Wrigley ambassadors

So the Chicago Cubs are hiring “ambassadors” to walk around Wrigley Field and help people, take suggestions and the like. Not a bad idea in and of itself, but let’s take a look at this graf from the Trib story:

Wally Hayward, the Cubs’ executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in that the past fans might have made suggestions to employees but there was no guarantee the suggestions would be passed on or that anyone would take them seriously. Now, the ambassadors will be part of a network collecting such information, he said.

See that’s actually a problem. Wrigley has ushers, concessions staff and other folks all around on a regular basis. So maybe before hiring new “ambassadors” there should have been additional training of the existing support staff to be more proactively helpful and teach them how not to just nod and ignore customers – fans of the Cubs who have paid a lot of money to come see a game – when they offer suggestions. Wrapping it up in a new program doesn’t mean there weren’t problems with what was going on currently.

Now while I have a few problems with how this is being presented, I do think the hiring of someone to manage “fan experiences” at the games is a good idea. There needs to be someone internal who can be an advocate for the fans and hopefully this will lead to good results.

B-side folds

Sad news yesterday in the film world as B-side Entertainment announced it had, basically, run out of investment money and with no new prospects at the moment it would be shutting down. B-side for a couple years helps film festivals improve their web experience and recently launched its own distribution arm.

Especially disheartening is the bit of the story that’s a bit further down, where the discussion turns to how filmmakers who might have been considering B-side for their distribution services were, in many cases, turned off by the fact that the company wasn’t focusing on securing theatrical exhibition and wasn’t spending money on high-profile (though low-effective) ad buys to promote the films. Instead it was looking at alternate distribution models and targeted marketing outreach. Unfortunately that’s a sign we haven’t pushed the conversation far enough in terms of making the case for other distribution ideas.

I’m really sorry to see B-side calling it a day. But here’s hoping the mission continues.