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April 12, 2004

Whose Town is it Anyway?

Angels or Dodgers?

Well, it’s the Lakers’ actually, but let’s stick to baseball.

Arte Moreno is smart to blitz Los Angeles with ads showing his players standing in front of the Hollywood sign and funnin’ at the beach. He’d be smarter still if he chose Newport.

The “Marketing 101” and cheaper beer thing rings up sales, and the public relations campaign is exemplary, but only goes so far.

Nice article by Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, by the way, (“His Devilish Vision,” April 4, 2004). Bill Shaikin is a great writer, and will win awards for the Times.

But it only goes so far.

L.A. is the Dodgers’ town. Period. L.A. will always be the Dodgers’ town. Even after fifteen years of agony, the Dodgers still matter more in Los Angeles than the Angels could even dream of duplicating with “branding.”

The Dodgers survived Fox, for God’s sake. The Angels only had to survive Disney.

The World Series was special for Anaheim, but by November of 2002, no one outside of Orange County really cared. Not genuinely. You see more Yankees caps around Los Angeles than you do the haloed variety.

Angelinos remember 1988 in their city more vividly than they do 2002 in the next county. They remember 1981 more vividly, and 1965, 1963 and 1959.

Los Angeles fans remember ’85, ’74, ’66 and ’62, for that matter, more vividly than they do a couple years ago in another county.

The Angels may very well be the better team in 2004, and then again they might not. Mr. Moreno can market his product any way he likes, anywhere he likes. Go for it, sir. All the best. A tip of the cap to ya. Tip of the Dodger cap to you, that is….

Howard Cole

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