Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 50

Thread: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

  1. #1
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    32,754

    Default Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Interesting but a little depressing. Although some of the basketball stuff in here I find a little inaccurate. And the TV ratings they site are only Fox Sports Midwest, I wonder if WB4 is off as much.

    And it is not a fair or good comparison to compare the whole 41 games home attendence vs the first 18 games. Everyone with half a brain knows attendance really picks up in January. Pacers have had two straight sell outs. Lakers will get a decent Wednesday night crowd, and the Pistons game will sell out. So what they need to do is compare the first 18 homes games last season with this season, and if they did I'd bet the decrease is a maybe 400 per game not the 1000 they suggest. And another thing most tickets are sold before the first regular season game is played, so the year before is a better barometer of attendance than how the team is currently playing. Keep in mind they only count tickets sold not butts in the seats.

    http://www.ibj.com/html/story013006_2.html



    Not much to cheer about
    Setbacks on and off court sink attendance, ratings


    By Anthony Schoettle
    IBJ Reporter

    Can Peja Stojakovic lift Pacers out of their funk?
    Click here to join IBJ's disussion forum.

    At this season's midpoint, the Indiana Pacers are losing one of their best players--Ron Artest--games in multiples, and perhaps most important, the fan support that propped the franchise up amid difficulties last year.

    The Pacers' hopes to salvage this season now largely rest on a trade that finally sent Artest packing and brought two-time NBA all-star Peja Stojakovic in from Sacramento.

    Heading toward the all-star break, though, there remain more questions for the Pacers than answers. Attendance has dropped to an eight-year low, TV ratings are in a double-digit-percentage decline, and season-ticket holders are cashing out.

    "I gave up my season tickets, and I don't regret it for one minute," said Bob Birge, president of locally based Law Firm Marketing Network. "The games just aren't very entertaining."

    Birge, who paid about $100 each for four lower-level tickets, said he began having trouble in the last three years getting clients and business associates interested in attending games.

    "It was expensive, and it simply wasn't worth it anymore," Birge said. "I think the problem is bigger than the Pacers and Ron Artest; it's the whole NBA. But it sure is being reflected here."

    Ernie Reno, president of Avatar Communications, a locally based marketing and public relations firm, called the Pacers' lackluster on-court effort "insulting to fans."

    "It's not just the money," Reno said. "People's time is very valuable."

    Average attendance has dropped from 16,995 last year to 16,052 this year through 18 home games. Attendance was below 16,000 per game--lower than any season ending average since 1998--until a Jan. 21 home sellout against Chicago boosted the total. Still, the Pacers have only three sellouts this year, and little chance of matching last year's 15 sellouts without a dramatic on-court turnaround, sports marketers said.

    An attendance drop of 1,000 per game, sports business experts said, can equate to a loss of more than $1.5 million in ticket revenue alone. With the NBA's third-highest player payroll at $79.3 million this year, the loss could push the Pacers' basketball operations into the red, said University of Notre Dame sports economist Richard Sheehan.

    Ticket sales and television revenue are the biggest sources of income for NBA teams, but they're also key indicators of just about every other revenue stream.

    "When attendance and TV ratings drop, a lot of ancillary dollars also drop off," said David Carter, principal of Sports Business Group, a Los Angeles-based sports business consultancy. "Revenue from concessions, parking and merchandise sales will see a more immediate drop-off. If the team's decline is prolonged, demand for corporate suites, club seats and sponsorships drops off, and that can be very financially painful for a team."

    The 1999-2000 season, the first in Conseco Fieldhouse, when the Pacers sold out every home game and averaged 18,345 in attendance on the way to the NBA Finals, seems like a lifetime ago.

    Bad timing

    The recent downturn came just as the Pacers were turning the tide on a gradual three-year attendance slide.

    "This seems to be hitting the Pacers at exactly the wrong time," Carter said. "A year ago, the team was a rallying point for the community, and this year, well ... it's all gone wrong."

    Last season, attendance climbed about 4 percent despite a team that was wracked with injuries and suspension in the wake of the brawl in Detroit. Despite a season-long suspension for Artest, who started the brawl with Detroit fans, and multigame suspensions to other key players, Pacers fans continued to support the team on a number of levels.

    The night after the fight in Detroit, a near-sellout crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse vocally supported the Pacers, which dressed only six players and narrowly lost to the Orlando Magic.

    "Last year, [the Pacers] had record TV ratings," said Geoff Goldman, spokesman for Fox Sports Midwest. This year, the network has seen a 17-percent decline in the team's ratings as tracked by New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

    Sponsors voiced concerns to Pacers brass following the Detroit fight, but all stayed with the team.

    Pacers officials were unavailable for comment, but sports marketers said the team is at a critical crossroads.

    "If the Pacers were a hospital patient, I would put them in fair condition," Reno said. "But they could take a turn for the worse or a turn for the better any day."

    Some sports marketers said the Pacers need a marketing overhaul. Artest was one of four players used in a campaign taglined "Unite" at the beginning of this season. Artest has since been erased from the ad campaign and his bigger-than-life banner at Conseco Fieldhouse has been removed. But a marketing overhaul could cost well into six figures, marketers said.

    "Whatever they do has to be done in concert with what they do on the court," Reno said. "It's a time I think they need to be more aggressive in reaching out to the community on and off the court. Those 30-point losses don't help, and there's no amount of marketing that's going to fix that."

    With the retirement of 18-year veteran Reggie Miller, the Pacers are missing a big chunk of the personality this community embraced, said Milton Thompson, president of Grand Slam Cos., a locally based sports marketing consultancy. Others noted that this team doesn't have marketable personas like Miller, Rik Smits or Mark Jackson to rely on.

    "Most core fans are hanging in for now, but [the Pacers are] losing a lot of their casual fans, and that's hurting," Thompson said.

    Stojakovic has been criticized for his defensive skills and occasional disappearing act during big games, but he has been a solid NBA citizen, heavily embraced by Sacramento fans during his seven-plus-year stay there.

    "This community wants a team comprised of good players and good people," said Andrew "Buddy" Baker, president of IM Sports Services LLC, a locally based firm representing professional athletes. "I think there's a lot to be excited about with Peja Stojakovic."

    Eroding credibility

    Even when things went wrong in the past, the community still rallied around team owners Herb and Mel Simon and highly respected President Donnie Walsh.

    "He's still one of the most highly respected executives in the NBA, but Donnie Walsh's margin for error, I think with sponsors and especially fans, is probably shrinking," said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and a noted sports economist. "When Jonathan Bender and Austin Croshere are two of your three highest-paid players, you have problems."

    While the decision to acquire Artest in the first place and not trade him this past off-season are Walsh's latest missteps, they're certainly not his only mistakes. Fat contracts for oft-injured, unproven Bender and for Croshere, an NBA role player, meant the Pacers couldn't retain other key players, including native Hoosier Brad Miller and recent crowd favorite Dale Davis. Some of Walsh's recent acquisitions are showing spotty results, including Sarunas Jasikevicius, who was touted as Reggie Miller's replacement.

    Then there's Larry Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations, who has been criticized for his unwavering support of Artest. The problem was compounded in October when Bird posed with Artest for a Sports Illustrated cover story titled "Stand by Your Man."

    "The only problem the Pacers front office thought they had coming into the season was they had too many quality players and not enough playing time," said a source close to the team. "The front office never saw this train wreck coming."

    Local residents long known for making this a Pacers town are more uncertain about the team's future than they have been in a decade, sports marketers said, despite the addition of Stojakovic, who becomes a free agent at season's end. The uncertainty will likely make it more difficult for the Pacers to win fans back.

    Baker expects cautious optimism from Hoosiers.

    "They've been through a lot, so they'll want to see how this whole thing works out," he said.

    Thompson said there's good reason for caution.

    "It's going to be a short honeymoon for Stojakovic and the Pacers," he said. "If this doesn't work out, I'll think you'll see the Pacers front office blow this whole team up."

    Colts cavalcade

    In addition to their own problems, Pacers officials have had to play this season largely in the shadow of the Indianapolis Colts, who spent the first 13 weeks of the NFL season chasing history.

    "In Los Angeles, the Angels and Dodgers have difficulty gaining traction with fans until the Lakers playoff run is over," Carter said. "The potential for conflict among major-league teams will be even more acute in a market the size of Indianapolis.

    "The two teams fight not only for ticket sales and sponsorships, but column inches in the newspaper and local TV and radio time. There's only so many resources on a number of levels."

    Though the Colts' new stadium doesn't open until 2008, it could affect decisions of corporations considering multiyear deals this coming off-season for suites or pricey club seats at Conseco Fieldhouse.

    It's difficult to say where the Pacers should go from here, but Reno has an idea for a start.

    "The Pacers need a coherent plan going forward," he said. "That will be a big step in winning over this community."

  2. #2
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northside Bias
    Posts
    12,959

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    "I gave up my season tickets, and I don't regret it for one minute," said Kegboy, president of locally based Kegboy Industries, LLC.
    Fixed.

    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

  3. #3
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    32,754

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Well, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not giving up my season tickets, I still love the Pacers and still love the NBA. I've been through a lot worse than this and I didn't run then, so I'm not abandoning the Pacers now.

  4. #4
    sweabs
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not giving up my season tickets, I still love the Pacers and still love the NBA. I've been through a lot worse than this and I didn't run then, so I'm not abandoning the Pacers now.
    No kidding. This could be a 10-win team for all I care, and I'd still buy tickets for my trip to Indy every, single, time.

  5. #5
    Member owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,188

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Buck and Rcarey are not the fans they are or should be as worried about but the casual fan. Lets face it, there are plenty of places for people to spend
    their entertainment dollar. So it is imperative that Donnie rights the ship.
    I can almost guarantee that 2 other players who's name I will not mention
    will be traded in the offseason if at all possible to continue the clean up
    process.


    owl
    {o,o}
    |)__)
    -"-"-

  6. #6
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Indy's Wild Wild West Side: 8 sec-check...Club Rio-check...Cloud 9-check
    Age
    40
    Posts
    5,935

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not giving up my season tickets, I still love the Pacers and still love the NBA. I've been through a lot worse than this and I didn't run then, so I'm not abandoning the Pacers now.
    I'm not giving my season tix up either...it took me too long to get in a position to get them! Anyway, we all know most casual fans are very fickle, especially in this town!
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

  7. #7
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    19,987

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I wonder if all of the main characters from 11/19 will need to be removed from this team before the cloud is truly lifted?

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  8. #8
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,043

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    The Pacers are full of players that hurt the team, (arguring calls and not getiing back, slow getting off the floor, etc.) fans don't like that, so this team isn't liked. And now since it's not winning, the casual fan doesn't want to watch it.

  9. #9
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    32,754

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    The fans at the game last night were really into it, they seemed to like what they saw. Paul B even pulled out some of his material from last season, about the team being shot handed and all.

  10. #10
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,043

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    To start, the Pacers have to get rid of their biggest perceived problems, Jackson and Tinsley. They should do this by the trade deadline. If that doesn't work they are going to have to do an overhaul and trade JO for a young stud.

  11. #11
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Venice, CA
    Posts
    9,690

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I wonder if all of the main characters from 11/19 will need to be removed from this team before the cloud is truly lifted?

    -Bball
    Yes.

    It's sad, but that's just the way it is. And even after that, we won't truly be able to avoid it sometimes.

    It's the same with any memorable moment good or bad. The Pacers franchise is stuck with it and will be for a very long time.

  12. #12
    woman without a team
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,054

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    The marketing aspect of the Pacers has been atrocious of late. In fact there hasn't been a good campaign since Fred Hoiberg rode with his head out the window and Chris Mullin was hitch hiking to town. Of course nothing will ever top Dale Davis alternating between telling Boomer he loved him and threatening fans because he knows where we live.

  13. #13
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    32,754

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    No one has come right and said this, but do you think that the brawl in and of itself 11/19 is hurting the Pacers popularity in Indianapolis. I really don't. 30 point blowouts hurt fan interest more than anything

  14. #14
    Member denyfizle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Nap Town
    Posts
    1,409
    Mood

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I won't let go of my season tickets, but I just hate the fact that Conseco Box office and whoever handles our ticket sales hold tickets til the actual game is nearing. I tried to order extra tickets for the Lakers game 2 months ago at the lower level and they said it was sold out in the lowers. I tried again yesterday and they had seats at section 1. This has happened to me more than a few times. I understand the concept they're trying to save the good seats for packages and groups etc. but it's just BULL**** to lie to loyal consumers and especially with the decline in attendance, why the heck do they hold out on local buyers for?

  15. #15
    Member denyfizle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Nap Town
    Posts
    1,409
    Mood

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    No one has come right and said this, but do you think that the brawl in and of itself 11/19 is hurting the Pacers popularity in Indianapolis. I really don't. 30 point blowouts hurt fan interest more than anything

    injuries, ron artest drama, stephen jackson among others.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I think there are some Pacer fans who will complain regardless.

    However, the brawl made people consider JO, Jackson, and Dustpan bad people. My dad for one loved JO the summer of 04 and this Christmas went on and on about how he was worthless.

    I don't have those negative feelings and it is a little frustrating because people don't think what I think. Oh well, I guess you have to allow people their feelings.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  17. #17
    PacerNthaDesert
    Guest

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Sometimes I get tired of having 2-3 guys out with injuries and watching backups play all the time, thats why I don't tune in every game. I want to see a quality product.

  18. #18
    Member PacerFan31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Age
    27
    Posts
    684

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    This is trash, it shows just how fair weather this state is. When the Colts are doing good, by God everyone is a Colts fan, but when they are losing, screw them.

    Same with the Pacers, come playoff time, the Fieldhouse is packed and it is an atmosphere like no other, but when they are struggling, forget it.

    This is trash and it pisses me off that things are like this. I wish the people that weren't fans all the time would just go away and not bother rooting for them.

  19. #19
    woman without a team
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,054

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerFan31
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is trash, it shows just how fair weather this state is. When the Colts are doing good, by God everyone is a Colts fan, but when they are losing, screw them.

    Same with the Pacers, come playoff time, the Fieldhouse is packed and it is an atmosphere like no other, but when they are struggling, forget it.

    This is trash and it pisses me off that things are like this. I wish the people that weren't fans all the time would just go away and not bother rooting for them.
    I refuse to tell people how to spend their extra money. If you'd rather save your money and go to the playoffs so be it. If you only have enough money to go to a Colts game or a Pacer game I don't blame you for going to watch the team that's actually winning on a consistant basis.

    If you only want die hard Pacer fans at the games then you'll have plenty of room to spread out as the size of the crowd will rival that of games in Atlanta.

  20. #20
    Member Mr.ThunderMakeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    1,094

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I think the injuries are probably a big part of. NBA is all about star-power and we just dont have much of that. Casual fans want to see the high-flyers like Lebron and Kobe.

    I dont really think the public sees JO as a bad man, if they did in the past I think he has probably redeemed himself through his "Im going to be the leader" campaign.

    @UB
    Through the TV, it seemed like the crowd was pretty pathetic most of the game. The commentators even talked about it, saying something like "Ive never seen so many fans up and walking around during a game". It didnt really seem like the crowd got into the game until we got our first lead, late in the 4th.

    To be honest, I was a bit ashamed considering how hard our guys were playing the whole game last night.

  21. #21
    woman without a team
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,054

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Through the TV, it seemed like the crowd was pretty pathetic most of the game. The commentators even talked about it, saying something like "Ive never seen so many fans up and walking around during a game".
    The only reason they commented about people up walking around is because they walked right in front of them.

    As for whether the crowd cheers or not I'm pretty much numb to it anymore. Like my sig used to say "I just don't care."

  22. #22
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    19,987

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    No one has come right and said this, but do you think that the brawl in and of itself 11/19 is hurting the Pacers popularity in Indianapolis. I really don't. 30 point blowouts hurt fan interest more than anything
    I think people have had questions about this team for a long while. Especially about its character at the core. As much good as the 03-04 season did to ease some of that (Artest in the playoffs not withstanding), 11/19 probably seemingly confirmed many's worst fears about the character and makeup of the team. It firmly darkened the cloud that already was above the team.

    And, IMHO, much of the concern was valid. We've not had, and still do not yet possess, a mentally strong team. These aren't necessarily a group of players that could put 11/19 behind them very easily.

    The 30 point blowouts go hand in hand with the whole cloud that continues to rain down on the team. Nobody likes losing. And nobody likes losing when there's a severe lack of effort or heart displayed.

    11/19 didn't cause the disconnect but it's certainly polarized it to some extent. And these players are having trouble rising above it... perhaps, not surprisingly when you take a step back and try to be objective about it.

    And management hasn't helped by doing very little about it. They threw no one under the bus and made no one accountable. They also didn't try to shift the blame or fight the suspensions (publically anyway) and rise above it that way. They simply hoped it would go away and work itself out. Typical Pacer response...

    The problems don't start and end with Artest.

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  23. #23
    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Age
    36
    Posts
    44,228

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I'm not surprised by this at all. The Pacers have lost Reggie and play a boring style of basketball. Mix in the loss of our contender status, and it all makes sense.

    With that said, I hope those bandwagoners don't come back if we manage to rebuild into a contender in the next few years. Losing NutBoy is a step in the right direction to bring back in the fans, but there will have to be an overall attitude overhaul to keep it goin'.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    I don't like the term mentally tough. I think it is a term people throw around because it is hard to prove or disprove.

    In my opinion there are only two mentally tough teams the Spurs and Pistons. The only way a team proves that they are mentally tough is to win a championship.

    I mean were the 99 Pacers mentally tough when they fell apart against NY?

    I also strongly disagree that people did not like the 61 win team or that that team did not give effort.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  25. #25
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    19,987

    Default Re: Pacers losing their popularity, interesting article

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadian
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I don't like the term mentally tough. I think it is a term people throw around because it is hard to prove or disprove.

    In my opinion there are only two mentally tough teams the Spurs and Pistons. The only way a team proves that they are mentally tough is to win a championship.
    I disagree...
    They prove it by keeping their head in the game. By not getting unneeded and untimely technical fouls. By passing the ball to an open teammate rather than pressing the offense just because their man scored on them or they haven't scored in a few possessions. They do it by sticking with the game plan. They do it by walking the walk after they talk the talk. They do it by not thumping their chests after a dunk... in a game where they're down by 15+ points. They do it by not CONSTANTLY harping with the refs. They do it by not allowing an opponent to get in their head. They do it by not pouting on the bench. They do it by caring about the teammates. They do it by caring about the scoreboard, not their stat line.


    I also strongly disagree that people did not like the 61 win team or that that team did not give effort.
    That team wasn't as popular as it could've been but I don't think anyone has argued that they weren't 'liked' or that they didn't give effort.

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •