For sports teams, the best rivalries are geographic (Mizzou-KU) or have long histories of battling for championships and prestige (Lakers-Celtics). Unfortunately for Sporting Kansas City fans and marketers, the soccer club has neither.
But that's not going to stop the team from attempting to stoke a quasi-rivalry with the Chicago Fire into full-blown, old-fashioned fan hatred. The best way to do accomplish this? Through free food and philanthropy, of course.
Sporting announced this morning that it had partnered with the five
local Firehouse Subs locations to give fans free medium subs (with
the purchase of a drink and chips) the day after each Fire loss all season
long. Whoo! (Fat City's Jonathan Bender says the sammies
are pretty decent.) Last year the Fire lost 12 times in 30 games,
so you could be eating cheap lunches regularly this summer. You have to
say the corny line, "Put out the Fire" to the cashier to get the free eats, but that's a
small price to pay.
But SKC's plan to get fans rooting against Chicago doesn't stop with
grub. Team president Robb Heineman tweeted recently that for
every goal scored against the Fire this season, the club will donate
$500 to Livestrong, the cancer-research nonprofit that SKC's new stadium
will be named for. Last season the Fire had 38 goals tallied against
them. That's going to be a big check at the end of the year.
If charity and free sandwiches can't get you to cheer, you must really