Rainmen Getting Great Media Coverage

Nancy Sheppard, the PR director for the Rainmen has put together a media relations strategy that is mindblowing for this stage in the (pre)season.  Since November 25 they have had 23 stories go to print in the Herald or the Metro and every single day of training camp has recieved at least one story in the Herald or Metro and most days have at least one article in each.  Every roster move has generated coverage, even if it’s no shows or local guys getting cut and the team has gotten more coverage in a few weeks than many minor league franchises generate in a whole season.

One of the things about Halifax is that, even more than other cities, hype builds more hype.  You need to convince people that your event is a big deal, once you convince people its a big deal you have a chance to actually make it a big deal.  If fans think it’s bush league then they simply won’t show up.  But a full week of dominating the sports sections of both dailies the Rainmen are making sure casual fans know the team is still around and ready to play better than last year.  They’re getting players, both old and new, introduced to fans, and they’re giving people  a sense that the team is important – at least important enough to get constant media coverage.
While casual fans who are getting their first introduction to the team are well served, I think those of us who are (perhaps overly) obsessed fans are getting even better coverage.  The Metro has started updating  online some stories, including Rainmen stories, as soon as they can get a draft written which means factual news is available within an hour of the Rainmen announcing it.  Chad Lucas’ blog provides a good mixture of factual detail, context and opinion as well as previews of stories being published the next day and additional info that doesn’t find its way into the print edition of the Herald.  I usually manage to serve as a clearing house for other coverage as well as providing some rumours, analysis, a lot more opinion than the other two, and a place for fans to discuss the developments.  In addition, fans looking for info about the whole league can easily find a complete list of which players have been signed around the league and updates on preseason games on the OSC PBL board.  If you’re a fan of the Rainmen and looking to keep up to date on the team and the league there is no shortage of information out there.

Let’s just hope that all this coverage translates into plenty of people in the stands.


4 thoughts on “Rainmen Getting Great Media Coverage

  1. The Rainmen have really won over the media. The coverage this year stands in stark contrast to last year’s fairly sceptical following. Andre obviously picked the right market for this team. There is no PBL, CBA or ABA team that gets the amount of quality press that the Rainmen get. Actually, there might not be anyone in the NBADL either. This year the media is covering the team just as much, if not more, than the Mooseheads. This is huge for the team in a market like Halifax.

    I really believe that if the Rainmen build on this momentum and keep doing the right things that they could have something really special. If they promote like they did midseason last year, this could really turn into a gem. Get billboards, get TV spots, get radio spots on z103 and q104, visit schools, show up to Moosehead games and drop the puck. If they keep that up and build a winner Halifax could be on top of any minor league market. They just need to follow through.

  2. And a couple random things I think the team should do:

    -Raise a banner for finishing our inaugural season. The Rainmen went through a lot, on and off the court. It is an accomplishment worth celebrating. It would be nice for the fans and the organization to acknowledge that. Either way, it would give the Rainmen a free ad at Moosehead games or other Metro Centre events.
    -Make each game a special event. Last year they did this for a number of games, the ones that were promoted seemed to do well (Minor League Basketball Day). With such a short season every game means so much, the team has to go all out. Come up with your events at the start of the year, set them in stone. Also, make the Thursday game half price or something to bring fans out on a tough night.
    -Hand out mini schedules at the first game. Not a crazy idea, but at least your fans can keep it laying around in their car or wherever and know when your games are. It’s also a good way to promote each “event” night (see above).
    -Go all out on the opener. Get a popular music act for halftime and promote the hell out of it. Aim for 6,000 plus packed in the building, do whatever it takes even if you give out a few tickets to schools and whatnot. As Chris Cochrane wrote ‘fans attract fans’.

    Also, I work so I miss out on the meet and greet. Let me know how it goes.

  3. A couple of people I talked to this past week thought the Rainmen had folded up. I was quick to clarify that they simply moved up in leagues and that they are definitely back this year. From this fairly random collection of laymen’s opinions, it seems that the Rainmen could still use some work getting into the average Haligonian’s consciousness. They are doing a good job with news stories, maybe some TV publicity is the next step. How about a Celebrities vs. Rainmen game for charity?

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