Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Ravens: Washington’s other home team?

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Oct 24, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 45 mins ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 5,155 articles

WASHINGTON - The Redskins have one of the largest and most passionate fan bases in all of sports, despite their abysmal start this season. In fact they are most valuable franchise in sports according to Forbes Magazine, who price tags them at around $1.4 billion.

However, the Baltimore Ravens know they have fans in the Washington area that buy season tickets, proudly wear their jerseys and want more Ravens info.

Baltimore is one of the NFL’s smallest markets. They have the Redskins to the south, Eagles to the north and Steelers to the west.

The Ravens’ goal is to market their team well beyond the greater Baltimore area.

Kevin Byrne, the Ravens Senior Vice President, Public & Community Relations, is acutely aware of their D.C. fan base and he wants it to grow. To that end, the Ravens made some bold moves in hopes of making their existing fans in the area happy while attempting lure some new ones to the purple and black.

» Byrne on the new marketing plan: “We now have WTNT 570-AM in Washington as part our Ravens Game Day network and our new relationship with MASN gives our fans at least five nights a week of programming so they can follow the team. We want our fans to get as much Ravens information as possible and also to expose new fans to our team. Our goal is to have a shared market much like Major League Baseball has done in this region with the Nationals and the Orioles. We will continue to push the NFL for that equality for both the Ravens and the Redskins fans.”

In short a shared market would give football fans in both Baltimore and Washington the ability to see all the Ravens and Redskins games throughout the region. Presently, while you can see both teams in action most weekends, there are four or five times a year that you can’t. A shared market would resolve that problem.

And hey, the Ravens games on WTNT 570-AM have a stronger signal than Redskins games on 730-AM.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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