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Podcast - August 2011
Honoring Players with the Blazers and Timberwolves
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Building a history with fans is important to any sports franchise. This includes growing new stars and traditions, as well as honoring the contributions from the past.
Many teams have created in-house Halls of Fame and nearly every franchise has at some point honored the contributions of a player, coach, front office member or even the fans by retiring a jersey in their honor.
In the June Gameops.com Interview, we look at this tribute in two very different situations. We are joined by Trailblazer Operations Staff (Joe Bivona and Todd Bosma) and the former Vice President of Communications for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Charley Frank.
This season the Blazers retired the 8th player jersey in team history when they honored the career of former Trailblazer Clyde Drexler. Joe Bivona and Todd Bosma join us to discuss the ceremony and their presentation for the Portland fans.
Gameops.com: First, let's talk about why you retired the number....was this motivated by tickets sales, as a community relations event, or was it just Clyde's time?
Bivona/Bosma: It was pretty much Clyde's time. Houston jumped on it and they retired his number a while back, but we have a policy not to retire a number until a few years after the player retires.
As far as the date, we just looked for a mutually agreed upon date when all parties could do it, so it really wasn't a ticket sales tool. We sold out every game this season so there isn't much we do that is driven by selling tickets per se. [Editors note: Although it should be pointed out it happened to be a Tuesday night vs. Vancouver].
Gameops.com: How many players are hanging in the rafters now and how is that decision vetted out?
Bivona/Bosma: Back in the 80's they retired a lot of players, and they have tried to make it a bit more selective. A lot of the players up there now were inducted for their efforts during the Championship year in 1977. It really is a decision made by upper management and (owner) Paul Allen.
Gameops.com: Did you do a premium item giveaway that night?
Bivona/Bosma: We did a limited edition numbered lithograph for every fan in attendance. It was a very nice poster.
We also sold limited edition t-shirts that night at the merchandise stands, that said "Clyde's Night" and his career stats on the back. A portion of the sales were donated in Clyde's name to a local charity.
Gameops.com: How were those sales?
Bivona/Bosma: We sold out of the shirts before the game started.
Gameops.com: As for the presentation itself, can you walk through what you did?
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