In my time as managing editor and lead writer at Raw Charge, I got pushed onto a load of public relation emailing lists with only a fraction of them being relevant. Though my contributions to Raw Charge are now vastly dialed back, I still get all the PR emails from the wide variety of lists that I’m on.
Case in point: Tuesday morning’s lead email in my inbox reads:
Tampa Is 2017’s 2nd Worst City for Basketball Fans – WalletHub Study
And my reaction to that is to roll my eyes while uttering, “Well, duh.”
This wasn’t the first time I had gotten this PR email – a variation of it, with different data had been sent out during 2017’s NCAA basketball tournament (or just slightly before) to declare the Tampa or general Tampa Bay marketplace the 2nd worst college basketball market (via WalletHub), which remains an eye-rolling declaration and a piece o information akin to drought conditions lacking water.
I mean, that’s it, isn’t it? Tampa/St. Petersburg lacks ties to the NBA and the local college basketball team (the University of South Florida Bulls) isn’t engraved on the collective consciousness of the Tampa Bay region like other major schools are in the country. This isn’t trying to say there aren’t basketball fans in Tampa Bay, it’s more a case of saying it’s a shallow market and with good reason: We’re not tied to the game in the way other markets are tied to basketball. The Orlando Magic may be all of 90 miles away, but that doesn’t mean a large fraction of the Tampa Bay metroplex commute that distance to games on a regular basis.
WalletHub’s full report on the Best and Worst cities for basketball can be found here, but personally? I encourage a click-thru. If they thought to put Tampa Bay, a non-basketball market, on the list and send out PR emails to drive home the notion, I put into question the entire notion of why they’re judging specific markets. Do they mark Reno, Nevada as a poor football town or Houston, Texas as weak with hockey? It’d help if the markets were involved in the sport before you push analytical judgment upon them.