“Trifling!” is what I exclaimed while watching TV over breakfast this morning as the Today show featured a Texan winner of the Michael Jackson memorial ticket. The joker, who has no intentions of going to LA to retrieve the tickets (because he can’t afford to travel there) admitted that he auctioned his two tickets on E-Bay for nearly $15,000. Then, to drum up sympathy, he claims he lost his job and has a daughter needing heart surgery, so any money that is profited from this sale would be an immense help.
So, here’s my issue because I still think this man is TRIFLING. That these tickets are free was a gesture on the part of organizers to involve Michael Jackson’s worldwide fans in a public farewell event. Neither the family nor management had to do this at all, but this was a way to involve the fans, who were a huge part of the man’s success. Casual fans and lame trifling non-fans should never have been given the same chance as Michael Jackson’s super fans in registering for these memorial tickets. Such flawed management, with regards to including his fans in the event, has made me appreciate more David’s own cultivation of his relationship with the Arch Angels – from constantly accommodating fans at Meet-and-Greets to maintaining a regular online relationship with us via blogs, vlogs, twitter, text messaging, and voice mail. It is this digital cultivation on the part of David, and even having his father maintain communique with certain leaders of David’s main fan blogs (as meddling as I’ve often viewed Jeff in his relationship with certain fan sites), that makes me reevaluate the importance of Fan Management. And if David himself is not completely in charge of this, we should be comforted in knowing that someone on his team has paid attention to us as a fan community.
Had I been in charge of managing Michael Jackson’s international fan community, I would never have set up a lottery. On the CBS Morning Show, the president of one of Michael Jackson’s fan clubs was not lucky enough to win a ticket, yet she has already congregated in LA. Why are the fan club presidents not invited? Whether or not Michael Jackson knew who these individuals were, someone in his management should have this knowledge. I would have extended an invitation to key fan club presidents and organizers, key Michael Jackson impersonators – heck, I might even have them be apart of the service – and certain representatives of his favorite charities (for all I know, perhaps they have already been included). Not all of his billion fans would have been invited, but many of these fans would have found it satisfactory that his “super fans” got in.
The relationship between an artist and his fans is a crucial one and not to be taken for granted. Had these fans been respected enough by Michael Jackson’s management, we would not have such random invitations with $1.6 million registering for only 11,000 tickets. Of those 11,000 available tickets, don’t tell me that his international fanbase could not have come up with a better way of being included. As I said, it has definitely made me appreciate David more in starting so early in cultivating a close and communicative relationship with his fans.