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Poll of Utah sports fans suggest trouble for Jazz?

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The results of a recent poll by UtahPolicy.com may not make the marketing department of the Utah Jazz very happy

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The Utah Jazz have long held onto their "only game in town" status for over three decades. Minor leagues (like the literal minor league baseball team, or the figurative minor league, like MLS soccer) and college sports have eaten away into what once looked like a monolithic Jazzland. Or at least that's what the raw data from UtahPolicy.com, a local think tank, may suggest.

Yes, the Jazz still maintain themselves as the majority professional basketball team that the survey responders (n = 402) liked the most; but are in an near even split between the University of Utah and BYU football programs for their favorite sports team. Utah fans have options now, and among the sports fans the Jazz are (overall) #2. That must be a hard pill to swallow for the only professional team in the region, one where professional marketing departments are losing to amateur athletics.

Not being a Utah resident / mountain region guy, I'm going to bow out of this discussion. But I will post a whole bunch of Marketing tweets that MyLo sent out today -- which he may comment on at large at a later day. And yes, The Shums will be there to anchor this entire situation tomorrow in the way only someone with his wit and handle of prose can.

But before we get to tomorrow let's deal with today. Spencer Ryan Hall brought this to the attention of the internet. And then Mychal, an MBA student who is waay-deep into marketing right now, had an amazing rant.

Bonus Rant:

It's because of 41 home games and 3 preseason home games, but still, I see you MyLo. You Fiya.

My take is that the Jazz will never really 'get' the NBA-DL unless Dennis Lindsey convinces the higher ups that it is worth it. Anyway...

[[ SPACE RESERVED FOR MYLO MARKETING SCIENCE]]

Anyway; I do feel, as an outsider, that the Jazz do not reach out to me at all. For me I feel like the need to find a unifying concept for fans would be to cherish the history (we Jazz fans are still all living in the past anyway, give us Game 7, Stern!) and focus on the note / music / theme. Make the game fun, market a fun game. Make it Jazz-y again. Jazz, as a music, is the best. It's uptempo, sometimes unpredictable, and it gets you out of your seats. All the players have their part, and everyone makes beautiful music together.

That's how the Utah Jazz used to play. I want to see that on the court. Get the note back, and brand yourself as the "Jazz" again.

How does a 400 person sample size really stack up against the entire marketing department of the 6th largest car dealership of the LHM empire? I don't know. But I do see a lot of empty seats at home games, and know that the main people with money to spent tomorrow are the people who are in their 20's today. Young people can pick and choose what they like. Why should a 22 year old dude pay $60 for a few hours of entertainment (tickets, food for a few games), when he could spend that money on a video game that he can play for hours and hours?

The real challenge isn't just winning back sports fans, but expanding your hold on the people who will become your base in the days to come. The default position of coasting should not continue. Gordon Hayward, as Mychal pointed out on the phone, did more to market himself this off-season than the Jazz ever did in his four seasons with the team. If you are relying on your players to market themselves then that could be indicative of a larger problem, regardless of what your official primary logo is, or if you are making inroads out of state.