The Buffalo Bills recently sent a flyer to 2009 season ticket holders urging them to renew their tickets for 2010. Nothing unusual about that.
But there was something a little odd about the photo the team used.
The photo shows Bills punter Brian Moorman in the foreground, standing in the Bills’ end zone, having just punted. In the distance is the stadium scoreboard, and printed on the scoreboard is an individualized message on which each ticket holder’s name is printed above the words, “Awaiting your return.”
That led some fans to question whether the Bills couldn’t have found a better photograph to use than one showing them punting out of their own end zone. One fan posted the photo online, called it “Absolutely pathetic” and the Bills’ marketing department “Morons,” adding, “This picture encapsulates exactly why I will not be renewing my season tickets this year.”
Deadspin was among the sites that picked up on the ad and pointed out that it seems fairly ridiculous to try to entice people to buy season tickets by showing them a photo of the Bills punting deep in their own territory in a game that would turn out to be one of the worst games of the 2009 NFL season.
The Bills, however, are defending their decision.
Andrew Major, the Bills’ executive director of marketing, told Pat McManamon of FanHouse the photo was “one of our best that included the scoreboard in the background.” And Moorman is a good player on the field and a good guy off the field, and the Bills wanted to highlight that.
So there’s the Bills’ explanation. But you can bet that when they sell 2011 season tickets, they’ll choose a player other than the punter.