Monday, March 23, 2009

Fronts: That 18-50 record? That's marketing's problem

It is taking a lot of reserve to avoid laughing like a hyena at this bit of news:
"The first public face of the K-Rock Centre’s operator has been let go from his job.

"Neil Shorthouse, who was the arena’s director of marketing and client services, is no longer with the arena." — Kingston Whig-Standard
One could have little to do with the other, but this is tragilarious. Who knows how good Shorthouse was at his job. Still, whoever's trying to market that building has to wear two giant millstones named Doug Springer and Larry Mavety (stop if you've heard this before). Springer, the Kingston Frontenacs owner, carries on like dickishness is next to Godliness and is all but rubbing fans' noses in it by giving a new contract to Mavety, the general mangler (not a typo).

At this point, Howie Meeker would squeak, "Stop it right there." Again, one could have little to do with the other. The K-Rock Centre does have other purposes outside of being a playpen for the sorriest owner/general manager combo to ever (dis)grace an Ontario Hockey League arena. The marketing problem is not so simple as the fact that the Springer Frontenacs, along among the 20 OHL teams, have missed the playoffs two consecutive seasons, but that represents a huge chunk.

Springer, of course, is not concerned. That's the whole point. He's not concerned. He's going to go on the local TV station and promise the public everything, then follow through on nothing. He's going to assure people that His Royal Mavesty (Rhymes With...) is an "astute hockey man," ignoring that OHL-worst string of 11 consecutive seasons without advancing past the first round of the playoffs (or that Mavety, as Mark Potter has noted, takes no responsibility for the players he drafts, even though that's where successful OHL teams, like the Belleville Bulls or Ottawa 67's, are assembled. (A classic Mav story, as related by Potter on

Nothing will really change in Kingston until the owner has a change of heart and mind and actually trusts someone with a full command of his mental faculties to look after the hockey operation. The Fronts basically did the same thing this season that they did last season. They managed to suck a little less over the final two months of the season, since it's easier to play when there is absolutely no pressure. The fact is they played .344 hockey

At least now it's clear: It was all Neil Shorthouse's fault. People say, when in doubt, blame the media, but in this case, blame the marketing guy.

It has been 519 days since Doug Springer promised to do "whatever it takes" to bring a winner to Kingston.

(Kinger will be hosting a call-in show tonight on TVCogeco in Kingston. Chances are, this might come up.)


kinger said...

7pm! Channel 13! Be there!

Big V said...

I was having a few drinks after curling the other night and I find out that one of the guys I just played is good friends with mav, so I asked jokingly if mav would be back next season... the response was.. "well of course he is" then there was an awkward silence, as we both tried to figure out what kind of question/response that was.

Obviously mavety has a way of convincing people close to him that he knows what he is doing.

Mavety needs to take the high road and retire... If he were part of any other organization he would have been gone before any of the coaches, and Hulton would still be around.