The owners of the Boston Red Sox were preoccupied with sagging TV ratings and hired marketing consultants who urged the team to place a greater emphasis on “good-looking stars” and “sex symbols,” according to an excerpt from a book co-authored by former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. …
On Nov. 2, 2010, a group gathered at Fenway Park to review results of a $100,000 marketing research project the Red Sox had commissioned in response to the drop in TV ratings.
The book stated the marketing report said: “(W)omen are definitely more drawn to the ‘soap opera’ and ‘reality-TV’ aspects of the game … They are interested in good-looking stars and sex symbols,” parenthetically citing All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia as an example of the latter.
“They (the consultants) told us we didn’t have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle,” Epstein is quoted as saying. “We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We’d become too big. It was the farthest thing removed from what we set out to be.”
- Francona book: Red Sox owners concerned with image (boston.com)