Royals Challenge Fans to Bring Out the Blue: Will It Work?
Multiple media outlets reported on the Kansas City Royals 2022 slogan/hashtag #BringOuttheBlue earlier in the week. While there are parts of this season's slogan/hashtag that I think are great, and could become a unique aspect of Royals baseball. There's one part of it that I'm not sure will resonate.
The slogan and associated tactics the team is employing this season almost seem like an awareness campaign that the Royals are Kansas City's baseball team. And that hey, you should come to the ballpark and watch a game or two or five.
And that's not a bad thing, that 2015 World Series has faded greatly. And frankly, aside from some bright spots and players, there hasn't been a whole lot to cheer about. And when the Royals seem out of contention the fans don't show up. Maybe this year will be different, Zack Greinke's back. Salvador Perez is solid, and Bobby Witt, Jr. brings the promise of excitement. So it's a good season to try and lure fans back to The K.
The Royals #BringOuttheBlue campaign for 2022 contains three big things according to KMBC:
- The Royals will be flying a huge banner in center-field during home stands with the word "home" on it to signify the team is in town.
- The backside of the Crown Vision scoreboard (along with the "home" flag in center-field) will be lit up in blue when the team is in town.
- The team wants fans to flood Kansas City and the surrounding area with blue on opening day at the K, and any time the team starts a homestand.
I can get behind the big "home" banner in center-field and lighting up the back of the scoreboard in blue when the team is playing at home. It's one of those quirky traditions that if the team sticks with it, could become unique to the Royals. Kind of like the Cubs running up a "W" flag for a win, or the "L" flag for a loss a top of Wrigley Field's iconic scoreboard.
The part that I don't think will work is flooding the Kansas City area with blue any time the team starts a homestand. Fox 4's story on the Royals #BringOuttheBlue campaign compares it to Red Fridays during the Chiefs season.
Here's the problem. Baseball's a 162 game grind. I quickly counted 12 homestands through April-October. Some homestands start on Thursday, others Friday, and some earlier in the week. Red Fridays work because you do it on Friday, every Friday during the Chiefs season.
The Uni-Watch website agrees with me. In an article mainly poking fun at a Royals marketing executive comparing Kansas Citians innately knowing you wear red on Fridays during the Chiefs season to kittens innately knowing how to use a litter box, Paul Lukas gives a pretty good explanation why this part of the team's campaign just won't work:
...the whole idea of the town wearing blue on the night the team comes home from a road trip is pretty silly to begin with. Like, are the players really going to notice or care as they drive from the airport to their homes? Is the whole city going to gather around TVs and watch the opening game of the homestand the next night, like they do for a Chiefs game every Sunday during football season? Baseball doesn’t work that way — you can’t make every game (or even every homestand opener) into an Event, especially on a Tuesday night.
Baseball is different than football. And if the Royals want to help some charities out by selling some merch and donating the proceeds, why not just do something like "Blue Fridays" or "Blue Thursdays" and ask people to wear blue? 'Cause unless you're a Royals superfan, I don't think you're going to be consulting your schedule to see when the next homestand starts.
Granted, the baseball season is a couple of months longer than the football season, which is maybe why the Royals focused on homestands to get people to show their Royal pride. But still, if you're going to try it. A weekly campaign is better than trying to do it homestand by homestand.
I'll try though, I have a couple of nice Royals polo shirts and a variety of Royals jerseys I don't pull out of the closet and wear enough.