I recently received an email from the folks at Project Franchise who are hoping to buy a professional sports franchise and let the fans make decisions about the team. They sent me such a nice email – going so far as to pretend that they read Roar from 34 on a regular basis – that I figured I’d give them some free publicity with all five of my readers (Note: figures reflect regular-season viewership; off-season numbers not available by design).
“ProjectFranchise is just bringing this power to the people: we’re buying a more affordable minor league team, bringing on 20,000-30,000 other like-minded sports nuts to become the ‘PF Team Players’, actually asking for only pocket change and then letting the PF Team Players vote on decisions that a real-life elected Team Captain will execute on. We’re just going to make it more fun by having people vote on every decision big or small – so the PF Team Players will not only be able to pick a new roster, but also decide if we serve spicy or yellow mustard with our hot dogs.”
Project Franchise even managed to generate some non-low-level-blog publicity in the form of a humorous New York Times column.
“Enter Joe Scura, the mind behind Project Franchise, a group with a mission to buy a sports team and let the fans vote on every decision.
Yes, every decision. Next time Fox wants to advertise its hilarious new cop-and-dog buddy flick behind home plate, it may have to poll the fans.
‘Something like this has been a long time coming, but the Internet has finally made it feasible,’ Scura said. ‘Fans are more than just piggy banks/hot dog receptacles.’
For $5, fans can buy a vote and act as the collective general manager, deciding on everything from personnel to team colors. That could have helped the Tampa Bay Devil Rays when they decided that pastels belonged in a logo. The Rays have since rebranded in dark green and dropped the devil from their name. Word has it the devil himself no longer wanted to be associated with the team.
This isn’t merely some ‘leave Britney alone’ Internet lark. The leadership of Project Franchise consists of lawyers, Web gurus and business school graduates who probably have more sports skill than, say, a shipbuilder.”
Perhaps Project Franchise involvement is worth considering. It’s certainly a fun idea. Nevertheless, I’d rather put my money toward helping a Ripken-led ownership team buy the Birds (not that they’d need my $5).