Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio just told his star QB David Garrard to nix his weekly radio show ASAP:
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard thought hosting a weekly radio show would be a good idea. He was meeting fans, answering questions, giving away tickets and previewing the team’s upcoming game.[…] When Del Rio learned about Garrard’s Friday show, which aired the last three weeks, it was canceled faster than a network television dud.
He chose to do the show on Friday because it’s rarely an NFL travel day, didn’t interfere with his family time and wouldn’t conflict with team meetings, film study, workouts or practice. But his mistake may have been not keeping Del Rio in the loop.[…] Del Rio was less than impressed, mostly because Garrard was talking about things unrelated to the next opponent two days before the game. So the coach went directly to Garrard and squashed the weekly segment.
“He said, ‘As a father figure, I’m just trying to tell you this isn’t good late in the week like this,'” Garrard said. “‘You can field things early in the week and … rehash the past game. But late in the week, you want to be studying your film, you want to be with your family and you want to be off your feet, relaxing.’ I totally understand where he’s coming from.”
Del Rio’s story is that he had no idea that Garrard was doing a local radio show so late in the week?
Even without the ridiculous “father figure” angle Del Rio apparently took with Garrard (Garrard is 31, Del Rio 46), this seems like a heavy handed move that says more about sloppy Jaguars marketing than it does about David Garrard. These types of local radio shows are marketing tools where a franchise QB can put losses in perspective, talk up big wins, and sell the team’s “character” to fans. I would think a pro sports franchise would have marketing resource dedicated to keeping abreast of all of its players regularly scheduled appearances and helping players not run afoul of their professional duties. In addition, instead of telling Garrard to ditch the show, couldn’t they just help him reschedule the weekly appearance?
The Jaguars franchise has not been doing too well in the ticket sales department. They are in danger of having many of their home games blacked out due to low ticket sales. This would mean a huge loss in revenue for the organization. The Jaguars probably explain away their financial woes as direct byproducts of the recession and a city who is apathetic about pro football, but poor integration of marketing can also have a negative effect on the bottom line.