Results tagged ‘ Everett AquaSox ’

The AquaSox Throwback to the Future

I’ve really got to hand it to short-season teams, who keep finding their way into the news despite the close proximity of an Opening Day which does not apply to them.

The latest such club to penetrate the public consciousness is the Everett AquaSox, who have just announced a “brand extension.” This might not be quite as radical as a “complete identity overhaul”, but it is a most significant development nonetheless.

So, how does a brand extend one’s self? Let’s find out by taking a look at the team’s new and improved starting line-up of logos.

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As before, Webbly the frog remains the centerpiece of the team’s primary logo.

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The big change here is the stylized letter “E”, which is a direct reference to the Seattle Mariners’ “Trident M” logo of the 70s. As the press release points out, this makes the AquaSox “the first Minor League Baseball team to build their identity based on
their affiliate’s throwback logos.”

In fact, the Trident “E” will now be featured on the team’s away caps:

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Also of note is a new mark that depicts a literal pair of Aqua Socks. This will be used as a home shoulder patch on the home uniform, as well as an alternate cap:

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The “brand extension” is the work of Plan B Branding, a creative ideas and storytelling company whose recent work has resulted in more aggressive bears, moose, and crustaceans.

I’d like to think that this will be it when it comes to new 2010 logos, but I’ve learned not to assume anything. Just when you think that there won’t be any more — BAM! — another one comes from out of nowhere and flattens you on the sidewalk like a sack of bricks falling from an improperly constructed scaffold. 

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

Improving My Game

paperclip.jpegAfter talking the talk, I realized I must walk the walk.

The talk that I’ve been talking is that social networking is an effective and low-cost way for teams to stay in touch with their fan bases year-round (I even wrote an article based on this premise, which can be found HERE).

And the walk that I’m now walking is this:

Official Ben’s Biz Blog Facebook Page
Official Ben’s Biz Blog Twitter Page

I have spent the the better part of the past two afternoons making sure I am a “friend”, “fan”, “foe”, or “follower” of as many Minor League teams (and mascots) as possible. But this represents just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to who I can connect with, so please do not hesitate to become my friend, follower, foe, or, where applicable, internet life partner. I always enjoy hearing from my loyal readers (and am still amazed that such individuals exist), and my new and improved online presence will only help facilitate such communication.   

It will also help me keep abreast of what’s going on throughout the Minors. What follows are a few things that I have come across in the course of my extensive Minor League Facebook and Twitter travels:

– Last week, I expressed surprise at the fact that no teams had followed the lead of the Fresno Grizzlies, who produce a weekly “I Hate the Offseason” web series. Well, the Omaha Royals are doing just this, and the title of their series directly references Fresno’s.

Behold “My Offseason Life is Average”, episodes 1 and 2:
 

The O-Royals videos above are willfully absurd, but not so absurd as the true-life video that a Salt Lake Bees fan recently posted on the team’s Facebook page: Bon Jovi’s bass player, in a Japanese airport, wearing a Bees t-shirt! You can’t make this stuff up.

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And, finally, my travels led me to one of the best Minor League blogs I have seen in a while. It’s called “Goshen and Giddings”, and is devoted to illuminating the long history of professional baseball in Visalia, CA (a lot of great old photos and team programs are containted therein). An affirmative head nod goes to Donny Baarns, director of broadcasting for the Visalia Rawhide, for putting it together.

In closing, I would like to offer a few boldfaced ways in which you can get in touch with me. Please utilize the following options at your discretion. And thanks, as always, for reading.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz
Facebook

Opportunistic Reappropriation Abounds

recycling.JPGLast week, I dedicated a post to the third annual “Minors Moniker Madness” competition. The goal of this ridiculous endeavor is to determine who has the greatest name in all of Minor League Baseball (and, by the way, don’t forget to VOTE! Just 16 names remain…)

Minors Moniker Madness is far from an anomalous event, however, as several other baseball-related entities are staging March Madness rip-offs tributes of their very own. Among them:

The Toledo Mud HensJamie Farr’s favorite Minor League team is currently in the midst of its “Eat 16″ tournament, in which fans are asked to vote for their favorite concession stand items. Myfarrout.jpg prediction is that Nachos, a #14 seed, emerges as the Cinderella story of this competition. Vote HERE.

The Omaha RoyalsWarren Buffet’s favorite Minor League team sent shockwaves through the blogosphere after dropping this bombshell of a press release. In lieu of a tedious summarization of said press release, please allow me to quote liberally:

OMAHA, NE – He’s the President of the Omaha Royals, but Alan Stein is a
native Kentuckian and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. No
surprise then that he has made a friendly wager that the Wildcats will
emerge victorious when they become one of the marquee basketball names
to visit Qwest Center Omaha next Monday night in the second round of
the National Invitation Tournament.

Stein was hoping to make the
wager with Creighton University Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen.
However, Rasmussen is not allowed to do that by NCAA rules. In stepped
Jill Rasmussen, Bruce’s wife, to carry the flag for the Bluejays.

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If the 21-13 Wildcats win, Mrs. Rasmussen will be sending a box of
Omaha Steaks to Stein. If the 27-7 Bluejays pick up the victory on
their home court, Stein will be shipping Mrs. Rasmussen a basket of
Kentucky Proud products, which will include a bottle of the
world-famous Maker’s Mark bourbon.


“I am absolutely confident that the blue-and-white will prevail on
Monday night,” Stein quipped, as both teams wear those colors. “I can’t
wait to attend the game.”

“Bring it on,” Mrs. Rasmussen simply said.

UPDATE: Mrs. Rasmussen has since trademarked the phrase “Bring it On.” I had to pay over $800 just to include those three words in this post. It was worth it. 

Baseballposts.comThis one gets points for thoroughness, as baseballposts.com has assembled a tournament that seeks to determine nothing less than the the most popular team in all of Minor League Baseball. 223 teams are featured, divided into eight regions, and voting will continue until April 15.

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This is a herculean and somewhat quixotic endeavor, akin to the the famous scene in Fitzcarraldo in which a 360-ton boat is dragged up and over a hilltop.

Which reminds me — when is a Minor League team going to step up and stage a “Salute to Werner Herzog” promotional night? Existentialist between-innings games and contests, Klaus Kinski look-a-alike contests, and Popul Vuh over the loudspeakers — it would be a night of family fun!

Okay, the crickets have arrived in force. That’s my cue to get out of here while the gettin is still good…       

Automobile Ownership as a Result of Skillful Tent Stake Usage

aquasox_logo.gifThe Everett AquaSox staged a variety of memorable promotions this past season, but they saved the best for last. August 31 was the club’s final home game of the year, and it was highlighted by a most remarkable giveaway. For a description of this giveaway, let me defer, as always, to my “Promotion Preview” column:

“In addition to being the AquaSox’s awesomely named trainer, Spyder Webb is an exceedingly generous individual. How generous? Well, on Sunday, one lucky fan will win his 1995 Chevy Blazer LT as part of the team’s “Fan Appreciation Day” festivities. Upon the conclusion of that
afternoon’s game, 1,500 tent stakes will be handed out to fans. Then, 
these stake-wielding individuals will be invited to dig up the warning
track in search of the keys to Webb’s ride.”

Rick O’Connor, the AquaSox’s media relations director, was kind enough to provide me with a recap of this action-packed promo, as well as a few photos.

“We buried five keys (one of which started the car) along with 12 other prizes – season tickets, autographed baseball and other
merchandise,” wrote O’Connor. “The key was buried somewhere on the warning track between the two foul poles and the winning key was dug up by a 12-year-old kid named Robert! He can’t drive for four years, but when he turns 16 he’ll have a set of wheels waiting for him!”

But Robert’s road to victory was not an easy one. Here is a photo of the fans stampeding onto the field at the end of the game, ready to do some serious damage to the warning track:

KeyDigSprint.jpg And once those fans made it to the warning track, the heated battle for Webb’s keys began in earnest:

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But, of course, it was young Robert who emerged victorious. Here he is, moments after his thrilling discovery of Webb’s keys.

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Of course, this promotion wouldn’t have been able to occur, had it not been for the unprecedented generosity of one special individual. Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Spyder Webb!

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Hot Off the Wire

everett.pngThe “Transactions” section of the newspaper sports section is easy to overlook, seeing how it is usually filled with items such as this:

Prairie League

DES MOINES RATTLESABRES: Agreed to terms with P Jamie Navarro on a one-year contract.”

But I nonetheless scour the transactions every day, because it occasionally yields fantastic Minor League news items such as this:

Northwest League

EVERETT AQUASOX: Traded mascot “Webbly” to Tri-City Dust Devils in exchange for their WebblyFrankCart.jpgmascot, Dusty the Dust Devil.”

A mascot trade? Now that’s fascinating. Some further research on my part uncovered this press release, which reads in part:

“Webbly’s existing contract with the AquaSox was set to expire at the end of the 2008 season. The 12-year veteran frog made it known through his agent that he hoped to restructure and extend his agreement in order to avoid a potential holdout.”

Unfortunately, the two sides could not come to an agreement, and the AquaSox decided the best thing to do would be to trade Webbly now, rather than risk losing him to free agency at the end of the 2008 season and receiving nothing in return.

Dusty.JPGSo, Webly’s days with the AquaSox have come to an end. His replacement, Dusty the Dust Devil, had spent the previous seven seasons in Tri-City. In Everett, Dusty will platoon with Frank (an anthropomorphic frankfurter) and Popfly (a puppet).

“I am positive that Dusty will be a positive addition to our staff and I believe that a Dust Devil, a Hot Dog, and a Puppet can coexist on the same team,” said AquaSox GM Brian Sloan.

Rest assured, I will be following this riveting mascot trade story as it progresses.
—————————————————————————— Also, please be assured that I will be spending as much time as possible throughout the week on this here blog. Without any warning, MLBlogs has undergone a thorough overhaul., and there is much to learn. Please email me (milbbusiness@yahoo.com) if you run into any problems with the new and “improved” Ben’s Biz Blog.

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