An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Looking at the business model

The Sabres were nominated, not winner of, the sports franchise of the year category, of the Sports Business Awards. Which of course tons of people scoffed at after the year the Sabres have had. But really it has nothing to do with success on the ice. It has to do with the success off it. The Sabres are the top franchise in town. The Bills are almost forgotten about these days. They have the highest tv ratings in the league. They sell out almost all the games. THEY HAVE A WAITING LIST for tickets. All this from half empty buildings all the time 5 years ago. Say what you want about Golisano and Quinn and the team. But its a pretty successful business model. And now business first has ranked them 8th in the league in business success. You can talk about on ice success all you want, but the Sabres have turned into a successful business.

People say the ownership doesn't care about the team or the fans or they would have signed Drury or Briere and kept Campbell. Well with most successful businesses, making a profit comes first. Do you think McDonalds cares whether they win Burger of the year? No, they want you to come in spend your money on their crappy food. The Sabres want you to come to their games, wear their merchandise and be a fan. If they win the Cup, thats great, if not, did we end in the black? Yes? Good, mission accomplished.

People gotta get over the fact that the Sabres aren't some community organization that is supposed to provide the area with good will and cheer. They are a business, that is supposed of offer entertainment for a value, and if you want support it, you can. And guess what, if we don't support the Sabres, they will get up and move to somewhere where they will be supported. Its all about location isn't it? I love the Buffalo news going after them all the time, because they are just like the Sabres, the only big paper in town. Thus it can be crappy, but since its the only game in town, you have to buy it. Thus making themselves, like they are serving the community, when all it really is, is an entity of Warren Buffets empire. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

We the fans complain, about the loss of talent, but yet still buy tickets and buy hats and jerseys at record levels. So why should they spend more money, only to cut profit? Anyone with any sense of business, now you keep costs low to maximize profit. So if they are generating tons of money, but without paying out large salaries, then thats the most logical thing to do. They have the buzz, people talk about them all the time. And with the introduction of the new 3rd old logo jersey next year, they will sell a ton of new stuff. Plus they hooked a whole new generation of fans. I was hooked to the Bills during the Super Bowl years, and still watch with passion. The early 90's sabres never really did anything for me, thus me not being as into them as I am the Bills. Tons of star players, but never any real success. Though I know I stayed up to watch the 4 OT Game 6 of the Sabres Devils series. If there were a game to show why Hasek is going in the hall of fame, its because of that one. Hasek vs a young Marty Broduer, can't beat it.

Maybe I am a pro management type guy, because I feel this town is always too quick to blame the boss, rather the employee. But at the end of the day its the player on the ice, that determines success of the team, just like its the guy on the line that determines the quality of the car. The player turnovers the puck at the wrong time, is the same as the guy who doesn't tighten the bolt tight enough.

Larry Quinn didn't blow two, two goal leads in the 3rd last week. Tom Golisano doesn't let in that critical goal. Darcy Regier doesn't lose critical face offs. Its time to drop the hammer on the players, if they can't take it, cut them loose. This team has talent. They just need toughness, mental toughness.


Downerguy said...

Typical whitey, sticking up for "The man", hating on the hardworking players of the NHL.

It's not all about business man, its about the people!! Remember that, Bear Stearns forgot that and looked what happened to them.

QuinnSucks said...

Generally, I think people are upset at how they managed the business. They could have had all the players you mentioned and the countless others we let go locked up for the long term at what are below market rates if they would have had the foresight to understand the economics of the league. Player prices never go down so to have procured all this talent and not lock it up is an error in judgement. Companies lock in supplies, product and these days gas - because they see where the market is going. To the point, Quinn has even acknowledged these mistakes and more importantly his management style of not negotiating in season, which is a hard nosed way of doing things was certainly president setting. Genuinely, you never heard "we sat everyone down and explained that we all knew we had something special it would take everyones understanding to try to keep this together." If they would have done that they would have deflected all criticism because then the players would have been seen as wanting more. Conversely, you have Campbell literally on the verge of tears on his way out. My opinion, Quinn is a bad guy who does not deserve the privilege of ruining this franchise and the hearts of its fans. Its a tough argument to say "then don't support them..." heck, I'm not happy with what these guys have done but I've been watching this franchise my entire say otherwise would simply not constitute honesty.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.