Any other yardstick and I’m screwed, but if a man’s life’s work is judged by whether or not he’s been asked to write more about Dan Snyder by the regulars at Snyder’s message board, ExtremeSkins.com, well, I’m playing with house money from here on.
Time was, any mention of Washington City Paper on that board was accompanied by something along the lines of “that free rag that nobody reads” or “that jealous d-bag with no future.” But late last week, the assembled Skins fans were so peeved by Snyder’s latest exploitation of their loyalty that they were actually calling out in our direction for help.
The offense involves the Redskins’ mass e-mail to those on the team’s marketing list (nobody with a conscience and/or a brain will ever call it a “waiting list” again) that the recipients thought was holiday greetings from the Redskins.
“Today the Washington Redskins are looking to the future,” the e-mail began. “As we prepare to leap forward to new heights, we realize progress cannot be stopped, but it can be driven. “As a passionate fan, we invite you to experience firsthand what progress means to the Washington Redskins and for the road that lies ahead.”
The “passionate” fans were then directed to click a “personalized link” so that they may “view this special message.” And what those who followed instructions got was not a “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!” or “Fab Kwanzaa!” of any sort.
No, it was a commercial for Audi, a big-time sponsor of Snyder’s football team, captioned “Season of Audi.” Nothing more. (Ad capture after the jump.)
The team attributes the confusion to an accidental failure to more clearly label the blasted email as an advertisement.
“We support our marketing partners,” says Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie, “and our digital agency inadvertently left off the sponsor logo from the email.”
Inadvertency notwithstanding, the response to the faux holiday greetings on Snyder’s message board was indeed “passionate.” And brutal. Typical was this from “Chachie,” a 44-year-old poster on ExtremeSkins:
“I thought I was getting some sort of personal appeal to the fan base that the team was working hard to right the current wrongs or at least a “newsletter” type video to keep morale up among the fans….I actually let out a verbal “WTF?” after opening the e-mail, enduring what I thought was a pre-video sponsorship ad, then finding out that was it. The ad. Nothing more. What a shuck-and-jive move by the total PR disaster that is Daniel Snyder.”
Regular Snyder watchers would have been suspicious from the start. He pulled the exact same fakey greeting card stunt last year around the holidays, and that campaign was also called “Season of Audi.”
So, what to do? Well, a personal cry for help came from ExtremeSkins’ member Dexter’s Manley: “This needs to be added to McKenna’s already legendary* Snyder hating A-to-Z guide,” he wrote. “The owner is a creep. Sending out emails like this one is sadly par for the course.”
Ouchie! And, remember, this is from the hardest core fans of the team.
Poor Snyder. Poor Audi.
*”Already legendary”? Huh? Oh! THAT!