Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Worst Marketing Campaign Ever

You all know I love me some marketing gimmicks. When they're clever, I'm among the first to point out their greatness. And when they're horrible...

Well, this might qualify: It's the Look Again Player of the Year Award, presented by Holiday Inn (and apparently sanctioned by MLB), to reward the role player who sacrifices for his team.

Here's the problem: All but two of the contenders (one per team) are white, which plays into every implicitly bigoted reference that "scrappy" is uniquely white.

There's enough of this shit in lazy sportswriting. You know: "Scrappy" vs. "Gifted." "Hustle" vs. "Athleticism." The old reliable "Articulate."

This was such an awesome opportunity for MLB to make a positive statement: That role players who sacrifice for their team can be white, Latino, black, Asian, whatever. I'm not saying there had to be racial quotas, but the current list shows the lazy analysis at its worst.

Thank god there are two blogs out there to call them on this complete waste of everyone's time, and I point you to FireJoeMorgan and Deadspin for their commentary on it.

This award demands some sort of parody in response, if not cancellation. Hmm...

-- D.S.


Roge said...

Honestly... how can Placido Polanco not get the nomination from Detroit?? I totally agree Dan, this thing is bogus. What about Juan Uribe for the White Sox?

The only other counter argument is that so many of the players on that list are deserving:

David Eckstein
Ryan Freel
Eric Byrnes
Kevin Youkilis

Just to name a few. I guess the more I look at it I don't know what to think. Interesting...

Mega said...

I actually have to go with Iguchi for the White Sox. This year wasn't as great as a "sacrifice" year for him since Podsednik's OBP was so bad, but last year he was unbelievable at the "get him over at all costs" mantra.

Tadahito Iguchi should've made it for the Sox this year. There isn't a team in the majors that wouldn't love to have a guy like him on their team.

With that being said, I have no idea if this is racist.

Dan Shanoff said...

I know that there are more white players to choose from in baseball than in other sports, but you get the sense that the folks who created this list -- if given the NFL or NBA -- would also come up with a ballot dominated by white players.

Doug said...

What the hell is Garrett Atkins doing on there? He's the Rockies #3 hitter, led the team in RBI (120), played 157 games at 3B, and had precisely zero sac bunts. If he's overlooked, it's because he's in Colorado. How about Jamey Carroll instead?

mark said...

My main problem here is not so much the makeup of the candidate pool, which is pretty outrageous, but that the award makes no sense. Are we voting for the best non-star? But where's the line between him and the worst star? And the list itself doesn't help clear this up either. Just look at the two Chicago examples (since I know them well): Joe Crede had a great year both in the field and at the plate, and is not at all what you'd call a role player. John Mabry, on the other side of town, was one of the signal lowlights on arguably the worst Cubs team in a decade. So just what kind of guy is this award supposed to go to?

Unknown said...

"We're hoping for another poll, later this week, where fans can vote on their favorite lethargic Latino player, their favorite math-problem-solving Asian player and their favorite disinterested black player. "

That last part cracked me up.

It is a little anglocentric. actually, it's a lot anglocentric. Ryan Freel is a good choice...except he was hurt a lot and got TONS of pub when he played. Harang or Encarnacion would be my choice for the Reds.

rukrusher said...

Endy Chavez was more of an unsung contributor then Jose Valentin, I mean Jose ended up being the starting second baseman, Endy just kept giving steady production.

Anonymous said...

Worst Marketing Campaign ever still goes to the Houston Dynamos, who ticked off potential Hispanic fans with their first choice of Team nicknames: Houston 1836.

This is possibly the most racist promotion evr, but even then I doubt it.

RexyBack said...

I don't see this as any different from the lust of professional sports and the media that covers it with "blue collar" attribution. That is, the obsessiveness with calling a team, player, or attitude as "blue collar" one (or, in my favorite instance, Russ Grimm applying for the head coach of the Chicago Bears and spending half the press conference making it well known he is a "Meat and Potatoes" kind of guy)

Considering the lack of subtlety in professional sports trying to maintain its affiliation and identity with the working class, should you really be that surprised?