Report: AEG interviewing PR firms for L.A. NFL team, Raiders may be out because their fans don’t own poodles

Okay! After a week of former NFL players and former movie executives and more former NFL players speculating wildly on whether the Oakland Raiders will or should move to Los Angeles, we finally have some actual sorta-kinda-almost news about a possible L.A. relocation. Jeanne Zelasko of KFWB-AM in Los Angeles says that AEG, which has been trying for years to pretend that it’s building an NFL stadium in L.A., is now looking to hire PR specialists to handle a team moving there next year, according to people who’ve interviewed for the job:

Over the last week to ten days, AEG has been interviewing people for a public relations gig to handle an NFL team coming to L.A. And these conversations they’re having with people, these interviews they’re having with people, they’re talking about a startup situation February 15th of 2015.

Okay, so this still isn’t much of news: Basically, a company that’s already stated its interest in bringing a team to L.A. may or may not be looking to hire someone to oversee media around getting a team next spring, if one materializes during the annual NFL relocation-announcement window. But it’s another small data point toward the argument that some teams, likely the Raiders and St. Louis Rams, may be considering at least ramping up a threat to move in February, whether or not they go through with it.Zelasko later added (wait past her long discussion of naps) that what’s going on behind the scenes is that the NFL is now at least actively looking to hear more from AEG on how their stadium plan would work, which is more than they’ve done in the past. She also said that one “stumbling block” could be that the L.A. Coliseum and Rose Bowl have balked at hosting the Raiders temporarily, because the image of a typical Raiders fan is “a thug – not a clean-cut mom and dad, two kids, and a poodle,” and so the league might want to force Mark Davis to sell the team before okaying a move to L.A. Leaving aside the racial subtext here: a poodle? There are NFL teams whose fans are poodles? Also, is there something about Mark Davis that means he doesn’t know how to market football to poodles? Is “poodles” going to be the new code word for white folk who aren’t threatening, at least to other white folk? Can it be, please?

10 comments on “Report: AEG interviewing PR firms for L.A. NFL team, Raiders may be out because their fans don’t own poodles

  1. Things White People Like certainly includes NFL football. I mean, golly gee whiz, have you ever been to a Green Bay Packers football game?

  2. I don’t think it has much to do with race. It’s more about gangbanging.

    If the position is going to start up Feb 15, then wouldn’t that mean that AEG already has a team? I thought that Feb 15 is right in the relocation window.

  3. Grew up in Los Angeles in the 80’s/90’s. Raiders and Kings (Gretzky era) had similar color schemes which for whatever reasons Hispanics and Blacks really took to, although the overwhelming majority of fans going to games were white. There was this “uniform” of a Raiders jacket, sagging jeans and New Era hat early 90’s font that seemed to be what a lot of people were going for. Even five years ago, I went to a swap meet and there were a ton of Raiders stuff for sale. The stereotypical image we get of the Raider fan from TV is basically cosplay.

    What I am saying is…white guy here, do not own poodle, want Rams or Chargers. Can’t see myself as a Raider fan especially considering their incompetence the last 20 years.

  4. I hope that it’s not the Rams. I don’t care about them, or St. Louis but Kroenke owns teams in Denver that I do care about. It would make me nervous that at any point, he will do the same with one of my teams. Good news is that here he owns his own stadium/arena. He even has a penthouse at the Pepsi Center. It has to be daaaaaaaaa Raiders. I would hate the Broncos having to play Los Angeles twice a season, but I think it would be the best move for the NFL. Why does the Bay Area need two teams? Why do the sorry Raiders think they are too good to share with the 49ers? I guess you could make the argument, why does Missouri need two teams? Well, Maryland technically has two. New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania all have two.

  5. Wow. This really seems like much ado about nothing. Let’s concede that AEG may be about to hire someone to “manage” the arrival of a team in LA. Does this mean that a team is already bought and packing the moving vans? Certainly not.

    In fact, hiring a PR firm to “manage” the story around a presumptive NFL team arriving in LA might just be the first thing you would consider doing if you were having real trouble getting any team interested, and getting the city(ies) interested in paying for your building etc.

    When I read this I thought of all the ‘business’ delegations that used to travel to the baseball winter meetings to tell MLB owners how wonderful their cities were and how fantastically baseball would do in them. Is this really any different than that?

  6. Eric: Did you happen to see the ESPN 30 for 30 on the Raiders in LA? (which I think was called ‘straight outta LA’)

    The film discusses some of the things you referenced.

    Any thoughts on why the Raiders appeal was so strong to certain segments of the population?

    Was it the Raider image itself (which, we need to recall, wasn’t the decades of failure and irrelevance that they have today)?

    The fact that they played in the coliseum?

  7. @John Yes I did see that 30 for 30. Thought is was just okay. The rise of rap certainly played a big role. A lot of it was anti-establishment and Ice Cube, NWA and others made a clothing style that many seemed to copy. The glory days of Raiders smash mouth attitude went along with the attitude of representing oneself as a badass.

    @Mike I once heard a rumor from a source I trust that the ultimate goal was for Groenke to buy the Broncos and the league to sell the Rams to someone as part of a LA stadium deal. Pat Bowlen has been in poor health for several years. But AEG wants to own the stadium like they do with Staples and then Groenke bought land in Inglewood, so who knows. I think that after the Clippers got sold for so much the NFL sees how much interest their is in LA sports ownership.

  8. Groenke is what resulted when Stan Kroenke and Zach Greinke got into a transporter accident, right?

  9. I wanna wet my beak on this L.A. deal. I mean, wouldn’t you, if your franchise was worth a billion or so, but a move to L.A. would kick it up a notch to 2 billion or so? You think us other 31 club members are just going to sit back and say one lucky guy gets all that gravy?!