The New York Jets initiated an online voting competition to select the new J-E-T-S chant leaders to replace Fireman Ed. That’s right, leaders, as in more than one! Throughout August, season ticket holders have been able to enter themselves or nominate other season ticket holders as candidates take over Fireman Ed’s job and lead the crowd in the legendary chant.
Jets fans were able to vote for the candidates by viewing a 15-second video that each candidate posted. There is one chant leader for each home game. Online voters selected Jets superfan Derek Tabacco from Staten Island to orchestrate the cheer for the Jets’ season opener against the Oakland Raiders next Sunday. Tabacco is totally pumped to accept this right of passage. When asked about Fireman Ed, Tabacco told the New York Post “He’s one of the greatest Jets fans there ever was — and I plan to bring as much, if not more, enthusiasm than Fireman Ed.”
I think this was great idea by the Jets organization, especially from a business perspective. Every NFL team is dealing with the challenges of getting fans to come to the stadium instead of staying at home to watch the game. Different techniques are being used, such as giving away gifts to fans seated in certain sections, instituting stadium food vendor discounts and updating the stadium’s wifi capabilities. These ideas are great for attracting the casual fan, but the teams need to be more innovative to keep the season ticket holders happy. This chant leader idea really shows the organization’s appreciation for their fans’ continued support.
I’m definitely buying tickets for some games this season just to see how these guys handle their chant duties. Jets fans should be very excited for this season.