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Building a regional character for the Phantoms

2010-12-17T01:01:00Z Building a regional character for the PhantomsBy Tim McManus -- Commentary Glens Falls Post-Star
December 17, 2010 1:01 am  • 

Sometime after the New Year, the Adirondack Phantoms will unveil their new mascot.

Excuse me, I meant "character." Apparently, if you hand enough money to a market consultant, that's the kind of sage advice you come back with.

Now, typically mascots - oops, there I go again - rank somewhere below the availability of a good hot dog vendor on the scale of things I care about during a game.

After a preseason game this year, I ran into a guy who knows Phlex intimately well. Night off? I asked.

Uh, no, he said. Didn't you see the second-period intermission?

In fact, no, I had not noticed that the Phantoms purple superhero had been flinging T-shirts into the crowd. My bad.

My indifference on the subject aside, it seems to mean much more to many of you. If I had to rank the two most popular blog comments over the past two years, they'd be in some order, "Fire Gilbert!" and "Phlex stinks."

I guess there's a disconnect here between what appeals to me as a bachelor sports writer and what interests the rest of you. But if you care, I care. At least for the next 500 words.

The new character - see what I did there - will have a local identity. A top-secret source in the Phantoms organization has leaked that and a few other details.

I'd tell you more, but I've been spit-sworn to secrecy. I can say that the name, if it's what I think it is, has a chance to catch.

Any step toward a regional identity is a good one. Even if the Phantoms end up staying here for five years - about as permanent a situation you find these days in the AHL - they will always be dogged by their perceived status as temporary.

So it got me thinking of a couple other things the Phantoms could do, besides win a few games, to become Adirondack's team. I offer them here free of charge, though if the Brookses want to pay me whatever ridiculous consulting fee they paid to come up with their "character," I prefer small, unmarked bills.

u Put Adirondack on the jersey. Where have those jerseys from last year's Albany series gone? Not only did they say Adirondack, but will anyone argue they weren't much sharper than their regular home ones? Teams put out jerseys for special occasions every time someone sneezes - primarily so they can sell them on eBay - so it can't be all that hard.

I see as many or more of those and the special 1980 USA replicas with the big "ADK" than I do regular jerseys in the stands. Geez, I wonder why?

u Produce a weekly live radio show on location. The point of having a live show is interaction with the audience. What they have now is nice, but it doesn't really matter whether it's live or taped.

Just take the show out to a restaurant each week. It would mean so much to the dedicated fans to have a place to come together and gather among like-minded folks. I can't tell you how many times I hear people asking for this.

This is how we get to know each other. It's how we get to know the players.

If the radio station can't provide this, the Phantoms shouldn't have agreed to a contract with them. Greenville has an on-location show. The Phantoms don't. Embarrassing.

Those are two biggies, but there's much more out there.

What else could the team to do make you feel more ownership over it? I'd like to hear your ideas.

I'm not so much interested in trotting out more Red Wings connections. The ideal is a separate identity. One rooted in the Adirondack tradition but with a foot in the future.

In the meanwhile, I'll be here working out the difference between a mascot and a character.

Tim McManus covers the Adirondack Phantoms. He may be reached at tmcmanus@poststar.com. Follow him on Twitter (@PSPhantoms).

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. tomahawk
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    tomahawk - December 18, 2010 9:36 pm
    The mascot is absolutely horrible. Thats the bottom line. No costume will help. The new radio broadcaster I heard people complain about also which I agree he is not near as good as Owen was last year. Yes lets have a hockey mascot that cant skate and entertain between periods. We are not stupid people up here in the Adirondacks. The one last year was a little rough to start but the last couple months he had us laughing and chanting and making the game experience enjoyable.The podcast at the beginning of the year Mr. Thompson said this Phlex would be so much better at getting the crowd going etc. well havent we found that to be the furthest thing from the truth. Stop trying to fix what isnt broken. Phlex and Owen were just fine and fans were happy. I should have just said ENVB your absolutely right and I second what you said.
  2. kennedy
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    kennedy - December 18, 2010 11:12 am
    As a Philly guy I really hope drastic changes arent made. Nixxing Phlex? I can't make a fedral case over that but I will say Phlex when in Philly was a very good mascot. (not sure if it's the same guy in the suit up there) But DON'T tinker w/ the logo or the name. Lets face it... Glens Falls won't be the teams final destination. Instead is going to serve as a 3 or 4 year stop-over. And from what I'm seeing based on the 2500 average in attendance I wouldnt be surprised if next year is the last year up there. I think the Brooks group needs to stengthen their ties w/ the parent group not distance it. I'm one who is hoping that the Phantoms will return closer to home. In the meantime the Brooks group should be working w/ the Flyers to perhaps have a few more games @ the Wells Fargo center in Philly. (Those games draw about 13k when held) I'd be interested in seeing them offer a 6 game package to play in Philly. In turn this would slightly reduce the box office burden in GF.- Phan since 96"
  3. Bill In Glens Falls
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    Bill In Glens Falls - December 17, 2010 4:35 pm
    LadyNeat: I am pretty sure that there have been at least two people in the Flex costume since the Phantoms came here.

    Between seasons, they advertised for someone to be the mascot and also to handle community relations.

    I do agree that the person inside the costume is important.

    I also agree there's a lot more that can be done in the community. They are doing some good things, but I think fans would come out for events with the Phantoms there.
  4. envb27
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    envb27 - December 17, 2010 4:04 pm
    PHLEX has been a tough sell here in GF. Last year PHLEX cared about kids, fans, and tried his absolute hardest to get the fans cheering,clapping,by baging on drum, glass etc. He knew how to skate, could throw tshirts w/out a gun & had fun. Presence in the community last year was lacking but it was not a full time postion in 09-10. If it had been, be rest assured MUCH more would have been accomplished. Everyone has a learning curve, this Phlex is supposed to have mascot experience, couldn't prove it by me. I have not seen him lead a crowd cheer once this year. PATHETIC Brooke's Brothers should have saved their money,& kept last years PHLEX. No amount of costume changes & calling attention to PHLEX's location is going to fix THIS broken mascot. Bring Back Camera Night that was always a fun and connecting experience. Jersey auction at the end of last year was good also!
  5. brian
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    brian - December 17, 2010 1:42 pm
    At the end of the day, it's the product on the ice that sells tickets or doesn't. Mascots are a distraction (which admittedly may not be a bad thing with the product we have but...)
  6. hattrick
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    hattrick - December 17, 2010 1:26 pm
    As far as jerseys and logos go, I'd like to see the 2nd logo, the circle with the "Adirondack" on the top and "Phantoms" on the bottom, and the Phantoms logo in the middle (not the Phili logo with just "Adirondack" pasted on top of it). It has the phantoms logo, and the locations name on it. It also looks like an old school logo, and that's what sells here. If you want to market the team here, make it old school.
  7. LadyNeat
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    LadyNeat - December 17, 2010 9:48 am
    Its not that Phlex as a costume stinks it is the person inside it. Having had the last version of Phlex in Philly and then going to Glens Falls and seeing the new Phlex. It was clear that the person(s) they had wearing the costume did not have the mascot concept down. I think that it was better later in the year after they had some time but still is about the personality of the person wearing whichever suit.
    They can happily rename whatever but if you do not have a person who can be a costumed mascot. Then it will never work.
    I agree about the Jerseys. When the Phantoms were in Philly they had at least 3 to 4 specialty jersey auctions. LIVE AUCTIONS in the restaurant in the Spectrum. The Jerseys went for thousands of dollars each. For wanting greater interaction with the team you could start with that. The team could have that live Jersey Auction on the Monday after they are worn or something. Pick a venue and bring out fans.

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