Do you think Donald Sterling or Jerry Reinsdorf are in tune with bloggers and fans on the internet? Probably not. Although there's a good chance Sterling is a player over on Craig's List adult services section.
You can't kill the older owners in sports. They're from a different generation. That said, not using email, texting, Twitter or Facebook and never gauging the blogosphere puts the old dudes a step behind. It's exactly why NBA commissioner David Stern should embrace Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban instead constantly busting his chops. It's funny that Sterling has admitted in court to being a huge fan of elicit activities with escorts and is battling several racial discrimination lawsuits, yet Cuban is the one constantly depositing bucks in the NBA's Bank of Ridiculous Fines. The point is that Cuban is using all of the cool tools on the Internet to stay in touch and tune with fans.
When Fanhouse's Ariel Helwani ripped a misguided HDNet ad campaign, one of the first guys leaving a comment was Cuban:
The point of the campaign is that if you are already an MMA fan and you know who Josh Barnett or Fedor are, then HDNet is the place to go. We aren't trying to create MMA fans, we are trying to let them know where to watch the sport. And it has worked. Verizon, Direct, Dish have seen great results from it.
And of course there are so many visitors to NY, that there is carry over to other parts of the country as well. Which makes us very, very happy. Wait till you see the ads for NY Confessions.
This has to be one of the most bizarre ad campaigns I have ever seen. First, let's be real: most New Yorkers probably don't know the answer to this question. I think that's the point they are trying to make here. Maybe. If so, why ask such a question if you aren't going to provide the answer?
He also brings up the point that Time-Warner Cable recently dumped HDNet:
I guess the thought process was that people would be so intrigued by this face that they will feel compelled to subscribe to HDNet. Only problem is HDNet was recently taken off Time Warner Cable, one of the main cable outlets in New York City. So even if they wanted to find out, they would have a hard time doing so.
Back to Cuban. An MMA show on HDNet doesn't want to help develop new MMA fans? Maybe this is simply a big push for New Yorkers to dump cable and switch to satellite. Of course, that's virtually impossible in a city so cramped and the fact that a dish has to be pointed in a certain direction to receive a good signal. Nice try by Cuban. But he's wrong. As the king of misleading and confusing headlines, I can tell him the straight approach works a lot better.