MLB team marketing slogans can be a stroke of genius or a train wreck. But most are forgettable, which probably means they fall somewhere in-between.
The Royals 2013 slogan, "Come to Play" falls into the forgettable category, but after the 2012 train wreck of a slogan, "Our Time," which prompted Baseball America to say it should have been "Déjà Vu All Over Again" (given that they finished 18 games under .500), at least it was safe. Two years from now, we won't even remember it.
But imagine how many fans would have been tweeting #ourtime throughout the second half of the 2013 season, if indeed that had been the slogan.
Timing really is everything.
As much as MiLB relies on marketing rather than baseball for its survival, I wonder why more minor league teams don't use slogans. Maybe they do. I only attend homes games for one minor league team, so I could be out of the loop.
A few years ago, when the team was still the Omaha Royals, their slogan was "Fun Rules!" Not exactly earth-shattering, and it was quite forgettable. I needed Google to come to my rescue just to remember it.
But one season after the team moved to a new ballpark in 2011 and changed names to the Omaha Storm Chasers, a superfan named Jan Huff began chanting "Stir Up the Storm" at games, using a SunnyD-shaped bottle that he swirls over his head in vortex-like fashion. That works especially well since the team has a mascot named Vortex.
It caught on with many fans who began bringing their own juice bottles to games to stir up the storm. Huff even began bringing bottles to the game to give away to kids.
The team printed t-shirts with the slogan and recorded a promotional video with Huff to play during crucial moments of the game whenever they wanted the fans to get fired up. Take a look.
When Darryl Strawberry visited, the team shot a stir up the storm video with him. They shot videos with various other celebrities as well. Here's a video the team shot in 2012 as the slogan was beginning to take off (includes an interview with Huff, Strawberry stirring up the storm and former Kansas City prospect Wil Myers getting a kick out of the whole thing).
Players aren't immune to the slogan. They can often be seen in the dugout swirling caps, towels or anything else they can get their hands on. Sometimes they just make believe they have something in their hands (see the photo above).
"When we've got guys on base, we do say it," David Lough told the Omaha World Herald in 2012. "We're saying ‘Stir up the Storm' and ‘Let's stir it up.' We'll get into it sometimes when they play it on the board. It's pretty fun."
In this case, the team slogan was organic and it caught on so the team just ran with it. And why not?
I'm wondering about your experience with minor league team slogans. Does the team you follow have one? Have fans embraced it? If so, was the slogan team generated or fan generated?