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Nike Launches New MLB City Connect Uniform Series


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7 hours ago, guest23 said:

 

When are people going to realize that the city/locale identifier is nothing more than a rough approximation for the media market the franchise plays in? Since the advent of nationally televised sports the physical location of the franchise means less and less. Combine that with the near universal availability of merch via ecommerce, the ability to pick a favorite team from outside one's home market is easier than ever. The concept of hometown team in reality is the closest team within several hours drive and has been that way for 70+ years.

 

These things may be less relevant than they were decades ago, but I really think you're underestimating how much having a local rooting interest figures into fan culture. It's how a lot of teams' fan culture has crossed over into the mainstream culture of many cities.

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8 hours ago, selgy said:

The Angels ownership (Moreno) recently reupped the lease for the land to stay in Anaheim. There are questions as if that means remodeling the stadium or building a new stadium and complex (like Atlanta) on that giant parcel. With that, Anaheim might have made some naming requests. We will see. 


No chance.

 

Using “Anaheim” meant that sponsors weren’t willing to give Moreno Los Angeles-style money.  Even when the Angels were better than the Dodgers. 

 

There’s no way the city offers him enough to make up the shortfall he would face by identifying his team as Orange County only. 

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8 hours ago, dont care said:

But if anything having the LA dodger trying to be other LA team makes you look like the little brother. Same issue the clippers have. But Atleast the Angles play in a completely different county and can play off of that. 


They tried.  The sponsors said “that’s nice, but we’re not going to give your little Orange County team the kind of money we’d give a Los Angeles team.”

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23 minutes ago, Gothamite said:


They tried.  The sponsors said “that’s nice, but we’re not going to give your little Orange County team the kind of money we’d give a Los Angeles team.”

But are they really getting that much more sponsors being the other LA team?

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10 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Winning will always create success.   Well, everywhere except Florida baseball. 😉

 

But most teams don’t win every year. The trick is how you generate/sustain interest in the slow periods.  
 

I don’t like state identifiers, at all, but some teams really do believe that they create an emotional connection, and I have nothing but my own personal preferences with which to counter. 
 

I think they’re equally cynical and mealy-mouthed, I just wish I had some data to indicate that they are cynical, mealy-mouthed and also don’t work. 🤷🏽‍♂️

 

 

this sounds like a reasonable, nuanced opinion that acknowledges your own personal bias, but doesn't lean on it because it's admittedly anecdotal without hard data. for one, i am offended, for an attitude like this has NO PLACE ON THE INTERNET!

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3 hours ago, dont care said:

But are they really getting that much more sponsors being the other LA team?

 

Good question. I would think there is indeed a bigger market for sponsors willing to pay for a LA brand rather than an Anaheim one, even if they are the "other" LA team.

 

Granted, it does beg the question of why haven't the Ducks followed suit.

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11 hours ago, NicDB said:

 

These things may be less relevant than they were decades ago, but I really think you're underestimating how much having a local rooting interest figures into fan culture. It's how a lot of teams' fan culture has crossed over into the mainstream culture of many cities.

This may be true. The world is smaller now and there are more (for example) Bills fans in Missouri or Orioles fans in Florida than there probably were before so many people had access to all the games or even highlights. Though I still do think most fandoms are based on geography more than anything.

 

Two early examples were the Vikings and Twins going with "Minnesota" and I think it was to not "alienate" the fans in (presumably) St. Paul by naming the team (presumably) Minneapolis. I don't think it would have hurt the fanbases in the long run but I understand the logic. In more recent decades we've seen more examples, particularly in one-metro states like Arizona and Colorado. I also think the Florida Panthers and Texas Rangers (being the second teams in their state/sports) were probably going for "lets get the fans in the middle." ** Then we have Carolina, New England, Golden State, etc.  I'm not saying it works, but I am saying it's common practice.

 

**I suppose there are several other factors with the Rangers and Panthers. They sort of have similar situations to Minnesota (though the other three Miami and other three Dallas teams seem to make it work). Also, I am aware that both "Florida Panthers" and "Texas Rangers" make more sense than replacing with city names but maybe that's why they chose those names.

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12 hours ago, selgy said:

 I honestly don't think the Angels ownership want the team initials of A.A. or sound smaller market than LA. 

Say what you want about the Ducks using Anaheim. It is Hockey. Their local competition are the LA Kings who are not a prestigious landmark known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I have no Issues with California Angels. Its the name that I grew up with and I don't think it devalues that attachment to the Anaheim region. The Angels ownership (Moreno) recently reupped the lease for the land to stay in Anaheim. There are questions as if that means remodeling the stadium or building a new stadium and complex (like Atlanta) on that giant parcel. With that, Anaheim might have made some naming requests. We will see. 

I don't know. Seems like a missed opportunity to have even more halo-A's on their uniforms.

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4 hours ago, dont care said:

But are they really getting that much more sponsors being the other LA team?


Yes, that’s what they said. 
 

If it wasn’t significantly more, Moreno might have give Anaheim the opportunity to match it. 

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14 hours ago, SCalderwood said:

 

 

I completely agree with you, but then again, these boards are a community of people who debate things like sports logos, uniform details, colors, etc.  It would make sense that the same type of people who obsess over stuff like that, would also obsess over things like sports team city/locale identifiers and maybe overthink them. The city/locale identifier appears on the logo/uniform and becomes part of the branding, so I would argue that logos, uniforms, branding, and city/locale identifiers are all kind of linked in a way.  But I would not take the discussion taking place here to be representative of what most sports fans care or even think about, so I do not think you have much to worry about.

 

My point is that while folks are having fun here deliberating the merits of location branding in reality it has no impact on whether or not the franchise will attract more remote fans. with just a city name. History suggest that it has never played a factor which can be explained by why az was a cowboys market and the carolinas were traditionally fans of wtf.

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1 hour ago, guest23 said:

My point is that while folks are having fun here deliberating the merits of location branding in reality it has no impact on whether or not the franchise will attract more remote fans. with just a city name. History suggest that it has never played a factor which can be explained by why az was a cowboys market and the carolinas were traditionally fans of wtf.

 

Well, I'm not sure we can actually say that.

 

Yes, teams have marketed to areas without a team of their own (especially winning teams like the two you mention).  But that doesn't tell us much about whether a new team without legacy or history is more successful reaching outside its immediate market if it has a more "inclusive" name.

 

To use your Carolinas example, we don't know if they would have been as successful were the plan always to call them the Charlotte Panthers.  Would South Carolina's senators have lobbied the NFL as hard as they did to get the team in the first place?  Would people in Charlestown and Myrtle Beach (or for that matter, Durham and Wilmington) buy as much stuff?

 

I don't know.  None of us do.  The team has a pretty good idea, I'd wager, but they'll never share it with us.

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1 hour ago, OnWis97 said:

This may be true. The world is smaller now and there are more (for example) Bills fans in Missouri or Orioles fans in Florida than there probably were before so many people had access to all the games or even highlights. Though I still do think most fandoms are based on geography more than anything.

 

Two early examples were the Vikings and Twins going with "Minnesota" and I think it was to not "alienate" the fans in (presumably) St. Paul by naming the team (presumably) Minneapolis. I don't think it would have hurt the fanbases in the long run but I understand the logic. In more recent decades we've seen more examples, particularly in one-metro states like Arizona and Colorado. I also think the Florida Panthers and Texas Rangers (being the second teams in their state/sports) were probably going for "lets get the fans in the middle." ** Then we have Carolina, New England, Golden State, etc.  I'm not saying it works, but I am saying it's common practice.

 

**I suppose there are several other factors with the Rangers and Panthers. They sort of have similar situations to Minnesota (though the other three Miami and other three Dallas teams seem to make it work). Also, I am aware that both "Florida Panthers" and "Texas Rangers" make more sense than replacing with city names but maybe that's why they chose those names.


The choice to name the Twins the way they did was interesting because the Lakers didn't seem all that concerned with alienating potential fans in St. Paul when they were named exclusively for Minneapolis.  Then when the WHA came along, the Minnesota franchise chose a name that specifically referenced the fact that they played in St. Paul.  Perhaps the x-factor was the fact that baseball fandom in the area was already died in the wool on either side of the river thanks to the Millers and Saints.  That didn't necessarily exist when it came to the other sports.

I always wondered if the name Minneapolis Saints was ever considered for the Twins.  I always thought that would have been a clever way to acknowledging the fans on one side of the river while playing on the other.  It also would have staved off the Pandora's Box of naming teams after entire states for at least a few more years.  Although you could probably argue that with the Angels moving to Orange County, it only would have delayed the inevitable. 

The Texas Rangers and Florida Panthers cases are interesting since they're named after proper nouns.  You could also make that argument for the Colorado Rockies.  But then you have to wonder if those names were chosen to passively justify using the state's name.  In the case of the Marlins, Florida was chosen specifically because they felt it would win over more fans in other parts of the state before the Devil Rays came along even though Miami Marlins was a traditional name for baseball teams in South Florida.  Arizona Diamondbacks is the one I have a major problem with because you can't even make the argument that they don't play in Phoenix.  It also got rid of the Phoenix Firebirds moniker, which is one of my favorite ever team names. 

Golden State is just odd, but that was also around the time when the Capital Bullets were a thing.  Perhaps that's how the NBA was trying to set itself apart from the other leagues at the time.  Maybe I should be glad that trend didn't start a few years earlier... I might be rooting for the Lake Michigan Skunks.

 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Well, I'm not sure we can actually say that.

 

Yes, teams have marketed to areas without a team of their own (especially winning teams like the two you mention).  But that doesn't tell us much about whether a new team without legacy or history is more successful reaching outside its immediate market if it has a more "inclusive" name.

 

To use your Carolinas example, we don't know if they would have been as successful were the plan always to call them the Charlotte Panthers.  Would South Carolina's senators have lobbied the NFL as hard as they did to get the team in the first place?  Would people in Charlestown and Myrtle Beach (or for that matter, Durham and Wilmington) buy as much stuff?

 

I don't know.  None of us do.  The team has a pretty good idea, I'd wager, but they'll never share it with us.

If the teams have a good idea and seem to consistently choose larger geographic identifiers I would say that's a pretty good sign that more often than not it pays to be Carolina instead of Charlotte.

 

In the case of a team like the Rockies I could definitely see a fan on the western slope with existing loyalties feeling more represented by the Colorado identifier than the Denver one. If you live on the other side of a mountain range and 5 hours from Denver why would you feel more connected to that team than the existing fandom you had? 

 

It won't work for everyone but in some of these cases I think it makes a lot of sense that some people would be more amenable to a team with a broader identifier. 

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Just now, JTernup said:

If the teams have a good idea and seem to consistently choose larger geographic identifiers I would say that's a pretty good sign that more often than not it pays to be Carolina instead of Charlotte.

But if that's the case, why did the MLS team go with Charlotte FC? Same ownership, all the same people, yet literally the only identifier for the team is the city.

 

In my opinion, regional names work well in football, where it's much less likely that another team plays in the same area (thus it is a regional sport) while in other sports like basketball, baseball, or hockey, there's going to be other teams, thus a regional identifier doesn't make much sense.

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2 minutes ago, QCS said:

But if that's the case, why did the MLS team go with Charlotte FC? Same ownership, all the same people, yet literally the only identifier for the team is the city.

 

In my opinion, regional names work well in football, where it's much less likely that another team plays in the same area (thus it is a regional sport) while in other sports like basketball, baseball, or hockey, there's going to be other teams, thus a regional identifier doesn't make much sense.

I don't think MLS has a good case for casting a wide net. All of the most successful clubs in MLS have been hyper local in their branding and fan support. You're certainly right that different leagues are more regional in nature but amongst the big 4 it seems that regional names are more common since expansion took hold. 

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51 minutes ago, NicDB said:


The choice to name the Twins the way they did was interesting because the Lakers didn't seem all that concerned with alienating potential fans in St. Paul when they were named exclusively for Minneapolis.  Then when the WHA came along, the Minnesota franchise chose a name that specifically referenced the fact that they played in St. Paul.  Perhaps the x-factor was the fact that baseball fandom in the area was already died in the wool on either side of the river thanks to the Millers and Saints.  That didn't necessarily exist when it came to the other sports.

I always wondered if the name Minneapolis Saints was ever considered for the Twins.  I always thought that would have been a clever way to acknowledging the fans on one side of the river while playing on the other.  It also would have staved off the Pandora's Box of naming teams after entire states for at least a few more years.  Although you could probably argue that with the Angels moving to Orange County, it only would have delayed the inevitable. 

The Texas Rangers and Florida Panthers cases are interesting since they're named after proper nouns.  You could also make that argument for the Colorado Rockies.  But then you have to wonder if those names were chosen to passively justify using the state's name.  In the case of the Marlins, Florida was chosen specifically because they felt it would win over more fans in other parts of the state before the Devil Rays came along even though Miami Marlins was a traditional name for baseball teams in South Florida.  Arizona Diamondbacks is the one I have a major problem with because you can't even make the argument that they don't play in Phoenix.  It also got rid of the Phoenix Firebirds moniker, which is one of my favorite ever team names. 

Golden State is just odd, but that was also around the time when the Capital Bullets were a thing.  Perhaps that's how the NBA was trying to set itself apart from the other leagues at the time.  Maybe I should be glad that trend didn't start a few years earlier... I might be rooting for the Lake Michigan Skunks.

 

I tried to say that in my post, but you did it much better.

 

I think I read here (but haven't found it elsewhere) that the Twins wanted to be the "Twin Cities Twins" to the point that the "TC" hat was designed with the "place name" before the American League said no. So while I always assumed the "TC" was to avoid the perception of an "M" being for "Minneapolis" it's also possible that it lingers as symbolic of a somewhat prototypical name, which would be a pretty cool story.  I'm not aware of the consideration of "Minneapolis Saints," but that would have been an interesting solution and may have flown since naming big league teams after states was so rare back then.

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Well, I'm not sure we can actually say that.

 

Yes, teams have marketed to areas without a team of their own (especially winning teams like the two you mention).  But that doesn't tell us much about whether a new team without legacy or history is more successful reaching outside its immediate market if it has a more "inclusive" name.

 

To use your Carolinas example, we don't know if they would have been as successful were the plan always to call them the Charlotte Panthers.  Would South Carolina's senators have lobbied the NFL as hard as they did to get the team in the first place?  Would people in Charlestown and Myrtle Beach (or for that matter, Durham and Wilmington) buy as much stuff?

 

I don't know.  None of us do.  The team has a pretty good idea, I'd wager, but they'll never share it with us.

 

There is enough anecdotal evidence out there that pre 90's expansion in the major 4 sports that states and media markets had rather robust fan support and these markets that lacked a home team would find a team to adopt located hundreds of miles and sometimes several states away. My point being that if the charlotte and surrounding media markets were already supporting a team representing dc would it make a difference if their new expansion franchise was named for charlotte or for the 2 state region? The short answer is that that the location identifier is not relevant to fans. While there is not a ton of public data there's enough qualitative data out there that illustrates regional allegiance with the many of the teams using the city name location identifier. Here's a high level example https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2188163-facebook-data-shows-nfl-fandom-by-counties-throughout-united-states

 

IMHO location identifier is not a significant enough attribute to use as a determinant for attracting fans but it's fun to talk about in theory.

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23 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I tried to say that in my post, but you did it much better.

 

I think I read here (but haven't found it elsewhere) that the Twins wanted to be the "Twin Cities Twins" to the point that the "TC" hat was designed with the "place name" before the American League said no. So while I always assumed the "TC" was to avoid the perception of an "M" being for "Minneapolis" it's also possible that it lingers as symbolic of a somewhat prototypical name, which would be a pretty cool story.  I'm not aware of the consideration of "Minneapolis Saints," but that would have been an interesting solution and may have flown since naming big league teams after states was so rare back then.

 

I can't remember if it was here, but I've definitely heard the Twin Cities Twins story.  Around the same time, Earl Weaver was managing a minor league club here in Wisconsin called the Fox Cities Foxes (the current Wisconsin Timber Rattlers), so it's not like such a naming convention was unheard of.

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4 minutes ago, guest23 said:

 

There is enough anecdotal evidence out there that pre 90's expansion in the major 4 sports that states and media markets had rather robust fan support and these markets that lacked a home team would find a team to adopt located hundreds of miles and sometimes several states away. My point being that if the charlotte and surrounding media markets were already supporting a team representing dc would it make a difference if their new expansion franchise was named for charlotte or for the 2 state region? The short answer is that that the location identifier is not relevant to fans. While there is not a ton of public data there's enough qualitative data out there that illustrates regional allegiance with the many of the teams using the city name location identifier. Here's a high level example https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2188163-facebook-data-shows-nfl-fandom-by-counties-throughout-united-states

 

IMHO location identifier is not a significant enough attribute to use as a determinant for attracting fans but it's fun to talk about in theory.


I do think the Panthers were named for the Carolinas specifically to garnish support from politicians in South Carolina more than any actual demand from a potential fanbase.  Although the fact that they planned to play their first season at Clemson probably played a role as well.

Still, it's not like the Charlotte Hornets were hurting for popularity in the mid-90s. 

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1 hour ago, QCS said:

But if that's the case, why did the MLS team go with Charlotte FC? Same ownership, all the same people, yet literally the only identifier for the team is the city.

 

In my opinion, regional names work well in football, where it's much less likely that another team plays in the same area (thus it is a regional sport) while in other sports like basketball, baseball, or hockey, there's going to be other teams, thus a regional identifier doesn't make much sense.


There is a big reason. 

When Charlotte was awarded the Panthers in the early 90s it was still an up-and-coming city with a metro population of around 600,000

Currently Charlotte metro is 26th largest at 2.6million

The Panthers needed the name Carolina. 

Now Charlotte can stand on its own 

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