San Diego Padres: The Tone-Deaf Padres


As 2017 approaches, the inability of the San Diego Padres to bring fans out to Petco Park reveals their ignorance of the fan base.

On the plus side, the San Diego Padres announced that fans can exchange Chargers’ gear for $25 credit at the team store and other locations. The Chargers’ gear will then be distributed to charitable organizations.

Otherwise, the front office, including Ron Fowler, a long-time San Diego native who should know better, continues to misread the fan base.

“I have more people telling us that they want uniforms consistent with the old Pacific Coast League Padres, the red, white and blue than brown,” Executive Chairman Fowler recently told Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts on a Voice of San Diego podcast.

“Say what?” would probably best describe the blogger and fan reaction to that statement. In the meantime, local and national reaction to the Padres’ new uniforms (announced in November) has been overwhelmingly negative. R. J. Anderson of CBS Sports called the new look “as generic as they can get.”

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And then the team trotted out the new promotional schedule that looks remarkably similar to last year’s and includes the usual fedora, cap and sunglasses. Any hope that the absence of Mike Dee would lead the Padres to pay more attention to San Diego fan opinion pretty much went out the window. A team expected to lose a whole lot more games than it wins needs bodies coming through the gates, and creative promotional giveaways helps with the body count.

In contrast, the Giants, a team that packs AT&T Park for every home game, will give out these items in April alone: Opening Day Calendar, Giants SF Heart Flag, Golden Glove Foam Finger, Johnny Cueto Shimmy Bobble, Brandon Crawford Backpack with Cape, Giants Player Scarf and a Pence-on-Board Plush Window Cling.

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The now departed Dee brought Wayne Partello in as head of marketing and communications. Both had been with the Miami Dolphins, and Partello also has ties with Entercom (the new and mystifying radio broadcaster for the Padres) as well as the Boston Red Sox. He has no experience with the San Diego market, but his job is to attract fans to games. This promotional lineup shows both laziness and a disrespect for his target audience as well as a total lack of understanding or connection to San Diego Padres’ fans.