I'm going bonkers today.
Not only am I sidelined with the third flu this year (Last time I bother with a flu shot) but to make it much worse I have to spend the entire day reading commentary from both cities comparing Hansen's waiting list PR stunt with the HereWeBuy movement in Sacramento.
So let me explain the real difference here:
In Sacramento there is a way to make real and binding shows of support for the franchise. In that wonderful market you can call a number and buy tickets. This option has been around there for the last 19 years or so. The PR stunt/gimmicky factor of it all was that a separate group who has no intention of ever selling tickets decided to collect a list that THEY HAVE NO PURPOSE FOR OTHER THAN TO PROVE A POINT.
You could get 10,000 commitments on HereWeBuy. You could get 1 million fans to pledge their money to the CD Network and HereWeBuy but at no point do they ever have any intent to do anything with it. It is 100%, completely and totally intended to be a messaging move.
So Hansen rolls out his ticket list and people all assume that he's matching their move. Sacramento forums say "this looks like he's scrambling." "He's trying to send a message to counter our message.."
The difference between Hansen and HereWeBuy is that in just over 1 month Hansen actually intends to use his list to sell tickets.
Why is it so hard for people to consider that any messaging or PR implications of this are just the side effects and that the real reason of gathering a list of people who indicate interest in buying season tickets may just be because he wants to gather those names in the hopes of selling them some.
I've been seeing this happen since Hansen materialized a little over a year ago. He says something and everybody starts scrambling to figure out what his game is. They analyze it to figure out what he REALLY meant. Each and every time it turns out that he means just what he said and he does just what he promised.
Hansens release on www.SonicsArena.com says what we need to know. This list will help him "understand and prioritize the demand for tickets" In addition it will be "a critical step in demonstrating to the NBA and basketball fans around the country the unbelievable passion that exists in the Emerald City to BRING BACK OUR SONICS!"
Nowhere in there does it say we will defeat the fans of Sacramento in open battle. In fact Sacramento is not mentioned at all.
This move is not about Sacramento and it is not a compare and contrast thing. This is about Seattle and making sure that our new franchise is prepared to stake our claim as having one of the greatest fan bases in the NBA.
There are high expectations here. We need to kick ass in year 1. That's why he needs a list.