New Spot for Personal Injury Law Firm Puts Sports Team Owners In Crosshairs

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On the heels of the new football season and the baseball pennant race, a new commercial is launching in the NYC market next week targeting frustrated sports fans as they look for payback from the team's owner. Both the timely humor and the hollywood-level quality of the production set this campaign apart from the crowd in the personal injury law category.

A totally new approach to law firm advertising.

What’s a long-suffering fan of a losing team to do? Judging from the recent spate of lawsuits pitting fans against their teams, the answer for many is to sue.

The latest spot from NYC-based personal injury powerhouse Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman (via ad agency The Levinson Tractenberg Group) points out that while the pain of following a losing team may be real – it does not constitute a real injury.

The spot opens on a despondent 20-something man who complains bitterly about all the hours, days and weeks he has spent watching his favorite team play. Management promised the fan base that the team would be better this year, but the team still stinks.

Of course, he wants to sue for damages. But, as the voiceover at the end reminds you, in order for Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman to take a case, you need to really be injured.

“We see clients every day who have suffered loss of income from physical injuries suffered in the workplace or due to landlord negligence. They are unable to work and provide for their families…these are the people who really need our help," says Jeff Lichtman, Partner at TGL.

While the ad is deliberately tongue-in-cheek, it does make a serious statement about what many consider to be the over-litigious nature of our society.

“You can probably find a law firm willing to take on a less serious case like that, but it won’t be us," notes Jack Glaser, Senior Partner at TGL. “We have made our reputation over the past 30 years by being the voice of those who are adversely affected by injury through no fault of their own and we don’t plan on lowering our sights anytime soon.”

It is the third installment in a campaign series created for TGL by The Levinson Tractenberg Group, and represents a radical departure from the standard formats for personal injury attorney advertising. The use of humor and absence of any of the firm’s principles makes it a refreshing change of pace for the category.

“The campaign is based on the idea that emotional pain is generally not grounds for a lawsuit," explains Joel Levinson, Partner at The Levinson Tractenberg Group. “We try to find extreme examples of things that genuinely upset people, but that do not rise to the level of actual injuries. That way the spots can be dramatic and feel “real” but still make a powerful point about the seriousness of the cases our client handles.”

Past executions have featured people wanting to sue for a paper cut and for a temporary loss of power that resulted in a video game being interrupted. The campaign has been highly successful, resulting in an 84% lift in call volume. And it has also gone viral on YouTube, with nearly 200,000 views.

The latest spot, “Fan”, fits perfectly into the campaign. “As a lifelong Mets and Knicks fan, I understand all too well the pain of following a losing team,” explains Joel Tractenberg, Partner at The Levinson Tractenberg Group. “And I do at times feel like the team owes me something. I pay good money to see their games and they don’t always field a professional-caliber product. But no one is forcing me to spend my time that way, so I really only have myself to blame.”

But not every fan is able to put things into the proper perspective.

As they developed the spots, the creative team was both shocked and amused to learn that there actually have been instances of fans suing their teams for various reasons. Just last year, a Jets fan filed a class action suit to recoup ticket costs plus damages in light of the fact that the Patriots had been caught in the act of videotaping the Jets play signals. He argues that since the outcome of the game was in essence rigged, the event was not a fair game as advertised and he attended under false pretenses. He was seeking $185 million dollars.

“I suppose you can try to sue a team that doesn’t live up to its hype, but don’t be surprised if their legal team has a better winning percentage than their sports team,” quips Jack Glaser.


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