AN ELECTRONIC PLAGUE ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES

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If the TV goes dark on baseball, readers of the Ad Age Daily Fax won't be at a loss for something to do.

Sixty-seven readers came up with a fat roster of alternatives in a fax poll last week.

"I'll pay attention to my husband and have fabulous, riotous, incredible sex!! Or watch boxing," said one respondent.

And she wasn't the only one who would make a beeline for the bedroom.

But the biggest beneficiaries of a baseball strike would be pre-season football and reading, tied for first with each getting 20% of the votes.

Other contingency plans included playing golf, working around the house, shopping and taking short trips.

"Catch up on my reading and watch videotapes of the Stanley Cup playoff games," said one respondent.

Forty-three percent of respondents pointed their finger at both players and owners as the ones to blame for a strike. "They're both reptiles who should be locked together in a room with no windows," said one.

But 34% said the players were to blame, compared with 13% blaming the owners.

"The players are worried about retirement, pension and health benefits," one respondent said. "Well, if you make $1 million-plus a year, you should be smart enough to invest and save so you can take care of yourself." So there.

Players and owners weren't the only ones getting blamed. "It's the fans' fault," said one respondent. "They demand winning teams. Enough said."

With baseball making an early trip to the showers, 60% of sports fans will set their eyes on pre-season football. Golf was the second choice with 13%, followed by hockey with 7%.

While the fans are keeping themselves busy, what will baseball advertisers do?

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they thought marketers would redirect ads to other venues, specifically pro football.

One respondent was a little more creative and offered a variety of options, from Martha Stewart Living to the Discovery Channel to the Wiener Dog Summer Nationals.M

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