This is a thought that popped into my head last night. I am doubtful whether it will interest many people, but thought I would throw it out there to see if anyone cares...
The recent dismissal of Sonics PR Director Marc Moquin has gotten me thinking about where the problems lie in terms of team marketing. I enjoyed Moq a great deal but do not think I am alone in saying that the team has ALWAYS suffered a severe problem with its public relations. For those of you who do not appreciate what a PR Director does(or for that matter the beat writers who have an extremely tough schedule) Moq traveled with the team to nearly every game, enduring long road trips, time away from family, and attending practice nearly every day, including Saturdays and Sundays as the schedule demands. It is significantly more of a grind than I ever anticipated.
On one occasion I spoke with Moq about how much harder the situation had become as he was now covering the same duties for the Seattle Storm. It essentially made this schedule a year round event for him.
I added to the mix the fact that my favorite official web site www.supersonics.com is managed by Kevin Pelton. Pelton also by the way manages the Stormâ€™s website and is currently heavily involved with marketing the WNBA product.
Doing a little research I check web sites for the Detroit Shock and Sacramento Monarchs as well as their respective NBA squads. Both organizations boasted separate media directors for their NBA and WNBA squads.
It makes me really wonder if the Sonics, getting by on the cheap with their WNBA coverage are simply unable to provide us with any decent coverage during the WNBA season. Maybe it is not the fact that the team is tight-lipped, or doesnâ€™t value the summertime stories so much as it is that they simply have not allocated the proper resources to cover both sports well at this time of the year. For example the Sonics summer league likely would not have had the PR Director in attendance to coordinate stories at all, delegating this task to an assistant while the Director handles the Storm. If this is the case then I really feel it is a huge mistake. Each season it seems like any excitement the team has generated simply fails to endure a summer of absolute zero coverage. A few commercials for â€œlive at the hardwoodâ€ cannot generate enough excitement to overcome what is literally a three year void.
I donâ€™t know enough about the nuts and bolts of NBA marketing to tell you whether there is anything to this at all, but I do get disgusted at the summertime coverage of the team. Hereâ€™s hoping that the team finds a way to support their WNBA franchise and the guys team this summer as they look to replace the departed Moquin and Valerie Oâ€™Neil.
If this is not the problem, then where do you think the problem lies? What does the team need to do marketing wise to make more of an impression with fans?
[EDIT] I have been informed that my perception of Marc Moquin's duties with the Storm is not entirely accurate. While still listed as the PR Director on the official Storm website he was not primarily responsible for traveling with the team as I thought he indictated during a conversation last season. In my opinion the general point of this article still stands as originally intended, to create debate regarding the Sonics Public Relations. Does the team have a problem in this area and if so why?em>