re: Here is the truth why attendance matters - enough is enough with the arguing!Posted by GumBro Jackson on 4/15/13 at 2:24 pm to 42
I lived in DC when the Nats came to town in 2005. They drew well the first year b/c it was a new team and they had a .500 season. But for several years after that the team played like crap and attendance declined. Even when the team opened a new ballpark in 2008 it only gave a slight (and short-lived) increase in attendance.
But those years of suckage paid off with the drafting of Strasburg and Harper and some good moves by the FO. In the past two years the amount of Nats gear in DC and Virginia has increased five fold, and after last year's success it is now cool to go go games.
Sorry for the long-winded story, but the point is that a lot of things need to work out for a team to become a success. Winning is probably the most important factor, especially in the long-run. But things like re-brands, new facilities, etc can make a short term bump.
So I think the re-brand will serve several purposes. It gives an artificial excitement to the team. If the logo is seen as cool, people will want to wear it, and that will put the team in people's minds. Benson taking over is a positive b/c he is well regarded in NO after helping drive the Saints to the city's first championship, and the re-brand serves as a symbol that this is now Benson's team. The increased television exposure should also help.
So I think the pump is primed. The new name can create some excitement and cause people to give basketball a fresh look. Whether or not people stick with it will depend on how the team does on the court, whether people enjoy their trips to the arena, and whether they perceive it as cool to associate with the team.