As a marketing major and a current worker in both my school's media relations and athletic marketing department, I can honestly say that I feel that while the A's aren't in the best situation financialy and have their stadium issues, there is so much more that the marketing department can do to help this team and attendance.
When comparing the giants to the A's, the biggest difference I see is that no matter what part of san francisco I'm in I see advertisements for the giants. I see faces of the players on billboards and signs all over the city. I get the feeling that the city of san francisco is behind their team and wants them to succeed.
Looking at the A's I see stupid signs with all the A's missing, no faces, no personality. The best commercial the A's had featured TNT, Beef, Brawn, and dynamite, one of which is released, one traded, one's career is over, and one is slumping. While the marketing cannot control this, it just feels as though they are doing a poor job of marketing the team and giving the city a chance to connect and give the A's the feel of being "oakland's team".
If I were in charge for a day this is what I'd do:
Market the players:
Ricky henderson on his big year, the new big 3, suzuki, etc. The consistant players and future players who give fans something to smile and cheer about.
While the A's are much cheaper than the giants, I remember when I was young going to a game in the 3rd deck with my dad enjoying the game at a real steal of a price. Why not have more promotions for cheap seats? Seats sold for $2-$5 will make the organization more money than empty seats. Those fans also bring opportunity for profit from food and merchendise sales.
While working out the stadium issues, add something to the games that make them unique:
Honestly, if I didn't love the A's I would never go to the games because there is nothing that makes the games special. The giants have the slides, build a bear, and a bunch of other things that make the experience more fun. This addition doesn't need to be super expensive, just something that makes the A's experience unique.
Just some thoughts. I would love nothing more than to be able to go to a red sox game and not be outnumbered by a bunch of bandwagoners who know nothing about baseball.
Go A's. Here's to the future
This might be kind of fun. A handful of people have brought up different ideas so why no make this into a sort of post your ideal promotion day? Post promotions you think would be realistic/would draw a crowd and leave feedback on other people's ideas. If people in the A's organization actually frequent this site, maybe some ideas will get noted.