The Miami Marlins, which dumped a number of their star players last season shortly after unveiling a gaudy, taxpayer-funded stadium, have turned to Jeffrey Group to turn around their relationship with fans, according to The Miami Herald.
Jeffrey Group president Mike Valdes-Fauli told the newspaper that “the Marlins are cognizant of how important it is moving forward that they communicate better with fans and stakeholders across the community.”
South Florida baseball fans are used to fire sales. The Marlins got rid of most of their talented, and high-priced, players after winning the World Series in both 1997 and 2003. However, the most recent sell-off, in which the team dumped former Met Jose Reyes and pitchers Mark Buerhle and Heath Bell, among others, was especially stinging to fans because the team used taxpayer dollars to build a stadium with extravagances such as fish tanks behind home plate. USAToday quoted Miami talk show host Jeff DeForrest as saying, “The next move obviously is to have Fidel Castro throw out the first pitch next year…that's the only way they could alienate the fans more than they have.”
Previous agency RBB Public Relations was hired in late 2002 with a similar mandate: bring scorned fans back to the box seats. Against long odds, the Marlins won the World Series less than a year later.