Monday, December 07, 2009

Utah Flash hits a new low

First let me tell you what happened, then I'll give my thoughts.

Brandt Anderson, owner of the Utah Flash, made a proposal. He contacted Michael Jordan and Bryon Russel and challenged both former NBA players to play one-on-one, and Anderson would donate $100,000 to a charity of the winner's choice.

All went quiet on Western front, but the challenge remained.

Then, on Saturday, Brandt appeared on local news implying a potential match-up between Jordan and Russel was imminent. In fact, he hinted that the one-on-one would take place during Monday night's Flash home opener.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax

Flash forward to tonight. Monday night, the night of the big game.

Thousands of people flocked to the McKay Events Center, hoping to see the greatest basketball player who ever lived. People were wearing No. 23 jerseys, kids were carrying pens hoping for an autograph and the ticket line went through the door out onto the street.

I know because I was there.

I admit, I bought tickets for tonight's game. My thinking was if this thing really went down I needed to be there.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax (Video Screen, Bryon Russel)

Well, despite reports that Michael Jordan had been spotted in Orem's Mimi's Cafe, the whole thing turned out to be a hoax. A publicity stunt. During halftime, when the two aged players were supposed to duke it out, Bryon Russell appeared at center court, and the crowd waited anxiously for MJ... only to get an impostor.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax (Bryon Russel)
Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax (Michael Jordan Imposter...LAME!)

Then, after the sham was revealed, the McKay Events Center erupted in boos. People threw garbage onto the court, and hundreds packed the aisles to leave early. No one got to see His Airness tonight; thousands left UVU campus empty and disappointed.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax (Casey)

Now my thoughts.

This publicity stunt was at best short-sighted, and at worst sleazy and deceptive. The Utah Flash may have sold more tickets than they ever have before, and they may have broken every attendance record in the books tonight, but the damage they did to their primary public is irreparable.

They violated our trust. They baited-and-switched and swindled the very public that they should have courted. You really think the Utah Flash endeared itself to potential ticket buyers tonight? Nope. They sold themselves out for one big night.

Not only that, but the organization dealt its own Flash players a serious blow. Now the players know no one is really interested in them. They know that their product isn't appealing. They know that the front office needs to resort to parlor tricks to get people in the doors. Way to inspire confidence, there, Brandt.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax (Lee Cummard)

I know I personally will never, ever buy a ticket to a Utah Flash game ever again, and I'll have nothing but bad things to say when the subject comes up in the future. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

This was a bush league stunt by a low-class organization. It was a cheap, desperate ploy to get attention that may have short term success, but will only hurt them in the long run.

I hope it was worth it.

Utah Flash - Michael Jordan Hoax


Becky said...

i can't tell you how violated i feel.

you better believe i am going calling the events center and getting my ticket money back.

seriously. who the heck is behind the marketing. they have got to know that this is the most horrible thing to do to their fans.

I just read brandts blog post and it is a joke of an explanation. A JOKE!

Anonymous said...

"Not only that, but the organization dealt its own Flash players a serious blow. Now the players know no one is really interested in them. They know that their product isn't appealing."

If the Flash players didn't know this before, then they are out of touch. The average home game attendance of any d-league game will tell them how appealing their product it.

Do they players care if anyone is interested? All they care about is if a team notices them and they get to the NBA.

v4tex said...

Wait a minute. There's a team called the Utah flash and it's not the WNBA? When did this happen? I'm completely serious.

Adam said...

I will say that at least my wife had a good time shooting photos at the game (as evidenced by the photography in my blog post).

Anonymous said...

Here is a good video that can get them back. haha

Ashley Eliza said...

should have went to the party.. the FOOD was great! missed you guys!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Adam, what's your email address? I'd like to get in touch with you about this...

Kevin Winzeler Photography said...

This was ridiculous. I'm a professional sports photographer based here: Utah Photographer | Kevin Winzeler and have been in discussions with the Flash for over a year to work on some of their advertising and marketing campaigns. I know and have personally met with several of the marketing folks. SO, upon hearing the rumors, I called in to talk to these same people about getting media credentials to cover the event. I spoke with a couple of people and one sales rep (whom I didn't know) but who literally told me on the call that the Flash had just talked with ESPN analysts who were flying in from NYC to cover this. The marketing director also led me to believe that this was all taking place. They were then trying to sell me what "few tickets were left" for lots of money. These are people I knew and trusted to tell me the truth having established a business relationship with and I was flat out LIED to. It is pretty pathetic and a long-term disaster for the Flash!!

Deez said...

All of this coming from a guy who has a glowing picture of Provo's F-bomb dropping superman Max Hall at the top of his blog. How inspiring.

Keep throwing stones dude, lots of success to be made in that.

Adam said...

What does Max Hall or the F-bomb have to do with any of this?

I know it's hard, Ute fan, but please try to stay on topic.