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The Astros May Want To Work On This Whole 'Promotion' Idea

Your Houston Astros (they are our Astros, after all) are 0-3 to start the season, having been swept by the Phillies and managing to score 11 runs in the first three games. While that's pretty decent in comparison to what the bats were doing last April, it's hardly murderer's row. Even if it did come against the Phillies vaunted pitching staff (okay, most of it against their bullpen) -- that's hardly an auspicious start to greatness.

So that's why it was a little weird to see this promotion pop up on Twitter yesterday. The Astros are offering $2 off Field Box seats against the Padres on April 16th for every run the Astros score, up to a maximum of $30 off. "Great!" you might say, and you'd hope they picked a pitcher that could likely get beaten down quickly. Well, instead of doing that, the Astros have stretched the deal over the course of six entire games. For every run the Astros score over the next six days, you get $2 off, to a maximum of $30.

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The way I see it, there are two problems with this promotional idea. First, if you're only confident enough in the Astros to score 15 runs in six days, an average of 2.5 runs per game, why bother involving the team's performance at all? The 2010 Seattle Mariners, baseball's worst offense last year by far, managed to score 3.17 runs per game.

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The Astros were a terrible offense last April; why would you want to remind fans of that? Why would you put a number out there that the worst offenses in baseball could match on a per-game basis last season? More importantly, what if they fail to hit that number? Doesn't that just reflect poorly on the entire organization? It's a lose-lose situation.

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If the Astros want to sell fans Field Box seats at $30 off, fine. Attach it to something else. Easter Eggs, crayon day, anything. But the last thing the marketing department should be doing is advertising the on-field product in a way that could be construed as negative. Everyone else in the media will do that for them.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.