Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cardinals vs. Reds could be the rivalry of the 2010s

Hey baseball… want to do something SMART regarding the marketing of your sport?
OK, I didn’t think so.

But in case you do, let me point out something that is going on. The two most popular teams remain the Yankees and the Red Sox and yes, most of the TV and marketing attention is being pushed towards them.

However, the rivalry is getting a little stale… and this is coming from a die hard Red Sox fan and a classic Yankee hater. It reached its fever pitch in 2003-2004 and 2005, although the baseball world was denied a third straight Red Sox/Yankees ALCS in 2005 when neither team made it out of the Division Series.

Both teams have won a World Series since… both teams have missed the playoffs at least once since… the Yankees went through a big transformation and the Red Sox are rebuilding.

The rivalry isn’t what it was 5 years ago and I think the rest of the baseball world is bored of it.

But looming out there is a potential rivalry… one with two franchises with deep traditions, great players and now some legitimate bad feelings.

I’m talking about the Reds and the Cardinals.
And if you were smart, you’d build up these two teams and their mutual dislike to make their games burn redder than their uniforms.

People think there is too much Northeast focus? Then here’s two Midwest teams whose appeal can stretch far beyond their city limits the way the Red Sox appeal travels throughout New England and the Yankees have fans… well… everywhere!

Ohio (save for the sadists in Cleveland), Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee.. that could all be Reds territory.

And the Cardinals already dominate the Midwest with one of the best fan bases in the game.

Both teams have terrific players and are young enough that they might both be good for a while. Perhaps the Albert Pujols vs. Joey Votto debate can be the great argument for the next few years.

They both have rich history, but they never seem to be good at the same time.
The Cardinals won multiple World Series in the 1960s.
The Reds won multiple World Series in the 1970s.
The Cardinals won a World Series in the 1980s.
The Reds won a World Series in the 1990s.
The Cardinals won a World Series in the 2000s.
And now it looks like the Reds will be in the post season this year.

They both have respected managers who don’t seem to like each other and their teams… well their mutual dislike is as subtle as an Albert Pujols homer.

Brandon Phillips talking trash. Former Cardinals Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen brawling against their old teammates. Former Red Jason LaRue being clocked by Cincy’s Johnny Cueto and possibly having his career end?

These games could be hyped up and made to be a clash of traditional division rivals that is not so friendly.

I am not talking about trying to make the Rockies and the Diamondbacks blood enemies. These are teams whose fan base goes back into the 19th Century… and there are plenty of transplanted Ohians and Missourians through out the country

The Northeast (and us transplants) will always get up for Yankees and Red Sox. And if the Mets ever get good again, they’ll care about Mets and Phillies.

Now imagine ANOTHER region of the country that pumped up for regular season baseball.

It’s being served to you on a red plate.

Yankees/Red Sox? That was so 2000s!
Reds/Cardinals? That’s THIS decade. (Or it could be.)

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  1. YES! Yanks-Sox is way overplayed and the Cards and Reds legitimately hate eachother! Be nice to see someone else on ESPN, too.

  2. Nate Carlisle7:01 PM

    It would be a lot easier to market the rivalry if baseball marketed any of the players first. Albert Pujols remains not as known as he should be and despite an MVP no one east of Columbus and west of Louisville knows Joey Votto.