I have to disagree with the small target strategy. It's tempting to try and ride out a crappy period with as little embarrassment as possible but the alternative is worse. Irrelevance is death.
The one advantage being an A-League fan has over being an AFL fan is that we've learnt the hard way to recognise failure before it happens. It takes more than poor on-field performances to fail. It's the lack of public interest that kills. NQF and GCU didn't break into their communities' public consciousness. They started with small crowds. Small crowds means poor word-of-mouth. Small crowds means lack of media interest. Lack of media interest creates even smaller crowds. It's a vicious cycle. If you suck, at least make sure people are talking about you sucking. It's much better than being ignored because then people will be interested when you come good.
What was the reason though? GCU were better than competitive, they had an entertaining side (by A-League standards anyway). NQF were pretty ordinary, but no-where near the Giants level of shitness. No-one would have gone to an NQF home game expecting a 6-0 hammering. A world away from the Giants. Especially given the A-League needs to generate it's own publicity because it wouldn't get much otherwise. The AFL, even in Sydney, has a far higher profile and following.
But it's fair to say that Folau alone means their brand awareness in Sydney is reasonable, and the bulk of those people would know they suck. Of those that would possibly attend a game, most won't want to because they suck.
If the Giants want to emulate the Swans then they need to generate a much larger latent fanbase. They need people watching them on the telly. They need sympathy and empathy. They need to generate a reputation. They need to become loveable losers. Hiding from the public will prevent them from developing a fanbase. Many people on Bigfooty and other forums assume that the Giants are just going to develop a fanbase simply because they exist. But no expansion club has managed to generate a fanbase out of thin air and certainly not when their principal competitor is sitting on top of their league's ladder.
The Giants need all the publicity they can get.
Don't agree. If they want to emulate the Swans they need to start winning games, and that's not going to happen until 2014 at the earliest (unless they can grab about 8 quality players from other clubs).
If GWS was putting on a good show, then by all means spend up big on promotion. But if you tell people to come and watch the Giants because it's great entertainment then put up the crap that they've been delivering all year, then you've almost certainly wasted your money because a lot won't come back. And it's not the promotion, it's the product.
Look to the Swans as an example. 3 consecutive wooden spoons in the 90's - sh*t crowds. Win games - great crowds. You don't need to spend much on promotion - the newspapers will do it for you. What do you reckon, 50,000 plus at ANZ this weekend? And it's not the ads on TV that will do it.