The Seattle Supersonics left the state of Washington to relocate the franchise to Oklahoma City only months ago. The move brought a lot of drama, and pain to Seattle fans. Since losing the Los Angeles Rams franchise in 1994, the city of Los Angeles has been shopping for a potential NFL team to represent the large market for some time now. But will that void in LA be filled by the Chargers?
The process of relocating a professional sports franchise is not an easy one. That could be one reason why the Chargers have hired Wasserman Media Group (WMG) to market the team in L.A. and Orange County. That specific market accounts for roughly 30% of the team’s luxury suites and club seats currently in San Diego. The LA Times has called the move “an initial step” toward relocation. But Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani claimed that the newly formed partnership “has nothing whatsoever to do with the team staying or going.”
Besides being known as one of the leading global sports management companies, WMG’s website also states that consulting is one of the groups areas of expertise. Specifically it states “WMG works with some of the largest and most successful companies in the world and manages their marketing strategies, develops strategic alliances, and drives innovative programs to elevate their brands.” Does this suggest that WMG will create an alliance between Los Angeles and the Chargers organization?
Could Phillip Rivers and the Bolts be the next franchise to relocate, or is WMG really just located in a great place to help San Diego market its team? San Diego’s success may suggest that this is only for marketing purposes or to bring in more revenue during the tough economic state. WMG would be a great choice to market any sports team, as WMG represents many of the top organizations and companies in the world including David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy organization, A.C. Milan, many of the English Premiere League teams (Newcastle, Liverpool, Reading, Totenham, Rangers..), and almost every team in the NBA. Although WMG has dealt with many storied franchises, the Chargers would be the first NFL franchise on the client list.
On the other hand, the poor record the Oakland Raiders had the past several seasons could make them more of a candidate for relocation than the Chargers. Owner Al Davis has shown his unpredictability last season, so with Oakland, anything is possible. Maybe changing locations will help the team (Using OKC in the NBA as a comparison, maybe it won’t). Signing Dynasty 2009 Draft Client Kevin Grant to strengthen the Raider defense could be a nice addition as well.