Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 7/22
Have you ever done a study on the composite average Jazz fan?
Oh, we have. We do extensive market research…We have literally longinitudal* data going back almost 30 years, about y–what makes up a Jazz fan and a lot of different components of the fan base as well as how we as an organization are doing in, from our game operations to our basketball side of things.
And then we do a lot of market research, that now you can do, through social media, and get immediate responses as well on some interesting things. And we use all of that. The NBA has some very good analytics and information, that they measure all the teams, and so we can do some comparisons on how we’re doing.
One of the big areas that we’re really looking at is the millenial. We found that the millenial is really relating to basketball and the NBA and that’s an area of focus that we’re doing a lot in building as well, is that young fan base.
And one of the reasons that we’ve really had Junior Jazz as well is we want young kids to enjoy playing basketball, know the game of basketball, from both a male and a female standpoint, and then grow up in, wanting to, you know, support the team.
* Not a typo.
Jimmer Fredette just signed with San Antonio. Would you ever sign a local kid that’s had some success?
We, you know, one of the things that we’ve always felt is important is to try, is really, to keep the lines between basketball and marketing very strongly separated, and not letting a business decision or a marketing decision come into the equation before it should, as it relates to basketball talent.
Now, having said that, you know, when Jimmer was actually drafted, we felt like there was, now, we were at a point, as where we looked at him, in actually saying, he truly does fit into the mold, of being selected right around the time, and his talent level matched the time that we felt we were drafting. And so, we really, we took a hard look at Jimmer Fredette at the time.
We ended up getting Alec Burks, and by the way, a lot of our coaching staff said, were extremely happy that we got Alec Burks, because Jimmer actually went two picks before that.
And we had actually had conversations to look at the possibility of having Jimmer be on the Jazz team, ’cause we saw, and knew, OK, his talent matched where he’s gonna be drafted. And now, an added value would be the ou–aspects of what it could mean marketing-wise and community-wise.
What’s the attitude of the Jazz towards international and foreign-born players?
Well, first let me say that I think it, that I, it, this speaks to, is the growth of the international player, it speaks to the growth of this game, and why we are truly the fastest-growing sport internationally, not only nationally, but internationally, in, is there, and it’s globally, all over the world now, players are coming from all areas. And it’s exciting, and it’s bringing the world together, and, what we’re doing. …
We now have seven [foreign-born] players. I mean, Brazil now. Australia, France, Germany. It’s just remarkable where all of our players are coming from, and the involvement that we’re seeing, with it…
Now, one of the funny side notes of this is, I’ve made a big point, as I talked to our players about being proud of, if they’re an American citizen, standing and putting their hand over their heart. My message is gonna be a little more challenging this year now, having so many players now, being from foreign countries.
And I’ll have the side conversations with them, that we also respect those countries, and we expect them to just stand at attention but not their hand over their heart. (1280)