Fans had to order generic Capitals jerseys at Verizon Center on Monday...
Struggling Wizards Look to Caps Fans for Support
It’s no secret that Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports and Entertainment owns both the Caps and the Wizards (and the Mystics, and Verizon Center, and pretty much everything else you love), and a certain amount of cross-promotion comes with the territory. Caps games now kick off with a video reel including highlights from all the Monumental Sports teams, and if you think I’m going to criticize Monumental Sports for marketing this way, you’re completely wrong.
Here’s how I see it: First, D.C. teams drawing from one another’s fan bases builds diversity among fans and ensures that we’ll continue to take an interest even as each of our teams experience their respective inevitable highs and lows over the years. When it comes to identifying new fans for the Caps or the Wizards, people who are already big enough fans to come out to games are low-hanging fruit, and highly likely to enjoy the experience of rooting for a new team.
Second, the greater D.C. sports community benefits enormously from some of its teams being united through ownership and branding. This unification strengthens our sense of community and makes us feel, more than ever, that being a fan of DC’s teams gives us common ground. It makes us a part of something.
Third, and perhaps least compelling, is that cross-promotion, albeit slightly less aggressive, has been taking place at Caps games for a long time. With the Wizards and Caps sharing a stadium, basketball imagery, merchandise and ticket sale opportunities have been around for a long time – to such an extent that the new, greater overlap may have gone unnoticed by some. The fact that the cross-promotion hasn’t felt aggressive is a testament to how tactfully Monumental Sports is handling its marketing efforts.
If you’re a frequent Caps game attendee – and especially if you remember the days when the Caps were rebuilding and needed all the support they could get – consider picking up tickets to a Wizards game. They have a table on the 100-level during Caps games.