Monday, July 06, 2009

Marketing Teddy

Heading home from work this afternoon, I stopped off at this store called FIVE BELOW, where nothing for sale costs more than $5. Curious to see what they sell, I started looking around. Off in a corner there was this display of "Kooky" Pens that caught my attention because The New York Yankees & Boston Red Sox Logos were the artwork used on a few of these pens which cost $3.

Could there be one for Our Washington Nationals?

Yes and No.

Every single MLB Collection Pen for sale depicted the logo of a Big League Team.

Except for Our Washington Nationals Version-- which featured Teddy!! Yes, Our Lovable Loser racing in all his glory on a "Kooky" Pen. Not just Our Team being marketed, but Teddy. Laughing to myself while looking at them, I thought, what could be more fitting?

"Kooky" Pen--"Kooky" Guy.

Teddy is depicted on The NatsTown Souvenir Soda Cups sold at Nationals Park. He's prominent on the NatsTown Bucket of Popcorn sold as well. #26 has a couple of bobbleheads and a stuffed doll made of his supposed likeness available in The Team Stores. He's got a facebook and twitter page. And now--Teddy has his own "Kooky" Pens for sale.

Marketing Teddy's Popularity Never Stops.

So why isn't Teddy handing these out at Nationals Park? Why is he not signing autographs for kids with them? They are actually pretty cool and feature a small clasping hook to attached to bags, purses or belt loops.

I bought two for The African Queen and I.

Teddy, do we have to bring one to you next homestand?


An Briosca Mor said...

The thing that's really sad is that the Nationals are simultaneously marketing Teddy as the prime symbol of the franchise and also creating the image of Teddy as nothing but a perennial also-ran. In other words, they have created a loser and made him the face of the franchise. Stan, two wrongs don't make a right. If you insist on making Teddy the real mascot of this franchise, then why not turn the Presidents Race into a real race and let Teddy compete on an equal footing with George, Tom and Abe? What message are you sending about your team when you identify them with a mascot who always loses?

SenatorNat said...

Logically, I concur with my esteemed colleague in the letter, ABM; when one considers that TR is among the most accomplished and courageous Americans of our history thus far, the man who admonished all Americans to follow his example to give their blood and sweat "in the arena," it seems somewhat supercilious, if not committing patriotic sacrilege, to reduce him to a Loveable,yet Dottering, Perpetual Loser figure. It is pretty nervy for a franchise which is so parsimoneous and risk-adverse at the top, and loses so naturally on the field, with a manager seemingly resigned to accept the team's substantial limitations, to use an heroic Amercian (indeed world) hero and statesman for comic relief and to boost concession sales.

Having said that, this Teddy figure associated with the modern Nationals has grown up quite naturally, and is akin to the Teddy Bear, which was a popular stuffed animal with generations of Americans, also based on the Roughrider. A symbol equally adorable, harmless, fun, and not confused with the original, but rather, a form of tribute to the guy who could deliver a speech in Milwaukee with five bullets lodged in him, but who carried the look of the local librarian.

What I endorse about Teddy evolving into the fan and now, increasingly, the team symbol of the Nationals is that it has grown up naturally, and that it involves nothing but pure affection, heart, and hope for that day when we can fill in the fourth pennant flying atop the scoreboard in right at Nationals Park. In the meantime, have a Roughrider and enjoy the staged bungling antics of our lone smiling Racing Prez.

Bully, bully!

Trust in an African Safari. And the African Queen. All American!

An Briosca Mor said...

SenatorNat, this Teddy Roosevelt mascot was not born a loser. He was made a loser by the ownership, specifically Kasten, and then adopted as the prime mascot of the team. Whatever loveableness he might have is not due to his losing, it is despite his losing, which has been unjustly forced upon him. Therein lies the problem. He should be allowed to compete, and then if he loses so be it. But as it is now, this franchise is publicly declaring that their best public face is someone who is absolutely prohibited from ever winning. Is that the message they want to be sending about themselves?