Today, I saw a probably the most extraordinary juxtaposition of stories that I’ve can ever remember seeing.

This morning, I read Bill Simmons “Save Our Sonics” column which began:

In six years of writing for, this is the longest piece I’ve ever sent to my editors — nearly 15,000 words of anguished e-mails from Sonics fans around the country.

He then shared with us a large variety of letters containing incredible levels of emotion and distress from Sonics fans everywhere. One could not help but be touched by what those folks were feeling. While I’m a huge Trailblazer fan, I totally feel your pain…we know that it easily could have been us a few years ago.

Later today, I am checking my RSS Feeds where the following press release catches my eye:

WebsiteBiz Lands Contract with NBA Sonics for Search Engine Marketing Campaign.

It begins:

WebsiteBiz, an Internet marketing agency, will develop a search-engine marketing plan designed to sell single-game tickets for the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics.

You gotta be kidding me. Do you think search engine marketing will help you sell more tickets when you’ve alienated your entire fan base by announcing that you’re leaving town? Search engine marketing is designed to make online initiatives more visible to customers who might be willing to buy your product or service but it’s worthless when a company has alienated their entire customer base (and FYI, the vandalism that has taken place on Clay Bennett’s Wikipedia page is hilarious).

The owners have a reputation management problem that even Andy Beal couldn’t fix.

It is the job of an ethical search engine marketer to offer each potential client realistic expectations of what a well-executed search engine marketing campaign can accomplish. Search engine marketing can not undo the damage caused by horrible public relations. I’m sure the Sonics are a “whale” (Vegas terminology) client for that vendor and I would be curious to know how WebsiteBiz could achieve more ticket sales via SEM in light of the Sonics desire to leave town ASAP.

Furthermore, it is also curious that Seattle, the home of SEOmoz, Marchex (Matt McGee’s Employer) & John Andrews would choose a company from Charlotte for SEM services (though it appears Websitebiz also represents the Charlotte Bobcats…another team rumored to be moving).

For people reading this that are considering purchasing search marketing services, ethical SEM’s are valuable contractors to help increase sales / leads. They can even help perform reputation management damage control to a certain degree. However, when you’ve fucked over 3 Million people and 41 years of cherished history, SEM can’t undo the damage.

4 thoughts on “The Seattle SuperSonics Don’t Need SEM, They Need A #$#$%#$% Clue

  1. And the best part of that is they just redid their entire new web site, spending a reported $100k on it, which is of course entirely built on flash. Good luck SEO’ing a bunch of crap search engines can’t even read!

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