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Goodbye Baby Cakes: New Wichita team seeking name ideas

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Toledo Mud Hens is basically a Brandiose name from 1902 to be fair¬†ūüėÖ

 

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4 hours ago, raysox said:

Toledo Mud Hens is basically a Brandiose name from 1902 to be fair¬†ūüėÖ


Indeed, "mud hen" has long been a commonly-used colloquial term for the American coot, a species of bird that spends its summer breeding season in - amongst other parts of the American northeast and upper midwest - the Toledo, Ohio area. So many American coots occupied the marshland surrounding Bay View Park, home of the late-1800s Toledo Swamp Angels of baseball's Inter-State League, that local sports reporters took to referring to the baseball team as the Mud Hens in print. Soon, the Swamp Angels name was abandoned and the baseball team - as well as numerous incarnations representing Toledo in various professional leagues at different classifications - were officially dubbed the Mud Hens.

That said, Mud Hens is the exception to the rule amongst the minor-league baseball identities I cited amongst my preferences. The point being, it is possible to create popular, engaging, well-designed minor-league sports brands without repeatedly succumbing to the increased tendency towards embracing a "can-you-top-this" approach that threatens to alienate as many fans as it attracts.    

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And a Yard Goat is an old locomotive that moves trains from track to track. If Hartford had a 100 year old team with that name, no one would have their pitchforks and torches out. 

(funny enough, they did have a team named the Babies https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Hartford_Babies)

 

They aren't just puling names out of a hat, there is a lot of background research into the names. Yes, some names are better than others, but specifically Baby Cakes would only work in New Orleans. If the name was around since 1930, their relocation would be about the franchise, not the "failing" of the name. How I see it, the Eugene Emeralds, Norfolk Tides, Asheville Tourists, and Arkansas Travelers aren't on the top 25 merchandise sales list despite all having strong recent Brandiose branding and history. A safe name with a good logo doesn't guarantee anything.

 

I get where people are coming from, i'm not putting on blinders in this conversation. Brandiose isn't bulletproof, their swinging mascot logos do feel templated. They've seen to move away from that in the recent brand reveals. I just think a lot of criticism they get for being too "crazy" isn't 100% justified since some of their crazier stuff does market itself.

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21 hours ago, B-Rich said:

 

And you live in Atlanta.  'Nuff said.

 

 

How is this relevant?

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4 hours ago, raysox said:

They aren't just puling names out of a hat, there is a lot of background research into the names. Yes, some names are better than others, but specifically Baby Cakes would only work in New Orleans.

 

Now you're just reaching. 

 

"There's a lot of background research into the names".   As I posted back in 2016 when the name was announced, from a local newspaper article that quoted directly from the Brandiose guys, they were here barely 2 DAYS doing on-the-ground research.   And to say, "specifically Baby Cakes would only work in New Orleans" is flat out wrong.  It doesn't even work IN New Orleans.  Brandiose and the out-of-town owners stated that they DERIVED the name; it is NOT even a real thing (the local term is and has always been "king cake baby").  They stated in their finalist name descriptions that a king cake baby "was sought after",  while New Orleanians know the exact OPPOSITE is true-- you don't want the piece with the baby, because by tradition then you have to buy the next cake.  Swallowing the baby or not owning up to getting the piece with the baby is even a long-running joke around here.

 

Not knowing these things is the kind of "lot of background research" these guys do.  That's why 91% of respondents in an online poll after the name was announced HATED the name.

 

These guys were so clueless that another one of their finalist names was "Red Eyes" for crawfish, despite the fact that (a) Crawfish do not have red eyes, and (b) NO ONE HERE HAS EVER CALLED THEM THAT.

 

 

3 hours ago, Michael Bolton said:

 

How is this relevant?

 

It's relevant because this was the point of the name change all along.  Nothing to do with building local interest, or picking a name that locals would go for, it was a short-term cash grab, which the owners essentially even admitted to. 

 

Minor league merch-- just like MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL merch-- is now sold all over the country, so they came up with the most 'whimsical' "cute' 'silly' (stupid)  name that would sell the most merch nationwide-- not to locals in New Orleans, 91% of whom disapprove of it and who see the name as a joke-- but to the many more people in places like Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New York, Boise, etc. who want to wear something cute and recent and 'out there'.

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6 hours ago, raysox said:

They aren't just puling names out of a hat, there is a lot of background research into the names. Yes, some names are better than others, but specifically Baby Cakes would only work in New Orleans. If the name was around since 1930, their relocation would be about the franchise, not the "failing" of the name.

 

Well, then the quality of the background research being done isn't up to snuff. If it were, someone would have realized that "Baby Cakes" doesn't truly "work" in New Orleans, as the cultural icon being referenced is actually a King Cake, not a Baby Cake.

Either that, or - as is more likely - someone decided that King Cakes wasn't a goofy enough name to lend itself to an over-the-top logo package. So, it was then decided that in order to justify the creation of a goofy logo with attitude, the idea of a king cake would be mashed-up with the idea of the baby figurine baked into said confection and the bastardized "Baby Cakes" identity was reverse-engineered.

In short, there's a reason the name New Orleans Baby Cakes hasn't been "around since 1930": it doesn't mean anything within the culture of the New Orleans marketplace.  

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6 hours ago, B-Rich said:

 

Now you're just reaching. 

 

"There's a lot of background research into the names".   As I posted back in 2016 when the name was announced, from a local newspaper article that quoted directly from the Brandiose guys, they were here barely 2 DAYS doing on-the-ground research.   And to say, "specifically Baby Cakes would only work in New Orleans" is flat out wrong.  It doesn't even work IN New Orleans.  Brandiose and the out-of-town owners stated that they DERIVED the name; it is NOT even a real thing (the local term is and has always been "king cake baby").  They stated in their finalist name descriptions that a king cake baby "was sought after",  while New Orleanians know the exact OPPOSITE is true-- you don't want the piece with the baby, because by tradition then you have to buy the next cake.  Swallowing the baby or not owning up to getting the piece with the baby is even a long-running joke around here.

 

Not knowing these things is the kind of "lot of background research" these guys do.  That's why 91% of respondents in an online poll after the name was announced HATED the name.

 

These guys were so clueless that another one of their finalist names was "Red Eyes" for crawfish, despite the fact that (a) Crawfish do not have red eyes, and (b) NO ONE HERE HAS EVER CALLED THEM THAT.

 

 

 

It's relevant because this was the point of the name change all along.  Nothing to do with building local interest, or picking a name that locals would go for, it was a short-term cash grab, which the owners essentially even admitted to. 

 

Minor league merch-- just like MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL merch-- is now sold all over the country, so they came up with the most 'whimsical' "cute' 'silly' (stupid)  name that would sell the most merch nationwide-- not to locals in New Orleans, 91% of whom disapprove of it and who see the name as a joke-- but to the many more people in places like Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New York, Boise, etc. who want to wear something cute and recent and 'out there'.

 

4 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

 

Well, then the quality of the background research being done isn't up to snuff. If it were, someone would have realized that "Baby Cakes" doesn't truly "work" in New Orleans, as the cultural icon being referenced is actually a King Cake, not a Baby Cake.

Either that, or - as is more likely - someone decided that King Cakes wasn't a goofy enough name to lend itself to an over-the-top logo package. So, it was then decided that in order to justify the creation of a goofy logo with attitude, the idea of a king cake would be mashed-up with the idea of the baby figurine baked into said confection and the bastardized "Baby Cakes" identity was reverse-engineered.

In short, there's a reason the name New Orleans Baby Cakes hasn't been "around since 1930": it doesn't mean anything within the culture of the New Orleans marketplace.  

 

There are some good discussion topics here:

 

Being able to travel to do research is a luxury, and you often pay for that out of your own pocket. If you’re taking research trips, it means you’re taking your job seriously, literally spending your own money in order to do a better job. And yes, you can learn a lot in two days.

 

If you‚Äôre committed to naming¬†your team after a religious pastry, why does the team need to be exactly the name of the actual thing? Why not¬†use some creative license to make the name a little catchier? I‚Äôd argue that Baby Cakes is a better sounding¬†name than King Cakes (which is a bit clunky), and debate the nationwide marketing approach if you‚Äôd like, but given that approach, I‚Äôd say Baby Cakes is the better name. It‚Äôs simply more recognizable and familiar to people as a¬†fringe-level term of endearment, meaning it‚Äôs¬†inclusively marketing¬†those who don‚Äôt know what a king cake is (which is probably a lot of people outside the Gulf Coast region). If you do know what a king cake is, I think it‚Äôs pretty easy to draw the line from Baby Cakes¬†to, ‚ÄúOh! They‚Äôre talking about a king cake.‚ÄĚ I mean they‚Äôre called crawfish, but you could¬†probably figure out¬†what I was talking about if I said mud bug or swamp lobster.

 

Lastly, I‚Äôve always gotten the impression that it‚Äôs good luck to find the baby. You get the crown¬†and you‚Äôre ‚Äúking for the day‚ÄĚ or whatever. Sure, you‚Äôre chosen¬†to supply the next cake, but I‚Äôve never met someone from the south¬†who *didn‚Äôt* want to cook for you or host a party.¬†ūüėā¬†Ive even seen people with collections of various cake¬†figurines, so I‚Äôd say ‚Äúsought after‚ÄĚ accurately describes the cake babies in some circles.

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On 1/12/2019 at 10:58 AM, the admiral said:

It would be so Brandiose to take a landlocked state that's just a big rectangle of grain and say "no we're doin' fish"

 

Wichita Wheat Threshers with a shark dressed in overalls riding a tractor. 

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17 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

...why does the team need to be exactly the name of the actual thing? Why not¬†use some creative license to make the name a little catchier? I‚Äôd argue that Baby Cakes is a better sounding¬†name than King Cakes (which is a bit clunky), and debate the nationwide marketing approach if you‚Äôd like, but given that approach, I‚Äôd say Baby Cakes is the better name. It‚Äôs simply more recognizable and familiar to people as a¬†fringe-level term of endearment, meaning it‚Äôs¬†inclusively marketing¬†those who don‚Äôt know what a king cake is (which is probably a lot of people outside the Gulf Coast region). If you do know what a king cake is, I think it‚Äôs pretty easy to draw the line from Baby Cakes¬†to, ‚ÄúOh! They‚Äôre talking about a king cake.‚ÄĚ I mean they‚Äôre called crawfish, but you could¬†probably figure out¬†what I was talking about if I said mud bug or swamp lobster.

 

While "Baby Cakes" is certainly less 'clunky' than "King Cake Babies" (and there is no doubt, THAT is the prime focus of the imagery, a king cake baby), 'Baby Cakes' is just as 'clunky' as 'King Cakes'.

 

You're basically agreeing to my point-- that the owners and Brandiose came up with this monstrosity to market not to the locals, but nationwide.  There is nothing 'authentic' about the name whatsoever, no matter how much Mardi Gras imagery you stick on it; and the name is a slap in the face to locals.  And while I agree that it is easy to draw the line from Baby Cakes to "Oh, they're talking about a king cake baby", you miss that the immediate extension of that line, from locals young and old is "what the f...? Why would they even DO that?"

 

Oh, and re: crawfish and 'mudbugs', sure. That's a common nickname.  Long time name of a Shreveport's hockey team.  But 'swamp lobsters' would be seen as what it is, a completely made-up and original contrivance (though a better fit than Brandiose's "Red Eyes')

 

 

17 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

Lastly, I‚Äôve always gotten the impression that it‚Äôs good luck to find the baby. You get the crown¬†and you‚Äôre ‚Äúking for the day‚ÄĚ or whatever. Sure, you‚Äôre chosen¬†to supply the next cake, but I‚Äôve never met someone from the south¬†who *didn‚Äôt* want to cook for you or host a party.¬†ūüėā¬†Ive even seen people with collections of various cake¬†figurines, so I‚Äôd say ‚Äúsought after‚ÄĚ accurately describes the cake babies in some circles.

 

Well, your impressions are wrong, and a little lackadaisical. "You get the crown and you're 'king for the day' or whatever".   What's this crown crap?... Ain't no crowns involved in king cake, and no 'king of the day'.  And while we Southerners (and particularly South Louisianans) ARE great hosts, the king cake routine is nothing like that-- cakes are typically brought into office break rooms for workers to nosh on all day, or kids bring them to school to share, etc. And whoever gets the piece with the baby gets the next one.... if a king cake is at any party, or on a folding table on the parade route, they have about as much attention as the cheese dip, Popeye's chicken or mini-muffaletta trays.

 

And you are right about there being commemorative 'cake figurines', but those are different and separate from the king cake babies.  King cake babies are cheap plastic things that are stuffed into (or under) a warm cake:

f25925f8a9f16552aeb2f7c1cb7c93137b3df2ef

 

The commemorative figurines, however, are porcelain, not plastic; are made by ONE bakery in town (Haydel's); come in their own separate Ziploc package OUTSIDE OF THE CAKE in addition to the baby inside the cake; always represent some aspect of Mardi Gras and New Orleans; and a different one is produced every year.   And yeah, my family does have a collection of those commemorative figurines which display and add to every year.

b66574bf304c4dbf8d1c5d85c1fd4f17.jpg

 

Whenever you can come on down to New Orleans, give me a holler-- I'll show you what it's¬†ALL about. ūüėČ

 

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I‚Äôd wager money that ‚ÄúBaby Cakes‚ÄĚ happened because googling ‚ÄúNew Orleans King Cakes‚ÄĚ would likely always lead to recipes, news stories, bakeries that will ship them, etc. about the actual cakes even if the baseball team was called ‚ÄúKing Cakes‚ÄĚ today. Naming them Baby Cakes gets someone to the MiLB shop faster through a search engine. Not that I like it (agree with @B-Rich even though my first time ever in Louisiana will be Saturday), but I bet that‚Äôs why it happened.

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18 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

I‚Äôve always gotten the impression that it‚Äôs good luck to find the baby.¬†Ive even seen people with collections of various cake¬†figurines, so I‚Äôd say ‚Äúsought after‚ÄĚ accurately describes the cake babies in some circles.


If team management and the folks at Brandiose were so hellbent on drawing upon a Mardi Gras tradition in their efforts to rebrand New Orleans' Triple A baseball franchise, why not just dub the team the New Orleans Cake Babies? Why, instead, opt to go with a name - Baby Cakes - which, as you point out, is "simply more recognizable and familiar to people as a fringe-level term of endearment" to people outside of the team's home market?

Now, quite obviously, the decision was made in the hopes of maximizing revenue-generation via souvenir sales to as widespread a consumer audience as possible. Unfortunately, in chasing the almighty dollar, a cultural hallmark of New Orleans was bastardized in order to make it more palatable to those consumers who live well outside the municipality.

Therein, to my mind, lies the problem with the modern age of minor league sports branding and souvenir sales. Yes, teams are willing to invest more time, effort, and cold, hard cash into creatively branding themselves. Yes, teams are festooning an ever-growing variety of licensed products with their brands. Why? In order to generate significant revenue by selling the s**t out of said products. However, to truly maximize revenue, teams are feeling driven to adopt identities that are increasingly outlandish... and, in many cases, targeted towards a national (indeed, potentially international) audience, rather than the fans in their own home market.

On the one hand, as a sports branding enthusiast and someone who relishes the opportunity to purchase memorabilia emblazoned with well-designed logos, I have reason to celebrate these developments. On the other, I lament the fact that it often seems as though teams - and the branding professionals they hire - are increasingly less interested in catering to the tastes/preferences of hometown fans, than they are in making a splash with the creation of the next over-the-top, "something-for-everyone" team identity.                  
     

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@Brian in Boston¬†Cake Babies gets shortened to ‚ÄúBabies‚ÄĚ; Baby Cakes gets shortened to ‚ÄúCakes‚ÄĚ.

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2 hours ago, Wings said:

 

Wichita Wheat Threshers with a shark dressed in overalls riding a tractor. 

Or just make the thresher/tractor the thing with the teeth.

 

http://content.sportslogos.net/logos/11/438/full/l9z9hmyfxpoegom3djmhbevuu.gif

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30 minutes ago, THRILLHO said:

New Orleans Baby Cakes

 

If that cake was sleeping on its back, it might still be in one piece today. 

 

Parenting joke FTW

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21 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

whyÔĽŅ does the team need to be exactly the name of the actual thing?ÔĽŅ ÔĽŅWhÔĽŅy not¬†use some creative license to make the name a little catchÔĽŅiÔĽŅeÔĽŅrÔĽŅ?

 

flat,1000x1000,075,f.jpg

 

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6 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

flat,1000x1000,075,f.jpg

 

that, and what we had about 20-25 years ago with the minor keague hockey explosion:

 

ice gators

ice bats

ice pilots

ice dogs

ice cats

ice hogs

ice bears

ice hawks

ice pirates

 

I swear, I wanted to have a team called the ice monkeys.

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