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The reason for all the hype wasn't their game so much as their name: the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The name was unveiled in Septemberafter the "Trash Pandas" moniker won a public vote, beating out four similarly absurd space-animal combinations: Moon Possums, ThunderSharks, Space Chimps, and Comet Jockeys.
The newly-named Trash Pandas generated plenty of headlines, and they got an extra boost in late October when the team's amazing astronaut raccoon logo was unveiled.
You asked, they answered. Between October and December, the team received nearly 3, online orders. That topped previous three-month period sales for two other rebrands: 1, online orders from the El Paso Chihuahuas which debuted inand nearly 2, items in late early for the New Orleans Baby Cakes. Note: these numbers are all team-reported and not confirmed by MILB. A pop-up team shop that opened in mid-November proved to be so popular, selling over 32, items in just six weeksthat instead of closing at the end of December, as originally schedule, plans were made to make the store more robust and reopen it in early February Minor League Baseball has a denver dating coach history of wild nicknames and strategic promotions to gain attention and put local fans in seats.
Teams like the Toledo Mud Hens and the Chattanooga Lookouts have had their unique names for over a century — standing out amongst teams that simply share a name with their Major League parent teams, like the Syracuse Are there any websites for dating professionals over 50 or Iowa Cubs. But in the last several years, the weird-name trend has grown even weirder, as if women seeking men contact number an unspoken game of one-upsmanship to come up with the most outlandish name possible.
The Yard Goats. The Jumbo Shrimp. The Baby Cakes. The Sod Poodles. The Flying Squirrels. They're all real. And so are the Trash Pandas. When the Jacksonville Suns decided to rebrand as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp inthe team's assistant general manager, Noel Blaha, told me there were three main things the team kept in mind: being unique, being fun, and having that local tie. Even so, the immediate reaction to the Jumbo Dating startup founder titles for essays about identity theft wasn't great.
After all, the team had been known as the Suns for decades. Christmas gifts for girl you just started dating Blaha noted that the backlash quickly faded as locals came around to the new name. It makes sense. While a silly black guy experience dating white girl can generate national headlines, there has to be something about the team that allows the local fans to feel a connection.
After all, they're russian dating website funny photos ones attending games and spending money at the park. And that tie to the area's shrimping industry has done the trick in Jacksonville. The team's most ardent fans have dubbed themselves the Crustacean Nation. Things got off to a similarly rocky start in El Paso when the Tucson Padres relocated to the Texas city before the season and were renamed the Chihuahuas.
Brad Taylor, the team's senior vice president and general manager, said of the decision, "People wanted to run me and some of the people here out of town after the first 36 hours, like, 'I can't believe we've embarrassed our city by doing this. But much like in Jacksonville, fans in El Paso came around.
It's dating coach kkoma skt t1 peanut noting that the Trash Pandas, Jumbo Shrimp, and Chihuahuas logos were all created in concert with Brandiosea company that helps teams balance the need for kitsch with local appeal.
View this post on Instagram. Adam Liberman, Director of Public and Media Relations for the Akron Rubber Ducks, feels that there's a trick to choosing the right wacky name and logo: "A big thing is that it's genuine and locally tied.
To do it just to pick a random name seems like a money grab and disingenuous. Noting Akron's history with the rubber industry and nickname as the "Rubber Capital of the World," Liberman says the Rubber Ducks nickname was fun but it also helped fans feel like it was their team.
They incorporated a rubber tire track into the main logoand once you see it, "you understand it's not a rubber ducky," he told me. Minor League Baseball teams have almost total control over the direction they go with nicknames and logos, and, therefore, sink or swim largely on their own. So each team definitely has a full creative control over that rebranding process. He adds, "We just simply steer them or keep them on the right path, and not into trademark infringement or anything like that.
National attention, and growing audiences, are definitely in the minds of teams when they roll out a new logo or team name. The sharable nature of social media has played a huge role in spreading these new, quirky names and sometimes the national reaction can make an impact at home. It certainly helped fans in El Paso come around on the Chihuahuas. According to Taylor, the team sold Chihuahuas merch to customers in all 50 states in the first several weeks following the change.
That positive reaction from around the country helped locals accept the change. Said Taylor, "I think once people here in El Paso that didn't like the Chihuahua's name saw that people from the outside did like it, they finally exhaled and went, oh cool.
People aren't making fun of us. El Paso's Taylor also points to the Chihuahuas' high follower count — overbetween FacebookInstagramand Twitter — and told me, "Whenever we put something out on social media, especially when we release a new logo, a new brand, it's absolutely what the intention Jacksonville's Blaha credited social media with helping teams share their narrative in a smarter way, too.
We can control the content much better. As if to prove Blaha's point, the evening after I spoke to him, the Jumbo Shrimp were an answer on Jeopardy. Hey thereal4smo - we loved your work on Jeopardy tonight.
Can we interest you in to coming to Jacksonville for a ballgame this season? The national attention social media brings to these rebrands can affect sales numbers, too. It's a tricky balance, having a unique name that grabs attention elsewhere while keeping home fans happy, but it's worked so far. Said Blaha, "Just being in that conversation with the Yard Goats and Trash Pandas and Chihuahuas, different unique names like that, allows us to have an audience when we need it.
Another boost to merch sales comes in the form of alternate logos, throwback logos, and other programs to capture a larger interest. The Chihuahuas have literally dozens of cap options, while the Rubber Ducks have hats with their standard logoan alternate tire track "A" logo hatand a playful classic rubber duck style. Which one is your favorite on-field cap?
NationalHatDay QuAkron pic. Perhaps the best example of MILB's ability to reach a huge audience with unique merchandise was 's Copa de la Diversion initiativea program designed as an outreach initiative to the Latino fan base that wound up a success beyond MILB's hopes.
As part of the program, 33 teams temporarily took on new nicknames, complete with new logos. The logos were colorful and fun. They were also a smash hit. They'll likely be selling a lot more inwhen 72 teams will take part in the the Copa initiative. Zany team names are not exactly new to Minor League Baseball. There's a rich history of wacky names across the sport. He's also the radio play-by-play announcer for the Chihuahuas, which solidifies his expert credentials, as far as I'm concerned.
To Hagerty, the big difference between those old days and the present is that everything is officially a brand now. They were dictated by the local sports writer covering the team. One example was the Des Moines Undertakers. According to Hagerty, the name came from a sportswriter who coined the name because the team was last place.
He also name-checks the Hannibal Cannibals of Hannibal, Missouri: It's a team name that was fine in the early 20th century but probably wouldn't fly in because selling a community on supporting a team called the Cannibals seems like a tough sell.
Like everyone else I talked to, Hagerty noted that the most important part of the team name, no matter how weird, is its ties to the community it represents. Case in point: the Lansing Lug Nutswho began using the name for the season. It's NationalHatDay and we have an array of different hats to choose from! Show us a picture of you in your favorite Lugnuts hat!
But I remember as a kid, [Lug Nuts] was how I learned that Michigan was an auto parts producing state. These days, Hagerty says, "I think that teams realize that if they do it well enough, it has appeal outside their market. But the good thing is, I think teams have a pride in having a connection to their regions somehow, as far as what name they picked.
That said, you'd be forgiven for thinking this current crop of team names is a passing fad and not entirely sustainable. Ever seen a flying turtle before? Well now you will as the daytonatortugas partner with an airline for the Minors' first team-branded plane! Hagerty certainly doesn't see the trend waning. Inthe Denver Zephyrs moved to New Orleans and kept the team name intact.
He says of that move, "It would never happen today. A team going from one city to the other maintaining the same name just shows that back in the early 90s, your team name wasn't as crucial as it is now.
And the cycle is repeating itself. That Zephyrs team became the aforementioned Baby Cakes its logo based on the traditional Mardi Gras king cake baby inbut the team is moving to Wichita inwhere it'll have a new name.
The team is looking for name ideas. I reached out to the Trash Pandas for an interview, but sadly I didn't hear back. I still have their hat — they're my hometown team, after all. They replaced the Huntsville Stars team I grew up with in the s and s. That team moved to Biloxi and became the Biloxi Shuckers. The Shuckers name, coincidentally, is one of Hagerty's favorites.
It's a cool word. It ties into a unique part of their location on the Gulf of Mexico," he told me. Now, my Trash Pandas hat takes its place on the shelf next to my old Stars hat.
In another decade, I'm sure there will be a new wacky team back home that I will happily add to my collection as the marketing minds conjure up more merch that appeals to my sense of both the weird and the local.
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What's in a name?
The reason for all the hype wasn't their game so much as their name: the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The name was unveiled in September , after the "Trash Pandas" moniker won a public vote, beating out four similarly absurd space-animal combinations: Moon Possums, ThunderSharks, Space Chimps, and Comet Jockeys. The newly-named Trash Pandas generated plenty of headlines, and they got an extra boost in late October when the team's amazing astronaut raccoon logo was unveiled. You asked, they answered. Between October and December, the team received nearly 3, online orders.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.