Minnesota Lynx To The Rescue

September 28, 2011

Twenty years. That’s how long it’s been since a Minnesota pro sports team won a title.

Yes, we’ve bemoaned the failure of our local teams to Peepshow readers before. And it has gotten worse lately. But on a weekend when the Vikes blew their third straight game, the Gophers lost to NDSU and our Twinkies closed in on 100 losses for the season, the Lynx offered a source of sporting joy as they reached the WNBA Finals.

To mark the occasion, we caught up with Aaron Seehusen, the team’s PR/marketing guy, to chat about this season’s success amid an otherwise dismal period for MN sports. The Lynx take on the Atlanta Dream in a series that begins Sunday.

So, what have the few days since the team beat the Phoenix Mercury to reach the WNBA Finals been like for your department?

Let me just say it feels good to be a wanted man! We’ve fielded several requests for players and coaches – both on the local and national level. I expect it to only get busier from here on out.

With so many other Minnesota sports teams struggling right now, the rise of the Lynx couldn’t have come at a better time. How often have you been getting this feedback lately?

Absolutely. It’s been the perfect storm. While we don’t wish ill will to any of our hometown teams, we are the only winning team and that’s brought out an entirely new fan base for us. And on the media side, we’ve heard it a lot.

The team has had a lot of star power this season, especially with Maya Moore’s arrival. Have you noticed opposing teams doing any marketing that has leveraged the Lynx being in town to sell tickets?

In a few markets, yes. Namely, Connecticut, LA and Atlanta. Surprised it didn’t happen more.

Back to Moore, having a player of that caliber obviously opens the door for a lot of cool marketing opportunities. What have been some of the most fun campaigns/tactics to be involved with since she was drafted? The airplane welcoming her to the Twin Cities that flew over Target Field was pretty cool.

You mentioned the airplane. She is just a marketing dream. So approachable, willing to do anything to help the team, on or off the court. She definitely has a sense of her own brand, and she’s very smart and astute.

WNBA attendance, viewership, merchandise sales and online traffic have all increased this year. What would you say have been the top reasons for this? Has the league successfully attracted a new fan demographic?

More than anything, I’d say because the talent level of the league has never been higher. The WNBA is in its 15th year and I think finally there is a generation that has grown up with the WNBA. They’re able to pass it on to their children. On the sponsorship end, you see landmark deals going down which speak volumes to the appeal and long term forecast for the league.

In closing, are there any news updates, promotions or ticket deals around the Finals that you’d like to share?

Fans can sit in the lower bowl for just $20. These are the best women’s basketball players on the biggest stage. What more needs to be said!

Photo via Canis Hoopus.