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Dolphins marketing changes course -- again

You might recall a couple of months back the Dolphins sort of unveiled a 2008 marketing campaign that, really, no one but the high-priced genius who came up with it understood.

The campaign boldly insisted Dolphins fans should "Respect the Code." Problem was that no one respected the idea behind the campaign. Ticket sales early this offseason were not great even though the team's internal optimism was soaring with the arrival of Bill Parcells.

Well, the code campaign has apparently passed on to marketing heaven and now the team's new campaign is "A New Beginning." If you live in South Florida, you probably have seen the billboards featuring GM Jeff Ireland, Parcells and coach Tony Sparano lining the highways and byways.

The campaign uses the novel approach of not promoting any player -- you know, the guys most folks pay to see -- because apparently the Dolphins don't think any of their players would sell tickets. Even Jason Taylor is not a candidate because the Dolphins were 1-15 with him last year and his status for 2008 is, shall we say, uncertain.

A Dolphins spokesman tried to convince me recently that rather than bill this new campaign as a complete departure from the code failure, I should portray the change as the result of an "evolving" strategy. Yeah, right. And Barack Obama is not flip-flopping on Iraq and campaign financing and his ties to that "church" he attended for 20 years but now disavows.

Anyway, the Dolphins change in marketing course is nothing that should surprise as they have been "evolving" on other fronts also, not the least of which is ticket pricing. Remember that January news release from the team that boldly stated ticket prices would not be raised through the spring?

Well it is summer. And ticket prices have risen from last year.

On a season-ticket basis, which is the only thing we can go by right now as single-game tickets are not yet available, the Dolphins raised prices across the board with the lone exception of upper prime seats which remain at $81.

Lower sideline seats went from $92 last year to $98 this year. Lower corner and endzone seats went from $77 to $82. Upper sideline seats went from $65 to $70. Upper corner and upper endzone (rows 1-4) went from $55 to $59. Upper corner and endzones went from $39 to $42. And economy section seats went from $29 to $31.

We shall see in the coming months if the new campaign can overcome the fact Miami was the worst team in the NFL last season. We shall see if the team can keep from losing season-ticket buyers from the previous year for the fourth time in five years (2006 it went up.)

But mostly we shall see if South Florida Dolfans and Dolfans in general believe this latest "new beginning" is worth the higher price of admission.


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i cancelled my season tickets. i have a feeling this season is going to be really ugly. i expect a few blackouts this season as no one in their right mind is going to pay hundreds of dollars to watch josh mccown fumble, throw interceptions and lose.

I will not renew solely out of spite for this arrogant organization. Not only did they raise their ticket prices when they said they wouldn't, they did so during a time when money is extremely tight for everyone. If you ask me, the dolphins are very naive.

it just seems like the whole organization is lost, top to bottom. it just feels like they don't know what their doing.

Does anyone give a damn about Miami's add campaign? Wow Armondo, they're having trouble selling season tickets? You don't say! How could that be? a 1-15 season? 4 dollar gas? I highly doubt that they are the only NFL team with this problem. If a stupid add campaign, Billboard, or sign influences you to pluck down a couple hundred dollars for anything, let alone Dolphin tickets, you should go ahead and off yourself, seriously. And to the people complaining about ticket prices you have to understand that this is a business. The salary cap increased by what, 8-12 million this year? How else are you supposed to make that money up? 10 dollar beers? Remember that the NFL mandates now that you have to use up the majority of your cape space, so it's not like they can cut back on players. Yeah it does suck, but they're just doing what any other business does. Everything has gone up in price over the last year, so it's not like this is a new concept. And as much as most of you fans cry and whine about the prices, if they're 8-4 going into December you will gladly pluck down that extra back braking $5 to go to the game.

Taking swipes at the democratic candidate? Interesting. Considering Mr. McCain's pandering (and "flip-flopping")to the religious and conservative right as well as his desire to go to war with Iran, may I assume you support that viewpoint?

Forgive me, but you opened the door on this one. While I regularly read your blogs and find them informative, I really don't want or need to know your political views...it kinda ruins it for me.

I certainly can read other people's blogs. They may not be as good, but I'm simply reading them for entertainment...not to decide who I should vote for.

I await a reply. Otherwise, I will do just that.

I am with Anthony on this. Flip flop my butt. He stated the same thing during the democratic campaign. As for the church, you might go to your brother in laws because he is part of your family community even if the guy is a jerk and says a lot of things you don't agree with.

The dolphins have to raise some money. A lot smarter people than you or I know what they are doing. If they don't in this economic climate, they will be looking for new work come next summer. Gas went up nearly 150%. Do you think it might be costing more to run a stadium and football team. Like planes, vehicles, kitchens. Do I have to go on? You wrote this in your sleep.

Obama kool aid drinkers. Sheesh! I think Armando's point is that you can believe the Fins about evolving...... just as you can believe Obama's evolving viewpoint on public financing and the FISA bill.... as well as other shifting positions: Iran no preconditions, oh sorry "preparations" instead..... Jerusalem as not being split, oh sorry splitting it is fine..... can't disown my pastor, oh sorry disowned him and the entire church... and on and on.

Or you can realize the Fins screwed up just like Obama, and both are trying to correct their mistakes by not admitting they made a mistake.

Sheesh!! Obama makes mistakes too!!! He is human you know..... why you people want to make him, or the new Fins leadership God like is beyond comprehension!!!!

Oh yeah, Anthony....
I don't think Armando is sharing his political viewpoint on anything.... he's probably an Obama guy.... but does one have to think Obama is perfect like God in order to vote for him?

Do you have to believe the Fins are perfect in order to be a Dolfan?

It's possible to point out mistakes or shifting positions an organization takes, and yet still support them.

The same goes for Obama. Fanatics have a hard time separating reality from fiction. Just because Armando isn't a fanatic doesn't mean he's not a big Lib like you.

There were 3-4 winnable games that were lost in 2007 simply due to poor decisions by the coaching staff. I think this year's staff, were they on the Dolphins sidelines during 2007, probably would have won those games.

Armando, stick with sports and lose the analogies, especially ones tying the Fins with any political candidate in an election year. Both presidential candidates have changed their minds and personally, I prefer someone willing to change their mind than someone who is so inflexible they keep doing the same wrong thing hoping it will eventually work.

By reading Armando's blog every day you will come to determine that, in fact, the Dolphins are the ABSOLUTE WORST THING ON THE PLANET EARTH.

Worse than the Holocaust, genocide in Darfur, the Asian Tsunami of 2004 and cancer - combined.

I read your column for football, period. To see a blatant political comment inserted into a football piece is despicable and further diminishes any journalistic credibility you have. I would only remind you that accusing Obama of "flip flopping" is simply parroting the RNC's talking points, and ignores the same behavior from McCain. You are a disgrace.

Mando, loved the swipe at Obama and loved it more that it is true and it is bugging the kool-aid drinkers who follow him like zombies.

Hey, Armando you missed the common theme between Obama and the Dolphins: Change.

He changes his stance whenever the wind blows. They change their ticket prices (for the worse) every season, no matter how bad they were the year before.

Hey Dat RoRo, Mando can obviously speak for himself. But if he makes it sound like some things are bad with this organization, it's because some things are bad with the organization.

They haven't made the playoffs in 7 seasons and they were the worst team in the league last year. What do you want? Rose petals and perfume smells?

Dude -- keep your political views to yourself..weak

Mando, you write a great football column/blog but interjecting a flippant political remark that isn't even accurate should be left to people who know better. Obama said the exact same thing about taking a measured approach in Iraq in a debate way back in September. It's documented. YouTube it.

Stick to what you know best. (Football.)

I love it when someone uses a politician as an example and their political party troopers come flying out in defense making accusations and speculations. It's very funny. Relax people, it was just an example. Everyone is wound so tight.

There are kool-aid drinkers on both sides. There are zombies on both sides.

Nevertheless, it remains inappropriate for a Miami Dolphins reporter to display his political stance in a blog about the Dolphins.

Oh, oh, Armando. You stirred up the Obama legion by using truth against them. Bad journalist. Don't you know journalists are supposed to follow him like robots, admire his oratory gifts and nevermind on unimportant things like facts, truth, questionable experience, questionable friendships and connections and flip-flopping on positions?

Bad boy, Armando. And thank you for having the b@lls to do it. God bless the Miami Herald for having you.

Justin, it's his blog. Mando can say whatever he wants about whatever he wants.

Armando, I believe you to be the only journalist who has actually taken Barack Hussien Obama to task for changing positions. Thank you.

Mom, it is inappropriate and it will impact the number of people who tune in if he keeps it up.

Is it a flip-flop to refuse to vote for a bill you sponsored? (See John McCain and Immigration)

Never mind, I forgot the term flip flop only applies to Democrats. It can never be applied to the great patriots of the Republican Party.

I don't know what all the hate about flip flops is. I love flip flops. Sometimes I walk around the house in nothing but flip flops. Does Obama do that too? Cool! I hope McCain doesn't do that. Icky.

I would pay more money to see me if they brought me back. Now that Showtime fired me, I can use the extra dough.

Justin, are we still on for tonight? I bought some new candles to make it more romantic.

Justin, go to your room. No dinner. And no porn!

Dude, I have appreciated your football coverage for years. You are the best in the region. But I didn't realize you knew politics, too. Great job.

When are you on the radio again? I'd like to call and discuss this topic on air.

Ignorance is bliss.

Bliss? That's the name of the candle I bought!

It is just like the left-wing socialists to try to keep Armando from commenting on Obama.

Free speech is a right in these United States, people.

Mando, are you a Nader guy or a McCain guy or what?

Aaaaahhhh...Carmela! That was my first good laugh of the morning! Well done.

Free speech is a right in the United States.

Someone should give the drafters of the Patriot Act a heads up.

Nobody is trying on infringe on his freedom of speak.

I am just warning that continuing to voice his political beliefs will impact his readership.

I wonder if there would be any commentary on Armando's Obama comment if he had praised the guy? I think not.

To try to squelch a guy because he doesn't share your opinion by saying this is a stupid football blog is disengenuous.

Read the heading on this blog: No taboo subjects.

Armando, you go boy.

... Yeah, his readership might go up. He got my attention. I'll be back.

Schmoopy, honestly, why do you care if it impacts his readership? Based on the number of comments this morning, it has actually helped readership and certainly web page hits. So calm down. Please save your energy for tonight!

"Your boyfriend has been really hard on me lately."

Ugghhh. A Cuban American male Republican spewing RNC and Rush Limbaugh talking points. How very very trite.

I've defended you when you cheered about the Dolphins not making the playoffs a few years back, but I take that back, Obama flip Floping? are you an idiot or just dumb? You couldn't of possibly have paid attention to what Obama has repeatedly said about the war on Iraq, before you make a outrageous comment like that at least be accurate. Obama has been saying the same thing about the war on Iraq. Get your facts straight you Idiot.

Remember, if the red states had their way, you and your swarthy tush would be back on the boat. . . .

Go to the Lexis/Nexis down at the Herald library. Obama is saying today about Iraq exactly what he was saying in October 07...you could look it up....or you can get your ideas from the Noise Machine.

Also, if millions of people sent you $50, $100, $200 and you totalled it up and it came to over $120 million; then the rich folks saw that something special was happening and they started giving to the tune of another $150 million...what kind of idiot would you have to be to settle for $84 million. Especially if you were putting together a ground game in every precinct in the country? C'mon, this is a sports blog, but any sports fan knows strategy you can't fault! Obama is not only a pretty decent hoopster...he's proving he'd be a hell of a GM.

This is from the Washington Post, which I remind people is not exactly a conservative newspaper:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Top Obama Flip-Flops

1. Special interests In January, the Obama campaign described union contributions to the campaigns of Clinton and John Edwards as "special interest" money. Obama changed his tune as he began gathering his own union endorsements. He now refers respectfully to unions as the representatives of "working people" and says he is "thrilled" by their support.

2. Public financing Obama replied "yes" in September 2007 when asked if he would agree to public financing of the presidential election if his GOP opponent did the same. Obama has now attached several conditions to such an agreement, including regulating spending by outside groups. His spokesman says the candidate never committed himself on the matter.

3. The Cuba embargo In January 2004, Obama said it was time "to end the embargo with Cuba" because it had "utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro." Speaking to a Cuban American audience in Miami in August 2007, he said he would not "take off the embargo" as president because it is "an important inducement for change."

4. Illegal immigration In a March 2004 questionnaire, Obama was asked if the government should "crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants." He replied "Oppose." In a Jan. 31, 2008, televised debate, he said that "we do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation."

Finally, notice the date. At the time Obama was maintaining he would get the troops out of Iraq with "no preconditions."

Within 45 days he changed that significantly to his current stance which is he'll get the troops out "but with preparations," meaning a slow draw-down that depends on the conditions on the ground rather than a withdrawal regardless. That is another flip-flop.

Any Democrat who says Barack Obama has not flip flopped is ignoring the facts.

That said, any Republican who foolishly believes his candidate is not guilty of the same is showing their significant ignorance as well.

They both flip flop. That is how politics works.

Hey AO: Your ethno-racism is showing. There is nothing wrong with being Cuban-American or male or a Republican.

There is also nothing wrong with coming to a swamp called South Florida in the early 60s and building it into an international metropolis. Yeah, you tool, Cubans did that.

Oh, and we also elected five (count 'em, 5) members to Congress despite having less than 1.5 million Cubans in the entire country. That is political saavy and democracy in action, you left-behind welfare-state lover.

And guess what? We're having babies who are Americans and love their country and love their Cuban heritage. And that is your worst nightmare you redneck socialist because those babies can grow up to be president someday.

@ Carmela DeCesare: lol!

It's amazing to me how a political comment sparked the quickest and largest outpouring of comments on this blog in months. Personally I thought the analogy could have related better if Armando just said, "flip-flopped more than a politician" since they all 'flip-flop' and I would prefer that the writer keep political discussion out of this football blog.

Obviously based on a lot of the comments, people have more to say about politics than they do about football, and I suggest they go to a political blog to do so, so I can actually read some football related comments which is why I read this blog. I come here so Armando can provide a starting point for a football discussion, not a serious of rants about who's right and wrong on wars and the economy.

As far as the pricing goes, if you think the ticket prices have risen, look at direcTV's NFL package. I remember when that started just a few years ago and now it's more than quadrupled in price. And don't say it's the price of gas because apparently the satellites aren't gas powered.

Great topics, Mando. Both of them. Thank you.

I just want to clarify that only the first 'Justin' was me (the post about sticking to what he knows). The other Justin may very well have the same name but I don't need him riding my coattails or seemingly pretending to be me if that was the case.

The way this thread has degenerated is a perfect example as to why Mando needs to keep things focused on what he knows best.

Politics is a dirty game. Anyone who follows their political party in lockstep is an idiot and there seems to be a lot of idiots on this blog. Don't take your politics too seriously because the people you vote for really don't care that much about you. If you haven't figured that out by now, I don't know what to tell you. It's an elitist game and not a grassroots movement. When someone puts together a real grassroots movement, please let me know.

Do you people even know what Sally's political views are? Did you ever think it was possible that he dislikes both candidates but chose Barack for some arbitrary reason? I'm not saying this is the case, but think about it before you go off on your hate rants. I think both candidates are terrible. I'm debating on whether or not to skip this year, because I think both guys are sub par for the job.

And Mr. Bungle hit it right on the head. Lets not get too caught up in our emotions, people. The moment you stop to analyze your position is the moment you become an idiot. Now, back to the Fins, because politics SUCK.

This whole thing about Brett Favre has gotten way out of control. The rumors about Brett having an "itch" to play are very true, but they are out of context. Brett wasn't talking about football. When he said he had an itch to play, he was talking about beer pong.

"There is also nothing wrong with coming to a swamp called South Florida in the early 60s and building it into an international metropolis. Yeah, you tool, Cubans did that."

Ummm.... no, they didn't.

Tinshaker I feel on the direcTV thing I've had it for 10 years just so i can watch all the Phin games here in orlando but the thing that bothers me the most is the extra 100 you have to throw down for the games to be in HD when I already pay for there Full HD package

Yeah I'd rather not hear about politics on a football blog. That reminds me of last year in an Alabama game when the commentator started asking the other one about what's britney spears doing with her career. the other commentator was like who cares this is a football game

Price raising sucks but their ad campaing isn't going to sell tickets. Miami is a fair weather city just look at the crouds at heat games last year. If we get to the playoffs then next year they'll sell tickets. If we win games the stadium will be full, but this year I think will be like last year where we lose are home field advantage because half of the stands are filled witth the other teams fans. Quite frankly I think the price doesn't matter and whether we win doesn't matter we should be fans who go to the stadium to support the team win or lose, rain or shine. I was practically surounded at the cheatriots game last year their was more chearing win they scored a touchdown then when we stopped them 3 and out. but this is miami so whenever it is that we do have a winning record I'm sure everyone will jump on the bandwagon and come out to the games and fill the sports bars

man for some reason I have an urge to drink kool-aid

Thanks for the political commentary in here. Dont really care about your views but thanks anyway.

Your article was a waste of time. It is called a recession and is why ticket prices are down. Now the Phins want to raise ticket prices, are you seriously wondering what the problem is?

Keep up the worthless writing.

what a waste. politics have no place in the comments, and also, no place in your elementary school level blog writing.

Speaking of worthless writing ... that little love note you left on my pillow was unreadable, you little tease! Your handwriting needs some mega serious cleanup. I did love the chocolate heart, though. Loved it!

Looking at all of these comments, I'd say Mando hit the nail on the head:

There are Dolfans out there that will believe anything the organization says, even when it's obvious they are flip flopping on promises.

And there are Obama followers that believe anything he says, even when it's obvious he's flip flopping on promises.

Both groups jump all over Mando when he points out the truth, because they're kool aid drinking fanatics.

There are kool aid drinkers on everything so that shouldn't be a surprise. Nothing is supposed to be off topic but I really hate to see political crap in a sports blog. If I wanted that there are plenty of other places to do it on this site or in that paper.

Obama flip flops because he wants to win. McCain flip flops because he wants to win. Bush flip flopped until he got elected then he just did whatever the hell he wanted for 8 years. They are politicians, its what they do.

The Dolphins didn't want to raise prices but what can they do? Tickets sales will be down until we start winning, thats life. They want to make money and the best way to do this is to raise prices.

If you don't like something there are 2 options now: don't participate or go blog and find others who support you and make you feel good about yourself again lol. Mando, you struck out on this one unless you just wanted a bit-hfest.

As bad as this blog post might be, it is still a hundred times better than anything I ever write. How in God's name do I even still have a job?

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