Mets Approached Cougar Site About Stuffing Ballot Box For David WrightS

When the first vote totals for the MLB All-Star Game were released last week, David Wright was in second. A desperate Mets marketing department didn't want Wright to lose to Pablo Sandoval for the second year in a row, especially not with the game being held at Citi Field. So one employee decided to turn to an untapped voting base, one that would support Wright in droves: tens of thousands of older women who want to fuck him.

Last month, Cougar Life—"the cougar dating site for younger hot men to meet sexy older professional women"—surveyed its female members. David Wright beat out Cole Hamels and Matt Kemp to take the title of "hottest cub." It was for PR, sure, but it was good PR. It got play everywhere from SI to Fox Sports to the New York tabloids.

An enterprising staffer in the Mets' marketing and communications department took notice, and on Friday morning he fired off an email to Cougar Life. Maybe the cougars could mobilize to put Wright in the All-Star Game?

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Subject: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To:<media@cougarlife.com>, <blog@avidlifemedia.com>

Good morning-

We are trying to help push David Wright into the starting line-up for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field (his home stadium). He currently trails in the voting by 100,000 votes, even though he won win your vote as “MLB’s Hottest Cub”. We were wondering if you would be able to blog/post a story asking your users (who apparently admire David and would love seeing him play in the All-Star Game) to go to the below link to vote David and #VoteWrightNow as he needs their help. Voting online ends July 3rd and updates come out once a week, so the more support/posts about David the better. We would be able to share weekly updates if you would like to help push “your cub” into the game and ask your members to #VoteWrightNow @ mets.com.

http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/mlb/events/all...

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss over the phone.

Thanks for all your help.

[redacted]

(We've redacted all names, per the tipster's request.)

A few hours later, he got a response from a PR specialist at Avid Life Media, which owns Cougar Life as well as dating websites Ashley Madison, ManCrunch, and Swappernet. The email, and all subsequent ones, were also cc'd to other employees at Avid Life.

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@avidlifemedia.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>


Hi [redacted],
Thank you for reaching out to us! We would be delighted to partner with you guys on this initiative seeing as our females are very fond of Mr. "Right"! I'm going to meet with our social media director this afternoon to plan strategy and we'll get back to you later today or Monday with a plan.

Quick question: David Wright is engaged, correct? If by chance he recently became single, we would love to do a "win a date" contest!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Cheers,
[redacted]

PS. Our spokeswoman Marlo Jordan (Miss CougarLife) is doing sports radio interviews across the country this week because of the "hot baseball cubs" survey... there's lots of buzz about David winning top spot!

The weekend came and went, and on Monday morning the Mets marketing employee gave Avid Life's PR person a call. She told him Cougar Life would love to help out, and pitched a few ideas.

"We'd blast our New York females asking them to vote," she tells me. "We'd do blog posts, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, and a press release to boost attention. In exchange, I wanted ballgame tickets for a giveaway and a meet-and-greet with David for a member or two. He said both were probably possible but he'd confirm."

After she sent a follow-up email reiterating the ideas floated in the phone call, the Mets employee wanted to get down to hard numbers.

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Subject: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To: [redacted] <[redacted]@avidlifemedia.com>

Hey [redacted]-

One quick question…how many people do you reach through email in the New York DMA.

Thanks,

She replied, and had a question of her own.

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@avidlifemedia.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>

We can blast to over 40,000 females in the New York metro area.

Are you able to do a news piece on this partnership on your press page?

Thanks,

No go:

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 1:49 PM
Subject: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To: [redacted] <[redacted]@avidlifemedia.com>

Thanks! We can’t put anything on our website under our MLB agreement with Major League Advanced Media (all the teams use it), but we will try to put something together for you.

Stay tuned.

It's not clear precisely what MLBAM agreement he's referring to, though there must be some prohibition on disseminating what would essentially be a press release for a private company—even if the intentions are good, like making sure David Wright starts at third. But the Mets employee was clearly starting to think harder about this partnership.

At some point on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, he did what he probably should have done in the first place: He ran the idea by a superior.

From: [redacted] <[redacted]@nymets.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Subject: David Wright ASG Push- CougarLife
To: [redacted] <[redacted]@avidlifemedia.com>

Good morning-

Unfortunately, we reached out trying to push David for the All-Star team before running our plan entirely up the chain internally. We received some pushback as we don’t feel a partnership working together would be the image that our team and David- especially since he recently got engaged- would like to portray. At this time, we don’t think a partnership together is in David’s or our organization’s best interest.

I want to thank you again for your willingness to help and hopefully your ladies still vote and help push David to the team.

Thanks.

We still have so many questions. How far up the flagpole did this one go before it got killed? Would a campaign with a regular, non-cougar dating website have been OK? We emailed notoriously quirky Mets PR director Jay Horwitz and asked him if the team would comment on this aborted partnership. His reply? "Sorry no."

This is how a dream dies. There will be no Mets-Cougar Life synergy. In perhaps related news, the latest All-Star Game voting totals showed that Sandoval extended his lead over Wright by another 74,000 votes.

Update: The Mets have released a statement:

"Cougar Life voted David Wright as the hottest cub. In our effort to expand All-Star balloting to wider audiences, so as to increase votes, we did reach out to Cougar Life. Last year there was a big swing of votes at the end that cost David the starting job. We decided to do everything to make sure that doesn't happened again this year. We ultimately elected to pass. We thank whoever leaked this to Deadspin for increasing awareness of #VOTEWRIGHTNOW AT METS.COM."