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Chargers’ front office disappointed in marketing to Chiefs fans

Philip Rivers, Wallace Gilberry AP

The Chargers’ effort to sell tickets to Chiefs fans didn’t sit well with the team’s ownership.

After the Chiefs fan site ArrowheadAddict.com poked fun at the Chargers for attempting to fill Qualcomm Stadium with fans making a trip from Kansas City, Chargers CEO A.G. Spanos told U-T San Diego that he agrees with the Chargers fans who believe his team erred by trying to bring rival fans to the home field.

I totally understand that reaction,” Spanos said. “It’s disappointing because we’ve been so aggressive this year with trying to sell to new Chargers fans. We hired 18 new people. We’re launching a season-ticket holder referral program, where season-ticket holders are going to be able to get rewards if they refer a new Chargers season-ticket holder customer. We’ve been very aggressive. We’re trying our best to pack the stadium with Chargers fans. This article, it hurt.”

The sales representative who sent the e-mail seeking Chiefs fans to buy Chargers tickets has apparently been told he went too far, although in fairness to him, people who work in sales are generally not accustomed to being told not to seek customers, so he probably just figured anyone who might want to go to a Chiefs-Chargers game in San Diego was someone he should seek out.

“This was an overeager sales rep, I would say, who was selling groups,” Spanos said. “He acted on his own without checking with his manager. We have sold to visiting fan groups in the past. We don’t proactively solicit them for new business. That’s not a standard practice of the Chargers. I was disappointed the story made headlines. It paints the organization in a poor light, and that’s not how we operate. Our goal is to maximize our home-field advantage.”

And that means the Chargers’ owners would rather not see any red in the stands when they’re playing the Chiefs, even if that costs them a little revenue at the box office.

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38 Responses to “Chargers’ front office disappointed in marketing to Chiefs fans”
  1. rascalmanny says: Jul 10, 2012 10:19 AM

    Hey, I’d be ticked if my team were trying to sell tickets to other teams fans.

    Heck, I get ticked when OUR fans sell their tickets to other teams fans.

  2. jpb12 says: Jul 10, 2012 10:23 AM

    “… and that’s not how we operate… ”

    I love guys who say crap like this. It is what it is. You operate this way. Someone wrote about it. You regret tha they wrote about it.

    Sadly – nobody in San Diego cares. This team is headed back to LA

  3. snowpea84 says: Jul 10, 2012 10:28 AM

    San Diego is 25th in the league for percentage of tickets sold. That is, their attendance for home games is at 91.7%. That’s sad. Maybe if Chargers fans were buying the tickets they wouldn’t need to sell them elsewhere.

  4. scoonie97 says: Jul 10, 2012 10:30 AM

    They’re going to have to hire more than 18 fans if they want the stadium filled.

  5. mindcrime401 says: Jul 10, 2012 10:45 AM

    The SD fan reaction is pathetic here. Frankly, they weren’t going to sell more than a few hundred tickets to KC fans, at best. What home fan doesn’t love the chance to heckle and have fun with small groups of opposing fans in their house while tailgating and during the game? It’s a bad sign when Charger fans are afraid they can’t out-shout a few hundred Chiefs fans at Qualcomm. Opposing fans are always welcome to try and out-do the home fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium. You’ll never see Pats, Jets or Fins fans make a dent in the intensity or volume at the Ralph. There is absolutely no passion on the West Coast.

  6. teambringitstrong says: Jul 10, 2012 10:50 AM

    This has been an issue since 2001-02 when Rodney Harrison was lamenting after a Chargers-Raiders game at The Q about how it was upsetting to him that there were more Raiders fans than Charger fans. Since then, the franchise has made efforts to ensure that there will always be a majority of Chargers fans there by forcing visiting teams to buy tickets to at least one other game. For example, when you buy a ticket to Raiders v Chargers they want you to buy Chiefs (or whomever) vs Chargers as well.

  7. whiteshoesjohnson says: Jul 10, 2012 10:50 AM

    It’s weird to me that the Chargers don’t play to a higher capacity. When I go to San Diego they seem to have great support in a usually laid back city. They have a long history there. And they have all of SoCal to draw on as the only NFL team in what may constitute (Southern California) the biggest regional market in America

  8. bordner says: Jul 10, 2012 11:03 AM

    In all fairness to Charger fans… it is kind of a crappy stadium. This would be one instance where I wouldn’t blame some of them for wanting to watch the game at home or at a bar. Great city, usually great weather, but not the best stadium experience that I’ve ever had.

  9. realdealsteel says: Jul 10, 2012 11:08 AM

    Chargers are an organization that is ran by a second rate ownership. The only thing that Spanos really regrets is that the story made significant headlines. The sales rep was working with the blessing of Spanos and his front office. And now the rep has to take the bullet for Spanos. What a class act Spanos is huh?

    When the Chargers bolt to Los Angeles in a few months, it will be further confirmation of who and what Spanos really is.

    He was a rogue representative? Spanos please shut up and stop insulting my intelligence with your consent lies.

  10. flair1239 says: Jul 10, 2012 11:10 AM

    Typical front office chicken-****.

    SO here is a salesmen trying to sell. In this case the salesman’s number one problem is that most customers are not interested in the product…. because the product is sub-standard.

    So the salesman solicits a group of fans who travel really well and love to see their team (in this case Chiefs fans) and he gets publicly reprimanded. I bet if he misses his sales quota he will get reprimanded again.

    Let the guy do his job. If the front office was doing their job better… the sales team would not be forced to solicit the other teams fans.

  11. rooneyruleblues says: Jul 10, 2012 11:12 AM

    The stadium has thousands of field level seats in which you cannot see the entire field. If you are sitting behind either bench you cannot see over the players heads.

    Qualcomm is a POS. They are also required to sell these tickets as “obstructed view”. Even ones that are decent must still be labeled obstructed.

    Bottom line is, when the team is decent, people pick up those seats regardless. After a 2 year playoff drought and frustration those seats just are not going to sell.

  12. titogetmesometissue says: Jul 10, 2012 11:16 AM

    What’s the big deal? I’ve been a vikes fan for 30+ years and if my squad didn’t market to fans of opposing teams, they’d never sell out the metrodome. Of course things may be different in the Purple Palace (for a year or two, anyway).

  13. coachglove says: Jul 10, 2012 11:22 AM

    SUPER easy fix…currently all tix in the lower bowl are the same price for Charger games. So, you’re telling me that a season in the end zone and on the 50 yardline have the same value for a consumer? Ridiculous. Hey Spanos – FIX YOUR PRICING. That’s why they can’t sell out. They have like 4 pricing tiers even though the value from seat-to-seat is very different for consumers.

    The stadium isn’t that bad (Candlestick is MUCH worse). If you think the Q is bad – your standards are too high. Consider also that the city of SD is almost bankrupt and laying off teachers, public support isn’t there for a new venue. Fact is, the stadium is just fine. Seats aren’t crumbling, etc. Could they use a better screen? Sure, but Cowboys stadium isn’t the standard. I don’t need all that crap to enjoy a game, just a place to put my butt that reflects the value of the viewing location.

  14. blacknyellablacknyella says: Jul 10, 2012 11:45 AM

    they don’t sell out because nobody in SD gives a shout about the chargers. they’d rather be drinking in the bars at mission beach (which actually gets bigger crowds at the steelers and eagles bars located there).

    just move up the coast to LA and get it over with already. LA is salivating, and ready, for another NFL team (and, they’ll be close enough to still draw from san deezy’s fan base).

    win/win.

  15. bryans49ers says: Jul 10, 2012 11:50 AM

    Get this carp fixed SD. . LA belongs to the Raiders . . Stay out of LA

  16. villa41 says: Jul 10, 2012 12:05 PM

    mindcrime401 says:
    Jul 10, 2012 10:45 AM
    You’ll never see Pats, Jets or Fins fans make a dent in the intensity or volume at the Ralph. There is absolutely no passion on the West Coast.
    ———————————————-

    You’re a tool. I’ll tell you who makes a dent in the intensity at the Ralph….The Nation. That’s the Raider Nation, son. The first and only real nation. Every time I’ve seen the Raiders play in Buffalo, which is every time the Raiders have played there in the last 22 years, the number of Raider fans is astounding. Of course, that’s why The Nation is strong, because we’re all over. We always take over the Ralph, though.

    Oh, and as far as West coast passion, come out to the Coliseum in Oakland to find out what real intensity is. It makes the Ralph look pathetic in comparison.

  17. chiefballard says: Jul 10, 2012 12:18 PM

    As a Chief fan who lives in Los Angeles – and my brother a Chiefs fan who lives in San Diego – I’m really happy this has happened.

    Many Charger games are almost blacked out in the SD and LA area (LA is within 120 miles of SD City limits). Every year there is a chance the Charger / Chiefs game will be blacked out.

    If I can’t make it to the game – this almost guarantees the Chargers will pony up the dough to pay for the rest of the tickets for this particular game and it won’t be blacked out. Love it!

    Charger fans would rather sit outside at a bar on a normally perfect sunny San Diego – sipping on cheap beers than pay the $85 to get into the game and $10 beers. It’s a no brainer.

    On the flip side, there are plenty of stadiums in the NFL (Arrowhead, Ravens, Packers, Chicago) that do pretty darn good at those prices.. There isn’t much heart in SD for the team and you can feel it when you are in SD.

    One final note – the stadium isn’t an ‘experience’ while attending. If you want to bring your kids or whatever – it’s a very boring stadium with zero bells n whistles. People want more than just the game these days I’m afraid and Qualcomm has nothing to offer in addition to the game.

  18. chargerdillon says: Jul 10, 2012 12:44 PM

    As a San Diego resident it’s funny to see the wide range of reasons people throw out. For the most part they are all correct. Spanos is a secondrate owner. Qualcomm is an old crappy stadium not worth it’s prices. There are tons of seats where you’re spending money to listen to a crowd and watch the video screen because you can’t see the game.

    As a football fan and Charger fan. I’ll take everything we have, over everything any other fan has. In December after watching the Chargers, I can drive 5 minutes and walk on the beach in shorts and sandals. Hey Steelers, love your championships, I’d rather be a Charger fan and never see them win than live in a craphole like Pittsburgh. That pretty much goes for anywhere else in the nation.

    All of you should be happy the Chargers have a crappy stadium and a cheap owner. Otherwise every superbowl would probably be played in San Diego.

    I can accept the reality of the negatives of my favorite franchise. I’m not a pro football player, i just like watching the game, so for all of you idiots living in the midwest who think having a great football team is the most important thing in the world, let me just say, WINNING

  19. shanaenae99 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:22 PM

    This just shows how crappy of an organization the chargers are. Crappy coach, crappy Defense and an overrated quarterback.

  20. tomtravis76 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:41 PM

    Really lame by the Chargers. They did not need to throw a rep under the bus who is trying to drum up business. Good for that rep for being proactive in searching out potential clients.

    The Dolphins and Jags always work with visiting team fans and even set up ticket promotions with other organizations.

    Why would you not want to show other fans that you have great football atmosphere? In the end its about putting butts in seats because green is what counts.

  21. rukkus1 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:49 PM

    The hypest stadium in the nation is on the west coast. Centurylink is number one in crowd noise and intensity. There was even an earthquake on marshawns run when put the team on his back vs the saints.

    Oakland is nuts too.

    So dont even front like the west coast is soft bro cuz we got the craziest fans and stadium atmospheres

  22. mindcrime401 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:50 PM

    villa41 says: Jul 10, 2012 12:05 PM

    “You’re a tool. I’ll tell you who makes a dent in the intensity at the Ralph….The Nation. That’s the Raider Nation, son. The first and only real nation. Every time I’ve seen the Raiders play in Buffalo, which is every time the Raiders have played there in the last 22 years, the number of Raider fans is astounding. Of course, that’s why The Nation is strong, because we’re all over. We always take over the Ralph, though.”

    I believe you that in your mind, in your inebriated state when you’re at the game, you do indeed think you’re taking over someone else’s stadium. However, a handful of Raiders fans with dusted off Rich Gannon and James Jett jerseys and spiked dog collars on their shoulders isn’t going to cut it. Nice try, SON.

  23. rukkus1 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:51 PM

    Id be willing to bet that if the chargers got rid of everyone not wearing pads that they might be able to build support and trophies

  24. whateverhommie says: Jul 10, 2012 1:52 PM

    “…and that’s not how we operate. ”

    Oh really Mr. Spanos? I strongly disagree! I remember when your sorry franchise created that ticket package; the one where you made Raider fans buy a extra Charger vs (non-Raider) home game ticket JUST so that you could keep Raider fans out of your stadium because they were practically taking over your home turf! But even THAT backfired because Raider fans STILL bought the ticket package and sold the other ticket to outside fans the following week. PLUS, Charger fans sold their tickets for that Charger/Raider game.

    No matter what the Charger organization does, the San Diego fans ultimately let the team down. That fan base is BANDWAGON at best. in terms of putting butts in the seats. It’s been so bad there for the last 20+ years as far as attendance. For the longest period of time, the city of San Diego had been buying up all the unsold tickets in order to avoid the tv blackouts.

    As I said, local Charger fans will only show up if their team is winning big.

  25. whateverhommie says: Jul 10, 2012 2:01 PM

    rukkus1 says: Jul 10, 2012 1:49 PM

    The hypest stadium in the nation is on the west coast. Centurylink is number one in crowd noise and intensity. There was even an earthquake on marshawns run when put the team on his back vs the saints.

    Oakland is nuts too.

    So dont even front like the west coast is soft bro cuz we got the craziest fans and stadium atmospheres
    ====================================

    You got that right. Even if my Raiders are short of a sell out (approx 60,000), it’s still louder than most non domed stadiums in the league. And our fans are passionate as well.

    And that run by Beastmode against the Saints, I swore I felt that earthquake down here in Oakland; Marshawn’s hometown.

    By the way, didn’t we shut down Beastmode and that entire Seahawk offense that following year in Oakland? LOL…just playin’ man.

  26. okldrdrs2111 says: Jul 10, 2012 2:02 PM

    bryans49ers says: Jul 10, 2012 11:50 AM

    Get this carp fixed SD. . LA belongs to the Raiders . . Stay out of LA

    ________________________________

    Thanks for sticking up for the Raiders niner fan. You’re right, LA does belong to the Raiders, but the Raiders belong to Oakland. A Raider fan must’ve hurt your feelings? That’s why you want them to move so bad?

  27. jwil444 says: Jul 10, 2012 2:19 PM

    Good salesman taking initiative, too bad the rest of the organization can’t follow suit. They might not be in this mess.

  28. joetoronto says: Jul 10, 2012 2:25 PM

    IF Spanos really didn’t know, than he’s more of a moron.

    Either way, this guy is a turkey at best.

    Just move baby!

  29. dumbolt says: Jul 10, 2012 2:32 PM

    maybe if we can win a trophy for once , we might get some fans…until then the super bowl express has come off the tracks and crashed.

  30. dumbolt says: Jul 10, 2012 2:41 PM

    mindcrime401 says:
    Jul 10, 2012 10:45 AM
    There is absolutely no passion on the West Coast
    __________________________________

    thats funny, I love it when I go to those baseball, and basketball games out there in Buffalo as well…the passion there is out of control…… The Bills…they have one heck of a contengincy when they go on the road….maybe the chargers should market to their 50 fans as well.

  31. klunge says: Jul 10, 2012 2:41 PM

    Riiiight…he’s only disappointed that the marketing tactic didn’t end up selling lots of tickets to KC peeps. It was likely his idea in the first place.
    I would think any business would be trying to sell all the product they have available to whoever will pay for it. Of course you have a target demographic, but if there isn’t enough to buy it all then you market it to others who will pay. Spanos should be ragging the public for not supporting their team, not ripping his sales guy for doing his job.

  32. patsfiend says: Jul 10, 2012 2:54 PM

    A. The stadium here in S.D. is not the best (especially the video screen, which is straight from the 80’s), but it’s in a great location and is the same damn shape as every other stadium. Round. Don’t tell me about the poor sight lines, and I don’t want to hear about how people will “flock” to a new stadium downtown. They won’t, and it will be a waste of money.

    B. As a Pats fan in S.D. who can be somewhat objective, regardless of the support I’ve heard from the locals (and there ARE lots of real Bolts fans here)… I continue to believe Spanos is just setting things up for the move to L.A. They are lucky they have Rivers to at least sell a few tickets here.

    C. Hey RaiderFan. Give me a f’n break. Your team is near the bottom in attendance, yearly. How’s the view from Mt. Davis? Any trouble finding room to spread out up there? There are no more Raider fans around the country than Packer, Steeler, Cowboy, or even Pats fans… and I’m not including the Raiders “fans” who are fans only because they like silver and black and think that skulls and crossbones make them look gangsta.

    D. That’s an enterprising salesperson right there, selling to the Chiefs fans. What’s a brother going to do? San Diego (the city) is an easy sell… come here on vacation, and watch a Chargers game while you are at it! I don’t think that would work to well trying to sell Chargers fans to go see the Chefs, for instance. :-)

  33. borisbulldog says: Jul 10, 2012 3:17 PM

    What Spanos should have said that paints the team in a bad light is the fact that Rivers craps his pants in the 4th QTR and Norv Turner can’t win a play-off game!

    You can hire all the 18 year old kids you want to market your tickets, but if the team blows the fans won’t buy squat.

  34. whateverhommie says: Jul 10, 2012 3:20 PM

    klunge says: Jul 10, 2012 2:41 PM

    Riiiight…he’s only disappointed that the marketing tactic didn’t end up selling lots of tickets to KC peeps. It was likely his idea in the first place.
    I would think any business would be trying to sell all the product they have available to whoever will pay for it. Of course you have a target demographic, but if there isn’t enough to buy it all then you market it to others who will pay. Spanos should be ragging the public for not supporting their team, not ripping his sales guy for doing his job.
    ===================================

    Then again, Spanos could be playing both sides of the fence. He knows his core of die-hard Charger’s fans/season ticket holders will be very critical of this ticket marketing ploy; hence the “disappointed” and rogue salesman blather in order to save face with those very same fans. But he was complicit with this marketing strategy because he’s fully aware of the that bottom line; putting butts in the seats = $$$.

  35. jakek2 says: Jul 10, 2012 3:56 PM

    Like Goodell and the other owners, Spanos is a hypocrite. The kid salesman could have sold 5,000 season tickets to the Taliban and Spanos would have done cartwheels.

  36. chargerz4life says: Jul 10, 2012 8:17 PM

    Being a Charger fan and a season ticket holder it did p**s me off that we would go out and try selling tickets to another team especially a divisional rival.
    But what p****s me off more is all the BS people say about Charger fans, yes there are band wagon fans but they are in every city. Go to a game and see how strong the real fans are in SD. Maybe the stadium is s**t but I’ll take going to a game in SD in Nov/Dec with sun and 75 degrees. Chargerz4life!!!!

  37. jaguarclubbing says: Jul 11, 2012 2:32 AM

    Great City. Horrible Team. Rolls down from the ownership. That simple. San Diego team is garbage. I feel for the fans that want more. Seau brought Insane Energy to San Diego, however the rest of the squad could pull through. Back on the East Coast, we demand 12 wins per year or more and must be in the AFC year after year Championship. Guess who we are?

  38. joetoronto says: Jul 11, 2012 5:36 AM

    The Super Bowl Express is leaving town very soon.

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