Milbury Finally Makes Sense

I’ve never been a huge fan of ex-Islander GM Mike Milbury. In fact, I’ve always considered him a bit of a simpleton. But I think I might have been wrong about him. Greg Logan over on Newsday‘s Islanders Blog has some interesting stuff from Milbury, now doing higher-level managerial stuff for the Islanders’ organization.
Milbury’s take on season tickets is especially sophisticated:

How do you treat people who don’t want to be a full season-ticket holder? There are people who either can’t afford to become a full season-ticket holder or don’t have the time. I feel people who buy partial plans should be treated like a season-ticket holder. They don’t get the same benefits, but still, get them the plans early and give them their choices…It’s a new day and age when it comes to marketing to your fans, and giving them choices is a very legitimate way to go. Let’s give them the options up front. Let’s show them the menu and let them make their choices. We need to treat those people who don’t come to all 41 games with as much respect as we can.

It’s really such a brilliant deconstruction of the conventional wisdom. Obviously, teams want to sell as many season ticket packages as possible. But once those dry up, as they have on Long Island, you need to evolve. I’m always shocked when people have season tickets to things like baseball, basketball, and hockey (and even football). How do you make that kind of commitment? How do you just block out 41 parts of your life? Or even seven? I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my personal issues, but it can’t be just me who’s wired this way. People are busy and there’s a lot of competition for their attention. Season tickets seem almost quaint. Milbury sees that and he’s on top of it. Decade-long contracts for faded stars? Not so much. But season tickets? Yes.