With the start of the 2011 regular season just around the corner, teams around Major League Baseball have been busy coming up with their marketing campaigns for the upcoming year. Oftentimes, a big part of these campaigns is developing a good, catchy slogan. A proper team slogan should be memorable, inspirational and fitting. Shown below are this year's five team slogans that do the worst job of achieving these goals.
(5): Hustle + Heart (2.0)
Following up last year's Toronto Blue Jays: Hustle + Heart, now we get v2.0, intended to prepare the fan base for a repeat of last season's fourth-place finish. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if it weren't for the fact that the Blue Jays are one of the last teams that comes to mind when I think of hustle and heart. Hustle and heart are qualities you ascribe to scrawny white middle infielders, guys who make the most of limited talent. The Blue Jays are loaded with raw talent, and they're also a team that seldom runs, seldom does the little things, and instead sits back and pounds out mammoth dingers. A better slogan would be Toronto Blue Jays: Who needs hustle + heart when you hit mammoth dingers.
(4): Ready to play
Given the complete disaster that was Seattle's 2010 regular season, and given some of last year's questions about player drive and commitment, this is a positive message. The issue is that maybe it could stand to be a little more positive, because all it promises is that this year's Seattle Mariners will not be unprepared to play baseball. This shouldn't be a goal. This should be a given. Printer ink: ready to print.
(3): We are your Astros
Fan: Hey does anybody here know who our Astros are?
Astros: ooh! ooh!
Astros: We are!
Astros: Us, right here!
Astros: Right over here!
Fan: Anybody at all?
Astros: We are your Astros!
Astros: We are your Houston Astros baseball team!
Astros: Gooooo Astros!
Fan: Just shut up and get this over with.
Astros: /play terrible baseball
Fan: /follows other games on scoreboard
(2): Catch our moves
Get it? "Catch" is a reference to fishing, and Marlins are fish. But the rest of it doesn't make any sense. Moves? Guys in football have moves. Guys in basketball have moves. Guys in hockey have moves. Baseball players are never referred to as having moves, unless they're moving between AAA and the Majors, or unless they're throwing pickoffs. So either the Marlins are advertising that they'll have a lot of roster-shuffling and opposing runners on base, or they're trying to raise attendance by tricking the locals into thinking they're seeing a hip-hop dance team.
(1): Major League moments
The Mariners set modest expectations when they promised that their players would be ready to play baseball, but this is setting expectations as low as expectations get. All this slogan does is confirm that the Royals play Major League Baseball, and that over the course of their season there will be moments that take place during their games. It doesn't say anything about whether those moments will be good moments or bad moments, memorable moments or forgettable moments. It just says that there will be moments. The only thing keeping this slogan from being the worst team slogan of all time is that it comes with a built-in answer to the inevitable fan question in July of whether the Royals will be demoted to a lower league. No, they will not! They will remain in the Major Leagues, producing their own moments, or being involved in the moments of others.