I disagree with a couple parts of your post.
1. Don't legitimize the new team by fighting back and essentially helping promote them.
What do you mean by "legitimize"? As soon as Garber said they're gonna play in MLS, they were legitimized. We can't do anything about that. You could say "don't dignify them" by fighting back, but that only works to the extent that we are regarded as superior to them, but I think we have a hard time making that case. We have a twenty year head start, a stadium, and a devoted core of supporters. But we haven't used the head start well, and let's face facts, while the dedication of our supporters is something they don't have, we have underperformed in the number of supporters we have. Every game with visible empty seats brings that problem home.
The MLS marketing machine is gonna go into overdrive to make them look good. They are gonna have a few big name players, and some real talent in their squad. They'll get curiosity seekers, and MLS will put a lot of effort into making their supporters look good. I don't know if newspapers and other local media are gonna present the team in a better light than they present us (when they're not ignoring us), but they're not going to make them look WORSE than us.
The only real comparison where we clearly look way better is the stadium, but we kind of negate that advantage with the empty seats. So I don't think "legitimacy" is anything we can do anything about. Their supporters are going to be "plastic" or whatever, but pretty much every MLS team started out that way.
2. We are never going to win a marketing war against that team and their money. Just not gonna happen
Then we're going to be in a world of shit. The whole POINT of Red Bull buying this team was to make Red Bull look good. They're supposed to be good at marketing. They're supposed to SPEND MONEY.
We should have a great advantage over NYCFC, being the true local team, as opposed to being interlopers from the UAE via Manchester. But by having an identity that is basically indistinguishable from Red Bull Salzburg, Red Bull Brazil, Red Bull Ghana, etc., we are conceding "local" to them, which is outrageous considering how fake they are. Yeah, we have Petke, but that's about it -- we haven't incorporated our local youth program into the main squad, and our lack of development of local sponsors and other ties has been noted.
So the only real advantage in having our identity of our team reflecting the identity of a wealthy foreign corporation should be FINANCIAL RESOURCES. I've already been feeling really uneasy that we're obviously getting outspent by Toronto (they basically poached the best USMNT player, who happens to be a Jersey guy AND who actually played for us). We're not Chivas or New England, obviously, but no team in MLS should be outspending us -- we have sold key parts of our local identity so a foreign company can benefit from our profile to market themselves. If they're going to call our team "Red Buil" then they have an obligation to spend at least as much money as a team called "Toronto FC" or "New York City FC." If they can't do that, then they need to clear out and sell the team to someone who will either spend the money or build this club in a more grass-roots way.
We should make like the Devils and basically have a well-run team that wins some titles and stays above that. You play well enough for long enough and you'll sell out.
I don't see Red Bull being in this business to play second fiddle in their own market. It can't be good for the brand. Again, either go local or clear out. The Devils have a strong NJ identity, but I don't want to see what goes in their building (when Rangers fans invade) happen to us. And I don't see anything on which to base the assumption that NYCFC will be run in as mediocre a way as the Rangers have been run in recent years. Yes, there's the history thing, which should give us an advantage that the Devils don't have, but we have messed that up by (a) not having a stable identity and (b) not being consistently good. Moreover it's optimistic to think that we'll be run with steady competence in the future.
Excuse me? I mean what the fuck are they are supposed to do? They are severely limited budget-wise and are following orders from a company that feels that there's no reason to splash themselves all over NYC unless there's a new flavor for their energy drink.
If we can't at least count on Red Bull to have the sense of self-preservation that requires them to spend money to keep their brand from looking bad, then we need to encourage them to sell to someone who is willing to compete.
Of course I'm worried that they have no plan at all to deal with NYCFC. That's bad enough as it is, but by not coming up with a plan until later, they run the risk of letting NYCFC establish a real foothold.
The marketing staff is basically operating handcuffed to a tree, creatively speaking and you want to take potshots at them simply because you felt they are not "doing enough" promote the team in a way it should be done? You're wrong, dude. I've talked with some of these guys, they are just as frustrated as you are. Believe it.
If you want to make a point about how bad things are going on in the marketing department. Aim for the top, instead of shooting at the soldiers. Many of them probably agree with you in frustration.
If there's no real strategic direction, and if any marketing they do is going to be as sporadic as it has been in the past, we could be in serious trouble. There are two things that Red Bull should be able to do:
2. Making sure that the soccer guys have enough resources to compete with anyone in the league
If Red Bull can't do that, then they need to leave.