Friday, January 21, 2011

Posada Has A Full Plate Going Into 2011 Season

By Guillermo Rivera, Chicago Now.

Last month chose the Fire's hiring of Julian Posada as the most underreported story of 2010. The choice was a bit odd given that since Posada was hired last September there just hasn't been much to report. The Fire's 2011 Season Ticket marketing campaign had already been kick started with the "All In for 2011" tag line and the subsequent three and a half months have provided very little in terms of a change in the Fire's local presence or public perception. As the article points out, Posada was indeed an intriguing choice since he is not a traditional sports executive.

Rather than choosing a new team President with an MLS background in other cities (see John Guppy) or a person with marketing experience in other sports (ala Dave Greeley), the Fire chose someone with an established presence in local print media, albeit a presence in a specific market. Posada's success as general manager of the Tribune Company's Spanish language daily newspaper, Hoy and the publisher of Café Magazine - an English language forum catering to the Hispanic-American community is certainly a departure from the background of the typical sports executive but will his previous experience translate into success in the professional sports arena?

As Nick Firchau's article on points out, the Fire seemingly have targeted the Hispanic market by hiring a team President that has built a career out of finding ways to communicate effectively with Chicago's considerable Hispanic population. Posada's sense of community and hope to engrain the organization into the fabric of the local culture through youth soccer, charitable contributions, and long term planning is commendable and undoubtedly a step in the right direction but those plans can't be implemented at the risk of alienating any part of the current or potential fan base by appearing to cater to a specific demographic, especially when so many obvious things can be addressed and corrected right now.

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