The Mets have have hired Harold Kaufman to fill their newly created position of executive director of communications.
Kaufman will be responsible for the strategic development and implementation of publicity strategies and tactics to elevate the profile of the organization. He will be the club’s primary contact for off-field (business, entertainment, community, and lifestyle) media coverage.
He will work closely with the Mets media relations group — headed by Vice President Jay Horwitz — and the Mets Marketing & Communications department. Kaufman will report directly to David Newman, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications.
Lets face it, the Mets have often dropped the ball when it comes to their relations skills with the media, with the fans, and even with their own former and current players.
Whether it was trying to control and muzzle one of their top draws in Matt Harvey, or the way they are perceived by many members of the 1986 team, or the way everything they do always seems like a cheap money grab, and even asking fans to sign an ill-advised loyalty pledge letter, they are their own worst enemies.
On Opening Day, they had the circus in town in their own parking lot causing most of the ticket-buying fans to miss the opening day ceremonies with many not being able to get to their seats until the third inning.
They keep inventing all these new positions intended to help polish their appearance, but still can’t seem to get out of their own way.
What the Mets don’t get is the fact that the only proven marketing strategy - and one that has time-tested results and success in this town – is winning.
That’s all… Just win.
However, winning costs money – money that this team doesn’t have.
I told you last year around this time not to believe that the Mets would increase payroll in 2014 and I was right. At just over $82 million the Mets now rank around 25th in the majors and it’s their fourth straight year of payroll decline.
The Mets have an ownership group that is responsible for turning a once proud franchise into the ugly stepsister in this town.
Everything they do from the team and park operations to their own cable and blog network is second rate. There is no sense of pride or that they strive for excellence at any level of their businesses. Everything comes off as cheap and second rate.
They thought putting Mr. Met on Twitter and replacing bloggers with their own version of live tweeting games was going to somehow make them cool and part of the in-crowd. They ditched that guy with the annoying voice-over in their promo spots, and replaced him with Branden and Alexa who are now the official pitchmen and very easy on the eyes. But all of it feels like grandma showing us that she could twerk it.
Two months into a new relationship with radio broadcast partner WOR, and there’s already trouble in paradise. As pointed out by Howard Megdal this morning, after a radio host read a listener’s tweet on the air urging the Mets’ owners to sell the team, Mets management was all over it.
Senior vice president for marketing and communications David Newman, who reports directly to Mets C.O.O. Jeff Wilpon, emailed WOR management about it to ask for a recording and expressed concern that the tweet had been read.
Stuff like that.
Paranoia will destroy ya….
The Wilpons have some sort of reverse Midas Touch thing going on, turning anything they get their hands on into…. Well, you get the picture.
Unfortunately my friends, nothing is going to change until they are gone, and that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.
You see the franchise value keeps rising faster than all the debt they owe on the team. As long as that continues – and history tells us that it will – banks and lenders will be more than happy to grant the Wilpons loan extensions and refinancing whenever they need it. Just last week it was made very clear that Jeff WIlpon will be the heir apparent to his father.
These are troubling times in the kingdom…
Somebody please pass me the Kleenex….
(Image by New York Mammoths)