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Morning Papers Take: Coyotes players hand out tickets in Glendale to woo fans

Coyotes try to innovate in the desert with a new ticket promo.

In today’s Western Conference Papers Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic discussed how the Coyotes were out and about in the valley giving away free tickets:

Then, on Tuesday, Coyotes stars scattered across Glendale with 150 free tickets, schedules and smiles for fans and hockey newbies alike to drum up support.

Five minutes after arriving at the Arrowhead Towne Center mall, left wing Taylor Pyatt and center Peter Mueller were surrounded by four teenage girls.

“I think he’s gorgeous,” one girl said of the muscular, tattooed Mueller. “Can we take a picture?”

Another, 17-year-old Sarah Meader, hung back. But she bubbled with giddiness at being near the players.

While some might question this as a desperate ploy, I think it is good marketing idea.  Getting the players out into the community more, having them interact with fans, is an important way to build up a relatonship.  It isn’t simply the NHL that is being “forced” to get innovative with ways in which to build up fan/team loyalty.

In the NBA, the New Jersey Nets had a promo which:

For $25,000, the Nets are offering four courtside tickets for 10 games, parking, access to a private lounge at the Izod Center with free food and beverages and something more — a one-hour appearance by a Nets player of your choice at your home, office, school or party.

It is just a function of this economy that fans aren’t choosing sports as a place to spend their money, so it is good for the Coyotes that they are being pro-active in the community.  They need to continue this as well as come up with other innovative ways to continue building that relationship all season if they are to have any hope of getting fans to come out to games.

My only question is why limit it to 150 tickets?  Since the Yotes are only averaging 9,586, why not get a really big promo going?  The article doesn’t detail whether this was a surprise visit or an announced one, but the team could have gone a bit bigger to try and lure fans to the game.

So what do IC readers think of this latest idea by the Coyotes?  Good, bad or other?