This Space for Rent

BD_sox.jpgLast year, the Globe took flack for writing about the Sox’s new travel packages on the front page. It was a shameless example of advertising masquerading as journalism (since the company that owns the Globe also owns part of the team). We thought the Globe had learned its lesson.

Nope. Turns out the paper is at it again.

People love the Red Sox. People love the Red Sox so much they’re willing to travel to see the Sox on the road. The Boston Globe wants you to know that — and about the other ways you can spend your money on Sox paraphernalia.

In today’s Globe, Bryan Marquard writes that the Sox’s road popularity is due to traveling Bostonians and people who live in other cities and don’t want to root for their own crappy teams (hello, Tampa Bay!). That’s true, but the article reads more like a brochure for Sox merchandise than actual journalism. For example:

Some fans were like Bill Adams, who despite living 1,300 miles from Boston in Cocoa, Fla., is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation and was eager to show off a personalized ID the team sent him for ponying up $15 to join.

The Red Sox Nation card has never been popular with die-hard Sox fans, since it’s a cute way to make an easy buck off of gullible bandwagon jumpers. The only requirements for true membership into Red Sox Nation is knowing what the hell you’re talking about when it comes to the team, and a healthy hatred of the Yankees. A Sox hat (preferably blue or red) never hurts, either.

The article also contains a plug for the contest for President of Red Sox Nation.

A team promotion to elect a Red Sox Nation president has drawn entries from 45 states, said Dr. Charles Steinberg, executive vice president for public affairs.

“We have received more than a thousand nominations for president,” he said. “There’s someone in Kansas who wants to be president of Red Sox Nation. Someone from Nebraska. Someone from Tennessee.”

Everybody loves the Sox! Go to now to vote, Globe readers! And why not buy a membership card while you’re there?

ETA: USA Today also has coverage of the popularity of the Red Sox, and while it also mentions Red Sox Nation card and the Red Sox Destinations tours, its focus is primarily on the hoteliers who have to accommodate eager fans and the safety of the players.