Lost in the shuffle of watching Peyton Manning choke in another big game and reading tweets from whining journalists in Soviet Russia was the news of the Ravens invading Dan Snyder’s turf. Last week, Baltimore’s pro football franchise inked a brand new three-year deal with BIG 100.3, a classic rock station in our national’s capital.
The Ravens had been on a few different radio stations in D.C., but now have locked up a contract with an FM affiliate that has an audience 18 times the size of WFED 1500 AM (their previous broadcast partner). If you’re looking for some nitty gritty details on the deal, WashingtonPost.com’s Dan Steinberg asked himself a bunch of questions (then answered them) over on his bog.
“We treat the market as one market, Washington D.C. and Baltimore,” Dennis Lamme, Clear Channel’s market president for Washington/Baltimore told Steinberg. “And when you really look at it, the Ravens have a huge following in Montgomery County and Northern Virginia, which is what my radio station covers. So I think it’s a great fit.”
That “one market” comment sounds eerily similar to the type of type of garbage that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue used to spew in pre-Ravens days.
Should Washington build a museum to honor the great history of the Redskins?
“We have a lot of fans who live in the D.C. area, and we want to make sure we serve them by being with a radio station that will reach them,” Ravens President Dick Cass said on WBIG according to Steinberg. “And we’re delighted to be with BIG. You guys are a top radio station in the D.C. market, and that’s where we wanted to be.”
Let’s play a little game of Jeopardy shall we?
I’ll take “NFL radio broadcasts for $100”, Alex.
Answer: “Prince Frederick, Hagerstown, Frederick, Mechanicsville, Cumberland and Fruitland.”
Question: “Where are the Redskins affiliate broadcasts in Maryland?”
See, Steinberg isn’t the only one who can ask himself questions… or answers, I guess.
This game of Jeopardy isn’t meaningless, I listed those cities to show that one big one is omitted: BALTIMORE.
Redskins games aren’t broadcast in Baltimore. You would think that the Baltimore Metro Area would have a higher percentage of Redskins fans than D.C. would have Ravens fans. Many former Colts fans converted to the Skins when Bob Irsay snuck out of town in the middle of the night. Wouldn’t you think that it would make more sense for the Redskins to be broadcasted here?
I think Cass is wrong though. I don’t believe that there are lots of Ravens fans in D.C., not yet at least. The Ravens are a successful franchise, but they’re boxed into a small market. Expanding to D.C. and broadcasting a quality football team to neighboring cities helps the Ravens grow their fan base.
This move isn’t about appeasing the demands of out of town fans – it’s about CREATING THEM!
But you can’t fault the Ravens for trying to capitalize on the D.C. market though. Despite being Washington’s favorite pro sports team, they have averaged just 6.25 wins per season since 2006. After going 3-13 (with lofty expectations) maybe offering the suffering fans of Landover another option isn’t such a bad idea.
And we all know how brilliant the Ravens are at marketing.