Now, there are a few things that the Marlins are doing to completely redo how they plan to market their franchise: the look of the team, the stadium they play in, and the personnel on the field. Let's take a quick look at the breakdown for each.
The New-Look Miami Marlins
This section is basically going to just be a few links and pics so that people can get a feel for what the Marlins will be wearing for at least the 2012 season and the immediate future.
And here are some links to some cool apparel you can buy online at the team's official shop:
A big part of recreating a team's image is getting the team in a new park. Now, in past years, the Marlins were stuck at Sun Life/Landshark/Pro Player/Your Mom/Spaghetti/Who Cares Stadium out in Miami Gardens, Florida. In case thou art not aware, that's a ways outside downtown Miami and the stadium was quite bad. The stadium held 38,000 people, was a multi-purpose facility, offered no protection from sun and rain, and was overall just bad. The team could not draw revenue on the facility, nobody came to games, and the team suffered because of it. Time for a new place to call home: Marlins Ballpark.
The above is just a computer-drawn image, but it represents the park pretty well. Because I'm all about technology and being advanced in baseball, here's a link to a ballpark cam where you can view the inside of the park for yourself:
So what does the new ballpark offer? How about 37,000 seats, a retractable roof, real grass, air conditioning, a pool in left field, a dance club in left field, traditional ballpark food along with food specific to the Miami area, and a flashy celebration "thingy" out in center field? Yeah, "modernized" doesn't begin to describe the new Marlins ballpark. It's far ahead of other parks in terms of its sleek design, energy efficiency, and fan-friendly amenities. Hopefully I get down there to check it out, and everyone else should give it a go as well.
So they've got a new look and a new park. That's a fraction of the way to making it as a new-look franchise. The other part is putting a competitive team on the field that can draw enough interest to maintain the new cash cow that ownership has potentially built. Last year, the Marlins had a couple bad breaks in that Josh Johnson went down with a major arm injury and Hanley Ramirez had a gosh-awful season. However, new ballparks breed new opportunities. With a new park, new revenues will be had that were not available before. This means an increase in payroll, and according to the Marlins, roughly 90 million dollars should be expected for 2012 payroll. So who are the Marlins targeting to come and help next year? Short answer is, "Everyone." No, I am serious. Name a big free agent and the Marlins have likely expressed interest in them:
The list goes on and on and on and on. The team is making offers to anyone and everyone. Not a bad approach when you are looking to add big names through the free agent market and are trying to get a good feel for how the market will play. Adding one name off of the list above along with one average starting pitcher will likely put the Marlins in a good spot to have a lot of upside in 2012. Consider this possibility:
Player from above list (likely Reyes), provides 5 wins over almost nothing being produced at third base last year. Then, put Hanley back in typical Hanley form. That's easily 5 wins. Then, if Josh Johnson can stay healthy, there's the possibility that he returns to to shape. Suddenly, through 3 players, the team has improved almost 12 wins! The big thing for the Marlins is that big names will excite people and get people in the stands. If they bring in Jose Reyes, one average pitcher, and rely on Ozzie Guillen and Logan Morrison to provide great personalities as leaders of the team, then fans definitely will have something to get excited about, no matter how the team on the field ends up. They will have attitude, upside, and a new look.
If you are going to turn a franchise around, the Marlins sure are doing their best to do it the right way.