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Right kind of marketing

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Jim from Tampa, FL:
I think the half-pack ticket idea is a great one. Due to work and other commitments, it's not possible for me to attend every game and unloading unused tickets without taking a loss has been difficult in recent years. If you had to choose only one, the black or the teal package, which would you choose and why?

Vic: I like the black package for two reasons: 1. It has two division games on it. 2. I think the Cincinnati Sunday night game is very attractive. The strength of the teal package is that it gives you two regular-season games – Seattle and Denver – before the black package begins its regular-season schedule.

Dan from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What is included in determining the league's designated gross revenue?

Vic: Basically, everything except those revenues that are considered "local," such as premium-seat ticket sales, team sponsorship and signage sales, team preseason TV rights, team radio rights; that kind of stuff.

Alec from York, PA:
How much impact do you think all the creative ways we sold tickets in the past are hurting our current sales, such as giving away tickets? Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

Vic: Spread the word: The milk isn't free any longer.

Dan from Jacksonville:
Isn't the main problem with ticket sales the small size of the local corporate community? Club seats and suites represent a significant source of stadium income and a small market can't compete with much larger cities that have multiple Fortune 500 corporations.

Vic: Congratulations, you have created a new excuse for slow ticket sales: not enough big corporations. Let's see, what do we have now? The stadium is too big, Tom Coughlin is too dull, the media is too negative, it was too hot, it was too cold, a hurricane was coming, tickets are too expensive, Winn-Dixie wouldn't deliver the tickets to my house, the Jaguars don't have a star player, they were playing the Bengals, they weren't playing the Steelers and, of course, my all-time favorite: It was the day after Christmas. When the Jaguars announced they were covering 10,000 seats for this season, I announced my new credo: No more excuses.

Jason from Jacksonville:
I have been reading your column since the beginning and I do have to say I was a critic of most things you wrote during our turmoil years after 1999. I had a few questions posted by you, even some that were critical of your opinions, however, looking back over the last four or five years, I can pretty much say you have been correct on 99.9 percent of what you have written and I was wrong in a good portion of my viewpoints regarding personnel decisions. I am now able to separate logic from emotion when decisions are made. I will still always have my favorite players but when the time comes for them to be replaced by younger, better talent with more potential, I will be able to say "good deal." I just wanted to let you know I appreciate what you do for Jaguars fans and hope you write for us for many years to come.

Vic: Your very kind e-mail allows me the opportunity to express my feelings on the future: It is my most sincere desire that I write about this team playing football in this town for a very long time. Jacksonville has been my home for the last 10 years and I want it to remain my home. I want everyone to understand that when I answer these questions about LA, I, too, have to separate logic from emotion.

Bill from Ware, MA:
I'm also a fan of ESPN Classic. Watching games from the 1970's and before gives you a different perspective on the game; I believe, in its true form. I was wondering if you could give some insight into Larry "Wildcat" Wilson. Playing with a broken hand is almost unheard of today, let alone two broken hands.

Vic: He is one of the game's legendary tough guys. He also has 52 career interceptions and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978 as the modern game's prototype safety.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Who audits the books of NFL teams? Would it be possible for a team to "cook the books" regarding its salary cap?

Vic: The league has an army of accountants that examine each player's contract and apply its monies to each team's salary cap.

Robert from Jacksonville:
If the Jaguars truly sell-out the stadium (including club seats), won't they make more money than they did last year, even with fewer tickets sold? A true sellout would mean more premium ticket sales, leading to higher overall revenue.

Vic: Yes, a true sellout of 67,164 seats will produce more revenue than last year's average per-game attendance of 69,231 because it would include the sale of about 2,000 club seats that were not sold last year. That's why I say it's not about the blackout, it's about the sellout.

Richard and Jacksonville:
A question about season ticket sales: I have mine and have had from the very beginning. If the NFL is so blessed with talented marketing people, then why do we only see their efforts a month or two before the season starts? Where were the marketing people for the first six months of this year? It seems this way every year.

Vic: How could I forget the blame-it-on-the-marketing excuse? It may be the most popular excuse of all. I'm trying to convince them to put the "Ice Cream Truck" in a pregame tractor pull.

Kyle from Jacksonville:
Comments from Tonga in Inglewood may have been the best thing to happen to Jacksonville since the Arkansas Razorbacks swore to come and fill some of our seats just to see Matt Jones. I know his comments on whether or not Jacksonville deserves a team really got my blood boiling. I have my tickets for the year and I am willing to bet Tonga's comments sold a few more of them.

Vic: That's the kind of marketing that works.

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