Yankee
What it says about you: You're a traditionalist. Like Captain Clutch himself, this jersey has staying power and won't ever go out of style.
See also: Mariano Rivera, #42 - A sparkling resume just like DJ, Mo's number stands out among other Yankee paraphernalia, as he's the only active player still sporting #42.
Player: CC Sabathia, #52
Resume: Cy Young winner, carried the Brewers on his back into the playoffs in the second half of 2008, arguably the game's best pitcher
What it says about you: You're cool as a cucumber. CC's got game and the swagger to match.
See also: Nick Swisher, #33 - A holdover from the Moneyball era, Swish was a first-time all-star in 2010, and has infused some of his carefree persona into the Yankees' corporate culture.
Player: Brett Gardner, #11
Resume: Deemed by some to be nothing more than a track star in a baseball cap, Gardner has shown that he can get on-base with the best of 'em and steal bases at will
What it says about you: You root for the underdog. Criticism about Gardner's weaknesses only made him work harder to prove his detractors wrong.
See also: Francisco Cervelli, #29 - Questions about both his offense and defense beleaguer the Cisco Kid, and with minor league catching prospects like Jesus Montero knocking on the door, Yankee fans will find out fast if he'll sink or swim.
Player: Robinson Cano, #24
Resume: Two-time all-star, budding superstar, 2010 Gold Glove favorite, effortless style at the plate and in the field
What it says about you: You're a progressive thinker - for you it's out with old, in with the new. Young Bombers like Robbie "Dontcha Know" Cano are poised to become the new faces of the franchise.
See also: Phil Hughes, #65 - A hot start to 2010 has Yankee fans remembering that Hughes was touted as a can't-miss pitching prospect just a few short years ago.
Player: Alex Rodriguez, #13 Resume: One of baseball's most talented-and polarizing-figures, will tear through the record books over the next five years (asterisk or not)
What it says about you: Depends on when you bought it, as in pre- or post-steroids "revelation." Pre: You're a connoisseur. Even at age 35, A-Rod's still one of the game's best. Post: You're loyal.or you've been living under a rock.
See also: Mark Teixeira, #25 - While Tex's quiet demeanor makes him seem like the anti-A-Rod, his eight-year, $180 mil deal didn't come without some controversy. After bouncing around from Texas to Atlanta to Los Angeles, he turned down his hometown Orioles in the off-season to come play in New York.
- Curtis Granderson, #14 - Underwhelming so far as a Yankee, Granderson's shirt seems like an odd choice unless you're related to him.
- Lance Berkman, #17 - Might be a fun to have as a collectible, but there's really no way to tell if the former Astro has any desire to be in pinstripes after this year.
- Jorge Posada, #20 - Hip-Hip-Jorge is still dangerous at the plate, but his best seasons might be behind him.
- Vazquez, #31 - A free agent after this season, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pick up a Javy jersey at this point.
- Andy Pettitte, #46 - Would be in the Jeter/Rivera category if not for his three-year stint in Houston.
- Joba Chamberlain, #62 - Joba's inconsistency over the last few years as both a starter and a reliever has fans wondering whether they should invest in a new shirt.
In what was surely an accidental tweet meant to be posted on a personal Twitter account, the @YankeesPR Twitter posted the following TwitPic (sure to be deleted soon) a few minutes ago:
"Here is a photo of me in the dugout @Old Timer's Day. I look very confused. Who are all these old farts? LOL"
Sooooo, yeah. That happened. Good to see the Yankees are hiring PR folks who truly care about the storied history of the franchise. Also, nice ring. We're sure you did a lot to deserve it.
To be clear, we're not offended at all that someone would say this. In fact, there are probably many people who would say "who are these old farts" on Old Timer's Day.. However, you wouldn't expect them to be working for the Yankees, especially as their PR person. Embarrassing.
Reading our above post, we realize that our snark level was probably over the top. Some on Twitter rightfully called us out for somewhat of a personal vendetta. The fact is, the Yankees media relations staff makes NO effort to reach out to (or have open communications with) any writer/blogger/author who is not well-established and part of a major organization. We all read about this in Jane Heller's Confessions Of A She-Fan (and if you haven't, we HIGHLY recommend that book).
This type of policy doesn't work in PR. The job of PR (or media relations) professionals is to build relationships with people who can somehow change the public perception of your brand. By ignoring us when we make an innocent inquiry about sunblock policy, it makes us far less likely to overlook a blatant PR faux paus like the one we saw above.
The only reason this blog exists is to better the fan experience. Sometimes,we could use official comment to clarify a situation that we're reporting as FAN ADVOCATES. We'll use the recent sun block issue as an example. We saw sun block being taken away at the gate, we tweeted about it, and all of a sudden we had beat writers following us on Twitter and emailing us for more information. We had the NY Post contacting us, asking us how many families we saw having their sunblock taken away. The NY Post wanted to write a story (like they did back in '08) about how the Yankees were banning sunblock. We didn't hear back from the Yankees media relations staff, but we had enough integrity to explain to the Post that the story was really the incompetent security force and not necessarily Yankees policies. That wasn't a juicy story, so it never ran in the NY Post.
An "old farts" comment shouldn't cost anyone a job, but it illustrates an ill-advised social networking strategy that goes right along with the bad PR policies that we outlined above. How is someone who manages the PR Twitter account for a name as big as the Yankees allowed to also manage their personal Twitter account via the same client?