Zac Snyder had a great piece on how the Lions are built to win. It doesn’t just end on the field, as everything seems to have changed in the organization. Everything. When William Clay Ford Sr. decided to hire Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand to run the Detroit Lions, I was skeptical. Well not the best term, I’m skeptical that bigfoot exists. I was livid–yes that’s the word–at the hiring.
WCF simply hired Millen Jr. and his cronie to run the team. Nothing will ever change. Boy was I wrong. I had season tickets during the Millen regime and was probably contacted once a year–with a bill. If I called sales, the reps were short and unhelpful. Even the employees at Ford Field seemed to be going through the motions. I renewed my tickets last season and just like the extra effort on the team, I’ve noticed extra effort everywhere else.
Obviously the organization has put an emphasis on making practices much more accessible, and the draft party and pre-game street parties are more abundant and just plain better–but it’s not even those things that I am talking about. It’s as simple as getting a season ticket bill in the mail that’s professionally assembled with payment options and easy to explain features. Previously it would have been a white envelope with a “pay by this date or lose your tickets” statement. It’s the Lions sports bag–although obviously not too expensive–that was sent last week that is a nice little “thank you for being a fan”. I think I got a Christmas card once with my name spelled wrong from Millen. It’s also very encouraging that I’m receiving surveys looking for my opinion on making gameday better, rather than the “my opinion is your opinion” approach from before. Everyone I deal with–from ticket takers to ticker reps–is just plain nicer and/or happier. Change in any organization rests not only in the results, but in the way business is conducted.
While the most important improvement is on the field, the dozens of minor improvemnents are a clear indication that this organization is not only on the right track, but looking to stay there for a long time.