One of the major contributing factors to last years marketing success can be accredited to the cross-marketing strategies of Jeff Cogen. This was acknowledged by lead sports personality in Nashville, George Plaster. Plaster said upon the announcement that the Predators will not be on his network, the undisputed leader of sports media in Nashville, he thought very highly of Cogen, and praised his vision for the team. One of Cogen’s bold moves was bringing the Preds to WBUZ, the area’s modern rock station. After a successful year, the sister station has now changed formats to sports talk, possibly creating even more avenues for Predators media coverage.
Personal Note: To be honest, nothing is more annoying than listening to NFL talk radio day after day. You’ll get two to three calls in a row that aren’t bad, then one guy will call in and ask “How do you think them Titans are gonna do this year?”, which is answered throughout the day, everyday, for the past 4 months. It’s like playing Super Mario Brothers, and right after you beat the 3rd castle your brother goes up to the NES box and presses reset. When I heard this news was confirmed today, I wanted to turn flips and pop the bubbly stuff. And a big credit goes to J.R. Lind for breaking this nearly a month ago.
Last year, the Predator fans were split between groans and cheers upon hearing their team was to be broadcasted on WBUZ, the modern rock station. Some viewed it as a chance to promote to a new audience, some were irked that the local sports giant WGFX no longer retained the rights and were worried about receiving substandard coverage. Other even called into question the lack of signal of the station (which is still an issue for some areas). With very little dispute, WBUZ delivered on all fronts. Without having to kneel before the Titans and Vanderbilt basketball, the Preds received top billing and were promoted heavily throughout the day to a new audience, its viewed the decision to sign w/ the Cumulus backed station has been a major win. One has to think the move to an all sports formatted station will only increase the coverage.
There’s nothing wrong with WGFX promoting the Titans more than the Predators. They are the flagship station for the Titans, and feature two former players in prominent roles on two of their three major programs. And while it’s a fact that not all of us like, football will likely be king in this area of the world forever. What changed the tide for the Preds and 104.5 was the change from Vanderbilt to U of Tennessee sports network. While Vanderbilt and Joe Fisher had modest pregame and postgame shoes, Tennessee Vols coverage is endless; hours before and hours after for football, and men’s basketball isn’t much different either.
This is not the first time Nashville has had two talk formatted FM stations. WNFN, 106.7 FM was talk formatted as recent as 2009. Their biggest draw? Middle Tennessee State football. Nothing against the Blue Raiders from Murfreesboro, but in a area with two pro franchises, two SEC schools in the state with a host of other colleges fielding alums, and loyalties split between Atlanta and Cincinnati on the baseball diamond… you get the idea. The mistake of not having a major team anchoring the lineup will not likely be followed. With the Preds radio deal already in the building, the time could be right for a second station to take off in Nashville. And it’s overdue, say many of the Predator fans.
Don’t believe it? Check out their facebook wall, which PredsNation has tagged like graffiti on a bridge.