Professional athletic franchises operate with the understanding that they are responsible for benefiting not only the owners, but the paying customers as well. When a franchise begins to focus on itself and loses sight of the community, it can be very easy to anger the franchise’s publics.
Professional franchises have used public relations to influence the behavior of their publics in multiple ways. Some organizations have made suggestions to reduce ticket prices. As much as they would like to maximize profit, they understand that in some cases public money was used to fund the facility in which the game is played.
Another way is by emphasizing details that are not always visible. Studies have shown that developing a professional sports franchise in a city can significantly boost the economy in that area. When a new franchise is brought into a city there will be increased spending in that area due to the high number of fans who want to attend. These franchises also help by creating hundreds of jobs for those in search of work.
Job created by a professional athletic franchise.
One way franchises can look beyond themselves and into the community is by creating international relations. A few seasons ago the NFL sent the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets overseas to play a regular season game. This was a good idea to try to generate public interest abroad in areas where American football doesn’t exist. A second way franchises can focus on the community is by using creative promotions that attract fans. The Minnesota Twins recently started a promotion called “break a bat plant a tree.” Such a promotion is attractive to fans because it aligns with the eco-friendly movement that is gaining ground all over the world.
How are these franchises bettering the community? One way that professional sports reach out to the community is by forming organizations such as the Pro Players Association that work voluntarily on behalf of the community. A second way is by providing assistance for community projects. The Colorado Rockies assist with the building and revitalization of baseball fields for youth baseball, allowing children all over the state of Colorado to enjoy the great game of baseball.
– David Runberg, Account Executive