As if the residents of Miami ever needed an excuse to celebrate, today they got exactly what they were hoping for when Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh announced they would be playing for the Heat for the for-seeable future as they have each signed long term, big money deals with the club.
Clearly over the last few seasons DWade has noticed that South Beach isn't a bad place to be a mid-20's male celebrity worth $100mil - and its certainly an upgrade from Toronto for Bosh - but we'd like to think that it was the Miami fans and the franchise who made the difference. With Pat Riley leading the sales pitch, the Heat organization did a phenomenal job harnessing the power of the web and their die hard core fan-base to remind their superstar just how much he would be missed if Wade left the club this off-season. Since the day the Heat's season ended this year, the team created a "We Want Wade" micro-site and has rallied fans to do everything from online scavenger hunt, to greeting the man at the airport wearing masks of himself. Their efforts were successful as Wade decided to return to the Heat, which got Bosh so excited he decided to sign with Miami for less money than he could have made elsewhere - meaning the team still has plenty of cap space to sign another big free agent (maybe even LBJ!) or some helpful role players to ensure that this team is a legitimate title contender starting next season.
Usually during these types of contract discussions professional teams, players and agents separate from the fans, go behind closed doors, and limit their announcements and press clippings to unhelpful phrases like, "It's a business decision." And while, it is true that sports are a business, they are also one of the only businesses where the customers are also literally fanatics and its great to see a professional sports franchise recognize the value of the customer when it comes to building a better business.