Where Do You Live? Oh, NatsTown?

Yesterday, the Nationals released their marketing campaign for the 2009 season.  Are you ready for this?



The Washington Nationals today announced their 2009 "NatsTown" marketing and advertising campaign, which unites all fans in everything Nationals – at the ballpark, in the community, and in their everyday lives.


The innovative campaign, which will debut on television, on radio, and in newspaper and website advertisements, invites all fans to "Get Your Red On," showing Nationals spirit by wearing team colors, sporting the Curly "W" cap or jersey, listening to games on WFED, watching on MASN, or following the team online or in the newspaper. 


The Nationals intend to feature Nationals players, Manager Manny Acta, coaches and fans, telling their versions of what "NatsTown" means to them, how they express it, and what the hometown baseball experience can mean to fans in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

"I know how much the return of Major League Baseball has meant to Washington DC area baseball fans, and this campaign is intended to express it," said Stan Kasten, Nationals Team President.  "It’s team spirit, community pride, American tradition tied up in a package that best displays the Home of the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital.  I want baseball fans all over the country to know that that in DC we know how to support a team; that when we lift our World Series trophy our fans will know how to celebrate." 

The new campaign recognizes that every time a Nats fan comes to the ballpark, watches a game, visits the website, dons a Washington Nationals cap, or just checks the score, he or she is entering a Nationals state-of-mind and joining a community of fans in "NatsTown."

If you want to get the opinion of the common fan, click the link.  For me, this feels like another one of a long string of decent ideas that either through effort or support just doens't quite hit the mark.

First, here's the logo.


I hope the team got permission from the National Park Service to use the likeness of the Capitol and Monument.  Either way, there's nothing about the logo that says "baseball".  No image of the stadium.  No silouette of a player.  Not even a ball or a bat.  And what's with the weird mirror imaging of the words?  It's just a really strange design effect.  Is it just me?

Next, let's discuss the connotation of "NatsTown". 

Is DC really Nats town?  I'd say right now (per our timely discussion thread the other day), this is a CapsTown right now.  As we all know, it's usually SkinsTown.  It's always been a college basketball town.  But it's a neophyte baseball town, and even then there are usually just as many out-of-town fans as Nats fans.

Where do you live?  NatsTown.  And considering the way this team usually pilfers other people's traditions and uses them as their own (Sweet Caroline, anyone?  And really, aren't the Racing Presidents just a rip-off of the saugage racers in Milwaukee?), doens't "Nats Nation" just have a better ring to it than NatsTown?  I'm all for aliteration.

Either way, I would have preferred a left handed hitting, middle-of-the-order guy to a new marketing campaign any day of the week.  Lipstick on a pig.

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