Soon after the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about why I was excited for 2017. In that post, I expressed adulation about this year’s Super Bowl ads at the outside chance that my Atlanta Falcons would be playing and…we know how that ended. As I tried to maneuver the 5 stages of grief, the city of San Diego helped elate me with this gem of partnership and sports marketing genius.

Oh, the shade!

Basically, the Padres just kicked the Chargers in the hind parts as they exited the building and I love it. Here’s why:

For all intents and purposes, the Padres should be in the dog house with the San Diego community after a lackluster season and a couple of scandals involving the Gay Men’s Chorus and GM, A.J. Preller. But the organization answered swiftly and authentically so apologies and punishments were accepted and we all moved on. But as a marketer, the genius of this message is in the sheer brilliance of Partnership and Plausible Deniability. Did any Padres executive or player come out and say the Chargers left a void in this community and they should be ashamed of themselves for how they did it? Nope. Their partner, Sycuan did. (Technically, neither did they, but you get the gist.) The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nations is known for their generous support of the San Diego community. With minimal research, you can find where they have sponsored and partnered with several organizations to help improve the lives of San Diegans. While the Padres have many partners, the weight of having Sycuan sponsor this promotion increases the value (and the sting of the kick to the Chargers’ backsides) because of Sycuan’s visibility and respected reputation. This strategy and execution is worthy of praise. Getting a free pair of tickets to a Padres game solely for being a former Chargers season ticket holder is also pretty sweet.

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