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Note to the Team: Central VA/Tidewater/SW VA Fan Base


AJ_Skins

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I don't know how many people from the organization read this board, but I've noticed over time that under Snyder, the team seems to focus mainly on DC and the Maryland suburbs when it comes to promotion, advertising etc., and it makes me wonder if he and the staff that deals with that stuff understand how much of a fan base they have throughout VA, not just in the northern suburbs.

The Redskins are the home team in Richmond. They get full-page, front page coverage in the sports section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The local ABC affiliate (WRIC) airs the Redskins preseason games called by George Michael, Sonny etc. Prior to the playoff game against Tampa, they aired a local pregame show hosted by their own sports guy (Chip Tarkenton, younger brother of Fran). The Joe Gibbs coach's show also airs locally.

Anecdotally, I can attest to the fact that Redskins bumper stickers and Redskins paraphenalia are abundant in central Virginia. After the second Dallas game, I drove by a laundromat that had used its sign (the kind with letters that can be moved around) to put up "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?"

I'm pretty sure it's the same in the Tidewater area, and maybe southwest VA also (Roanoake, etc.) although I'm not sure. Obviously the team has to be somewhat aware, because all of this stuff is licensed. Still, I think they're underestimating the market they have down here (especially when the team is doing well). One thing is for certain-- with a team in Charlotte and a team in DC, Richmond will never get an NFL team. That means the Redskins will always be #1, so the team ought to exploit it to the fullest. Just passing that along for whatever it's worth.

It's too bad that a combination of factors (no team in Baltimore at the time, sluggish action by VA legislature) led to the stadium being built in Maryland, because it really belonged in VA if it wasn't going to be in DC.

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Hate to say it, but I have noticed that as well. There are PLENTY of rabid fans here in all of VA. I have lived all over the State in the past 8 years, and Skins fans are everywhere ; but it does feel sometimes like the team panders exclusively to NOVa.

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i think many of these fans are now carolina panther fans. or tenessee titans fan.

No offense, but you could not be further from the truth. There are some turncoats, to be sure (like there aren't any Ravens fans in NOVa and DC?), but by and large, most people here and in the Valley tend to be Skins fans. Sure, VA Tech is huge as well, but Skins are number 1 in the pros. No doubt.

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if you drove through va beach, you'd think it was dc based on all the skins things everywhere. all the stores sell everything skins, flags fly at all the houses, custom plates, plate frames, etc. every redskin thing ever put on film airs live here - preseason, gibbs show, reg season, we even have a local redskins network in hampton roads, its nuts what a fan base there is here.

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i think many of these fans are now carolina panther fans. or tenessee titans fan.

Yep, totally wrong. People in VA would never root for a North Carolina team. Never in a million years. And Nashville is about 10 hours away. DC is less than 2 from Richmond.

One of the things that stands out to me is that during the Cooke years, you would routinely see current/former Redskins players at promotions and on commercials for local businesses in the Richmond area. That's completely disappeared for some reason. Part of it is definitely losing, but I think the team has been neglecting these areas, too.

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if you drove through va beach, you'd think it was dc based on all the skins things everywhere. all the stores sell everything skins, flags fly at all the houses, custom plates, plate frames, etc. every redskin thing ever put on film airs live here - preseason, gibbs show, reg season, we even have a local redskins network in hampton roads, its nuts what a fan base there is here.

The sports rooting interests in central VA boil down to UVA and VT in college football, ACC basketball for UVA fans (even though UVA has been pitiful for a long time), NASCAR, and the Redskins. Baseball, hockey and the NBA might as well not exist. Whether you root for UVA or VT in college, you root for the Redskins in the NFL.

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What are you suggesting that Snyder needs to do to promote the Skins in your area more? it seems like the area is all about the 'Skins, you get even get the preseason games and Joe Gibbs show...Do you want more commercials with Redskins players in them? That would be the advertisers in your areas responsibility not Dannys'.

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What are you suggesting that Snyder needs to do to promote the Skins in your area more? it seems like the area is all about the 'Skins, you get even get the preseason games and Joe Gibbs show...Do you want more commercials with Redskins players in them? That would be the advertisers in your areas responsibility not Dannys'.

It's hard to say. You just kind of get the feeling they haven't put too much thought into promoting the team down here. It's hard to come up with specifics, but I seem to remember it being more prevalent when the Cookes owned the team. Like I said, part of it definitely has to do with how well the team is doing. Interest does kind of wane when the team loses for a long time, because people down here don't like losers.;)

We also don't like low-class players...

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I don't know how many people from the organization read this board, but I've noticed over time that under Snyder, the team seems to focus mainly on DC and the Maryland suburbs when it comes to promotion, advertising etc., and it makes me wonder if he and the staff that deals with that stuff understand how much of a fan base they have throughout VA, not just in the northern suburbs.

The Redskins are the home team in Richmond. They get full-page, front page coverage in the sports section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The local ABC affiliate (WRIC) airs the Redskins preseason games called by George Michael, Sonny etc. Prior to the playoff game against Tampa, they aired a local pregame show hosted by their own sports guy (Chip Tarkenton, younger brother of Fran). The Joe Gibbs coach's show also airs locally.

Anecdotally, I can attest to the fact that Redskins bumper stickers and Redskins paraphenalia are abundant in central Virginia. After the second Dallas game, I drove by a laundromat that had used its sign (the kind with letters that can be moved around) to put up "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?"

I'm pretty sure it's the same in the Tidewater area, and maybe southwest VA also (Roanoake, etc.) although I'm not sure. Obviously the team has to be somewhat aware, because all of this stuff is licensed. Still, I think they're underestimating the market they have down here (especially when the team is doing well). One thing is for certain-- with a team in Charlotte and a team in DC, Richmond will never get an NFL team. That means the Redskins will always be #1, so the team ought to exploit it to the fullest. Just passing that along for whatever it's worth.

It's too bad that a combination of factors (no team in Baltimore at the time, sluggish action by VA legislature) led to the stadium being built in Maryland, because it really belonged in VA if it wasn't going to be in DC.

Good points. I have in-laws in Richmond. They follow the Skins but miss out on all the good stuff that we get. I would suggest writing the office and bring show up in large numbers when the team comes to VA Beach this year.

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It still kills me that they opened a Skins store here in Roanoke with no advertising for it.

I don't even know if they have one in Richmond. I need to check.

EDIT: Ok, they've got one in Chesterfield, and they just opened one in Short Pump. Maybe they're not totally napping.

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If Virginia fans are so hardcore and are all skins fans, then there should be no need to advertise. The market is set, no need to convince right?

It's hard to describe if you don't live in the region, but the DC area gets a lot more attention from the team (and rightly so) than these other areas. I'm just suggesting they could do a little more...not that they need any more revenue.;)

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This is pure conjecture AJ, but perhaps they don't need to promote the team to the fan base in the outer areas as much because of the allegiance that those in the outer areas feel for the team. If that's correct, and those outside of NoVA, DC and PG and Montgomery County ("DC Metro") are more rabid than those within DC Metro, my conjecture might make sense because (perhaps) the populations within DC Metro rotate/change with greater frequency than those in the outer areas. I'd think that the population within DC Metro turns over at least twice (?) as frequently as Central VA, and perhaps more in other outer areas.

Maybe that's why there's the difference in effort.

Nice to agree with you for once, btw. :)

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I'd have to disagree. What I'm expressing is that I think fans down here feel a little like step-children, and the result could eventually be waning support. It's kind of like a political party. You could be born into a family that has been voting a certain way for years, but if you increasingly feel the party is taking you for granted and not addressing your concerns, you might start to stay home, or start voting for some other party. I'm not saying that's on the verge of happening here, but you've got to tend the flock.

There's also a little bit of a cultural element, where the atmosphere in the stadium has gone from more of a college one to more of a Philadelphia-type one (I don't say that lightly), and the team has tolerated some players that a lot people down here would not. The first and best example would be Michael Westbrook, but signing Deion was heresy. That's the case all over the NFL though, and the Redskins have been better than most at demanding good character from their players...definitely now that Gibbs is back. Snyder might have considered signing T.O., Gibbs never would.

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If Virginia fans are so hardcore and are all skins fans, then there should be no need to advertise. The market is set, no need to convince right?

You can advertise & people know where you're at. Or you can not advertise & take your chances.

They were open for a month when I found about about them. The only way I knew was from an employee at the Finnish Line store in the same mall & even he didn't know their exact location in the mall. Hell, even Bubba didn't know about it until I PM'd him about it.

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I'd have to disagree. What I'm expressing is that I think fans down here feel a liitle like step-children, and the result could eventually be waning support. It's kind of like a political party. You could be born into a family that has been voting a certain way for years, but if you increasingly feel the party is taking you for granted and not addressing your concerns, you might start to stay home, or start voting for some other party. I'm not saying that's on the verge of happening here, but you've got to tend the flock.

And it was going so well...

AJ, I'm not disagreeing with you.

All I'm saying is that perhaps management's sense (albiet incorrect given how, at least, you feel) is that they need to coddle the fans more in DC Metro (as defined above) because of how often a new population moves in. Within a given population, a retailer/manufacturer/marketer is going to go after the people who need the most effort and which offer the greatest returns, rather than those it can already count on for a steady stream of income. See, e.g., newspaper subscriptions, internet subscriptions, etc. all of which offer the best deals to new customers, not to existing clients. It's unfortuntely, rarely the other way around.

I'd say that average per capita income and the population density might have something to do with it as well.

If you're frustrated by the way they are handling things, that's another matter, but that doesn't get to why they are doing what they are doing, which is what I was talking about in the post above.

So, again, we aren't disagreeing here at all.

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There's also a little bit of a cultural element, where the atmosphere in the stadium has gone from more of a college one to more of a Philadelphia-type one (I don't say that lightly), and the team has tolerated some players that a lot people down here would not. The first and best example would be Michael Westbrook, but signing Deion was heresy. That's the case all over the NFL though, and the Redskins have been better than most at demanding good character from their players...definitely now that Gibbs is back. Snyder might have considered signing T.O., Gibbs never would.

What about John Riggins? He was as much of a rabble rouser as those others...the only difference is that he produced for us in a way that those guys didn't...

I'd say the Stadium has become much more corporate than like Philadelphia too--with seat prices where they are, it's to the point where it's just not affordable for those who provide the "college" type environment.

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I can speak for Hampton Roads (Tidewater) because I was born and raised here, and this is and will always be Redskins Home away from home and Snyder does know this because they are doing the Beach Bash here in VA Beach this summer, for the next 3 summers to be exact. Im glad too. Also, if the Redskins ever move, HR would be on the map of relocation for sure!! Especially since Budwiser pretty much owns Williamsburg which is about 30 min from the HR area. But thats 20 year away at least and a dream for some.

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All I'm saying is that perhaps management's sense (albiet incorrect given how, at least, you feel) is that they need to coddle the fans more in DC Metro (as defined above) because of how often a new population moves in. Within a given population, a retailer/manufacturer/marketer is going to go after the people who need the most effort and which offer the greatest returns, rather than those it can already count on for a steady stream of income. See, e.g., newspaper subscriptions, internet subscriptions, etc. all of which offer the best deals to new customers, not to existing clients. It's unfortuntely, rarely the other way around.

Iheartskins, this is an excellent point. I had not thought of it this way before. with rising ticket prices, the only folks who can afford to go regularly are the folks who move in and out of the area in NOVa and DC, not the average guy on the street anymore. So marketing to those people makes sense.

AJSkins, I don't think the Skins are in a lot of danger of losing their fanbase down in Southern VA. The Skins could and probably SHOULD do more to reach out to us, but even if they don't, I doubt people will stop caring. BTW, the Skins store in Chesterfield is a little slice of heaven. Almost right across the way is Victoria's Secret, another little slice of heaven (different kind, though).

I would like to see some personal appearances down here a little more often. We Portis got traded, I heard he was down at Circuit City on Broad St, but it wasn't well publicized at all. And that's all I know of that I can remember. I would like to see more, though.

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No offense, but you could not be further from the truth. There are some turncoats, to be sure (like there aren't any Ravens fans in NOVa and DC?), but by and large, most people here and in the Valley tend to be Skins fans. Sure, VA Tech is huge as well, but Skins are number 1 in the pros. No doubt.

There are NO ravens fans where I am just 30 minutes West of D.C..

Ravens suck.

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It still kills me that they opened a Skins store here in Roanoke with no advertising for it.

Strangely the brilliant marketing man Dan Snyder doesn't seem to have any interest in marketing the Redskins Stores at all.

I only found out they were in certain malls, by walking through. I still get surprised when I'm back in the area and find them in another place.

Regardless, w/ the season they just had, everyone is buying Redskins gear. Up here in NY, before the Seahawks game I saw about a 1/2 dozen people on the street in Skins gear.

Whatever his marketing strategy, it isn't keeping him from selling gear.

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