OTC: Royals Marketing Success On Field & Online / KK Just Can’t Forget Pioli’s Slight

“The (Royals) on-field performance is considerably better than it has been over the past few years, and I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of the better performance in some capacity. The link below will take you to an e-brochure. It will display options for next season, but it will also show you a list of accomplishments from 2013.”
Royals Email to prospective season ticket buyers
GH: The Royals are in full marketing mode as the latest polar vortex envelops the Midwest here in late January. I found some of the items in their list of accomplishments interesting, especially their nod to the importance of the Internet and social media. Please read on for a portion of that list.

“70% increase in television ratings”
GH: Anyone asking why the Royals decided to bring back Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler for the 2014 season (my hand is raised and waving) needs to look no further than this figure. It is my opinion that Royals fans would tune in to watch a live TV broadcast of their team even if they left the broadcast booth empty. But I understand the Royals thinking that you can’t argue with a 70% increase in the ratings.  

Per game Cume of radio listeners increased 37% (20,500 more listeners per game). Share of Adults 25-54 listening on radio doubled”
GH: It has to be maddening for WHB to see 610 AM profit from the current success of the Royals when their time as the Royals rights holder was attached to 100-loss seasons. That seems to be one of the motives of Kevin Kietzman’s constant attacks at David Glass, Kauffman Stadium and just about anybody on the roster not named Billy Butler.  

“154% increase of average check-ins on MLB’s AtTheBallpark app. 11% growth in Facebook followers. 73% growth in Twitter. 576% growth in Instagram. 21% increase in web traffic on royals.com. 194% increase in mobile web traffic. 107% increase in Royals tickets sold on royals.com.”
GH: I am not sure what these social media increases prove other than some of these formats like Instagram just started to become more popular in 2013. MLB and the Royals need to decrease the age of their average fan. The WSJ reported in November that the average age of the television viewer for last fall’s World Series was over the age of 54. The increases the Royals show here for their online activity is nothing to get excited about. They need these numbers to grow exponentially over the next few years if they want to show they are capturing a younger and more sustainable audience.

“The great thing is that we’re not on stage. We can just be ourselves.”
Ned Yost, in an interview with The Kansas City Star’s Brent Frazee about his deer hunting excursions in Georgia with Jeff Foxworthy and some MLB players, Kansas City Star
GH: I really wish Ned Yost would try being himself here in Kansas City as the Royals manager. Why does he think he needs to be someone else? The persona he is providing us through the media isn’t a real likable guy. Maybe we would enjoy the Real Ned more than the Fake Ned.

“Sluggerrr is on salary and gets a company car. #Truth.”
Tim Scott, @timscott411, former in-stadium host for the Royals, Twitter
GH: How does he drive that company car with those feet and enlarged head?

“The people that have seen Kyle Zimmer pitch rave about him and say that he could for sure be a number one down the road.”
Joel Goldberg, on the Royals young pitching prospect, 810 AM
GH: Zimmer is 22 years old and he will be 23 in September. I am hoping he has a great training camp in Surprise and he’s ready to be placed in the Royals’ rotation this April. Now is now. It’s time for the Royals to rise above their expectations for a change.

“We’re in real good shape. We’re in better shape than any of the 20 years I’ve been with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Mitch Holthus, on his optimism for the 2014 season, 810 AM
GH: With ten Pro Bowlers on the Chiefs’ roster and coming off an 11-5 season, it appears to be difficult to argue Mitch’s point. But the Chiefs started 9-0 and then finished with a 2-6 slide. Add to that the fact they were swept by two AFC West rivals, San Diego and Denver, to finish at 2-4 in their division. And then there is that guy named Peyton Manning in Denver who likely looms large for the next season or two. I would like to be as optimistic as Uncle Mitch but the reality is he may not call a Chiefs playoff victory the next two seasons despite all that the Chiefs have going for them.

“I am extremely proud of this…”
Kevin Kietzman, on replaying his interview (yet again) with Scott Pioli from 2012, 810 AM
GH: I have often complimented Kietzman on his savvy sixth sense for what plays well on sports talk radio. He has dominated his competition for years because he has a better feel than his competition for what makes for good radio. He fails miserably though every time he goes down this personal-vendetta path directed at Pioli. This segment served almost no one in KK’s audience. Unfortunately, there is no one at 810 who feels the need (or is brave enough) to explain this to Kevin.

“I think that interview and I think that draft led to his demise.”
Kevin Kietzman, suggesting that Pioli came off so poorly in his interview with KK that it (combined with his 2012 draft) eventually led to Clark Hunt firing him, 810 AM
GH: Okay, Kevin. We get it. You mess with Kevin Kietzman and attempt to question his football knowledge on his show and Clark Hunt will fire you. Got it.

“You cannot overpay for a franchise quarterback! It’s just not possible!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: It appeared to me that KK wanted to replay his Pioli interview to prove how right he was about Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. I am still waiting to hear KK replay any of the months’ worth of shows where he chastised the Chiefs for not drafting Geno Smith. Kietzman seems to have a problem with admitting his mistakes. Odd for a guy who has had so much practice.

“Forecasters are starting to agree on SB Sunday weather. Major storm. Also: very cold (20′s) already a lock.”
Colin Cowherd, @ESPN_Colin, Twitter
GH: We are still too far out to know just what kind of weather to expect for the Super Bowl held outdoors in NYC. But it sure seems dumb to me to risk playing this game in poor weather conditions. It the temps are in the 20s for an evening kickoff, I don’t expect Peyton Manning to function real well in the second half.

and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

35 Responses to OTC: Royals Marketing Success On Field & Online / KK Just Can’t Forget Pioli’s Slight

  1. hammy says:

    As a TV viewer I hope for cold and snow. I’m not there so why would I care if it is cold? And if it hurt’s Peyton’s chances, all the better.

    • olathecat says:


      • Jim says:

        I’m all about Peyton losing too, Hammy. Just don’t what weather issues to be the focus of the game. Plus, what a shitty deal for fans going to the Superbowl. My preference would always be a warm weather site or a Dome for the Superbowl so it’s about the game and not the weather. But if the Broncos lose……….I’m good with it.

        • BlackJack says:

          WHy is it that we are totally OK for NFL regular season and even playoff games being played in blizzard conditions, yet we insist on warm weather, corporate, sterile environment for the Super Bowl?

          The MLS Cup was played in abhorrent conditions, totally unconducive to elegant soccer, yet that game will do down as one of the classics, in MLS terms of the annals in history – mostly for the unbelievably tense and intense, fanatical atmosphere that you just do not get in the Super Bowl environment. that is why the game usually blows, and the hype, commercials, etc always overshadows the game.

          • SDPETE says:

            Couldn’t agree more. We play NFC/AFC championships in any kind of weather imaginable, but want to play the Super Bowl in 80 degrees. This does give a distinct advantage to teams like Denver who pass the ball all over. Glad to see this game will have some elements to it and hope the NFL decides to do this again.

          • Mike says:

            I think it’s a media-driven gripe/narrative, mostly. Since most of us are priced out of any SB week, what do we care of the game conditions? The only ones that do are the ones that regularly go.

  2. TangoAlphaLima says:

    “I am still waiting to hear KK replay any of the months’ worth of shows where he chastised the Chiefs for not drafting Geno Smith.” – Greg

    I’d like to hear the pre-draft drops of KK concluding that the Chiefs were idiots for passing up on Geno, because “every team in the NFL has Geno Smith #1 on their draft board.” But I know KK would just brush it off by saying that all the experts had Geno Smith highly rated, he wasn’t the one coming to that conclusion. KK is sly like that. Even when he’s wrong, he can find a way to blame someone else for it.

  3. Kevin Kietzman says:

    Quarterback quarterback quarterback Smoke & Fire quarterback quarterback quarterback Jim Colbert downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium Racin Boys quarterback quarterback quarterback my GOOD friend Jack Harry quarterback quarterback quarterback Leabo downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium Jim Cotti quarterback quarterback quarterback hummer quarterback quarterback quarterback I get important people fired downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium world famous picks segment quarterback quarterback quarterback KU quarterback quarterback quarterback thugs downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium Danny let’s discuss our golf games for an hour quarterback quarterback quarterback Monday evening QUARTERBACK quarterback quarterback quarterback I fired Greg Hall downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium my lovely wife Jessica quarterback quarterback quarterback Kato quarterback quarterback quarterback Buck Roofing downtown stadium downtown stadium downtown stadium Between The Lines. Tweener. Sports radio 810 WHB. In case you missed it. Quarterback. Falcon Ridge. Mizzou to the Big 10. Danny Clinkscale.


  4. Mike says:

    For the long-term, I like the Chiefs’ organizational path. For next season, though, it’s going to be a big challenge to replicate this year. Five games vs the AFC-NFC title game participants, the NFC West, the AFC East? Mitch can be deliriously optimistic at times, and in this case, that would mean replicating the 2013 record in ’14.
    I would sing a different tune if the Chiefs weren’t up against the cap, but I optimistically see 9-7 and just outside the postseason next year. That schedule is going to be rough.
    On the flip side, I’m O/U 4.5 primetime games in ’14.

  5. KC says:

    I remember Kietzman claiming Seattle was throwing a preseason game against the Chiefs by starting Russell Wilson his rookie year. He of course went out and destroyed the Chiefs and led Seattle to a blowout win. Now he’s whining that KC “passed on him three times”. Classic Kietzman.

  6. If Manning stinks in the second half, that should provide Richard Sherman with some great material for ranting and raving after the game. But let’s have Vince McMahon or Jim Ross conduct the interview this time, please. Erin Andrews ain’t equipped for conflict.

  7. JP says:

    I hope it’s in the 20′s and cold. You can bet you will see empty seats as those rich guys won’t hang around and freeze. Plus, Peyton will be cold and he doesn’t function as well in his offense. As long as Denver doesn’t get another Lombardi Trophy, it will be a good day.

    It is nice to see the Royals doing actual marketing for a change. They did nothing in the prior ten years, and they are giving their fans expectations. It’s time to deliver. I plan on attending the Fan Fest and look forward to the spring and warmer weather.

  8. P says:

    I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here in saying, last Super Bowl outstide of the South, a dome, or the West Coast/Desert Southwest. Put me in the faction who kind of prefers a game where cold weather isn’t a factor.

  9. Ron says:

    Let’s see, Keitzman doesn’t get along with/personally hates David Glass, Dan Glass, Carl Peterson, and Scott Pioli. Does anyone see a pattern here? Who is the common denominator? Yesterday, he proclaimed he knows more about football than Pioli. If so, why didn’t Keitzman, along with every other know-it-all on the air at WHB, recognize prior to the beginning of the season that Missouri had a powerhouse team that would be in the hunt for the national championship? Keitzman doesn’t know squat-diddley about football player personnel. He makes hundreds of outrageous statements every year, then cherry-picks the few which turned out vaguely correct and claims he’s more knowledgeable about how to draft players than anyone else in America. The man is an egomaniacal idiot.

    • The says:

      This meltdown wad brought to you by Jason Whitlock and the other guys at 610 that never beat him.

      810 scoops 620 once again…

    • kcdan says:

      Glad you brought this up. I heard this live. KK repeatedly stating that he “knows more” about football than Pioli just blew my mind. No way in hell does he have even 20% of Pioli’s football knowledge regarding players, policies, etc. KK could argue that he has better decision making skills, but he didn’t do that. Once again, KK shows that he is a clown.

  10. Hot Carl says:

    There’s really no point in playing the Super Bowl in New York UNLESS it’s cold as shit and snowing like crazy.

    • mike t. says:

      actually, I’m with some of the others on keeping it in a dome or warm weather climate, but HC, you’re absolutely correct about this. football is football and played in all kinds of weather. some great games come out of weather being in play.

      • Hot Carl says:

        Exactly…it shouldn’t be played in NY but since that’s where they scheduled the game I’m hoping for the worst f*cking weather ever!

  11. Phaedrus says:

    So the Royals averaged 75k listeners on the Radio last year. Any idea if that’s good, bad, indifferent? How many listeners does Fescoe have?

  12. JK says:



  13. FJH says:

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The SB is not for actual fans of the teams anyway, It’s a bunch of Fortune 500 Execs, corporate guests, and (this year) a bunch of Wolf of Wall Street wannabes.

  14. Paracelsus says:

    What would be hilarious and well within the capabilities of a tech-savvy young smartass would be something like a kietzwatch.com. Capture the silliness and the tomfoolery for posterity and perhaps offer some therapeutic deflation?

  15. Kerouac says:

    The ‘sour grapes’ heartburn, gnashing of teeth, hand-wringing and general malaise evidenced by Chiefs fandom the specter Peyton Manning playing in the Superbowl (again) & KC (surprise) not (for the 44th time in as many seasons) was not unexpected.

    Speaking of old stories, Mitch Holtus “we’re in real good shape. We’re in better shape than any of the 20 years I’ve been with the Kansas City Chiefs” is no more reassuring than annual marketing slogans the Chiefs PR department now approaching nigh on half a century, the ‘Show Me’ state.

    Similarly, another vintage issue continues not surprise: ‘nother cold-weather city (NY/New Jersey, which immaterial) is the host of yet another Superbowl. KC having too little of ‘this’ and being too much of ‘that’ the evaluation some serves merely affirm that the modern NFL isn’t so much about the game experience as the return game, fan$.

    For all the talk about how great the game experience is at Arrowhead, one would believe the NFL would more strongly encourage the Chiefs/Hunt’s et al get that sliding roof or other technological mechanism realized make a mid-western World Championship venue happen KC.

    Thus conclude, there isn’t enough interest ($pelled return on investment make such sporadic use worthwhile, be it the ever ‘MIA’ Championship Game presence the Chiefs and the rotating/ongoing pimping by NFL cities across the league pursuit said.

  16. Wait Staff says:

    Let me say firstly that I am a baseball guy raised by a baseball guy.

    While not a fan, I personally don’t have a problem w/ the Rex Hudler contract extension as he is a former player who gets caught in the moment at times. The announcer that drives me nuts is Steve Physioc. I know he is a local guy but he absolutely lost me when he referred to Bubba Starling as the Royals #1 prospect last year. I honestly believe he doesn’t think before he talks and I think that is an issue when you talk for a living.

    If you don’t know what I am talking about, in 2014 listen to what the man actually says and I think you’ll agree w/ me. Kind of like listening to Bob Davis all those years w/ the Royals (and I don’t have a problem w/ him calling KU games).

    All that said, can’t wait for the baseball season to begin.

  17. Tim says:

    You know it’s a cruel world out there when the former in-game stadium host disses on the mascot having a salary and company car.

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