Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clean, Crisp & Pretty Nice

Chatting with John Lannan after tonight's 2011 Uniform Unveiling at Nationals Park:

John Lannan: "How we perform on the field is more important than how we look."

Nats320: "So it doesn't matter how the Curly "W" looks as long as you get the Curly "W"."

John Lannan: "Yeah, I like that (chuckling)."
Drew Storen, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan & Ryan Zimmerman

Ian Desmond in Modified Red Alternate, Tyler Clippard In Away Gray

Our Washington Nationals held a fashion show this evening on South Capitol Street to introduce a new on the field look beginning next season. Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, John Lannan, Ian Desmond,  Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard gave up a portion of their off-season to participate in this invitation-only event that seemed to please the crowd in attendance. 
No longer will the block lettering (Fuddrucker look) "Nationals" appear across the front on the home jerseys for D.C.'s team. Instead, the Curly "W" has been embraced for baseball in the Nation's Capital. Equity in branding was on display as Our Washington Nationals showed a clean, crisp and pretty nice new look. 
New Primary Logo

That white on the new home jersey is BRIGHT. It just doesn't get louder than that.  Accompanied by the new Washington Nationals (Curly W) logo on the left sleeve, the new home uniform will be worn with the now standard red Curly "W" cap. Beginning in 2011, Washington will be one of just three teams in the majors that displays their home city logo on their home jersey (The Detroit Tigers and The New York Yankees are the only others--D & NY respectively).
Drew Storen In New Home White, Jordan Zimmermann in New Blue Curly "W"

The Patriotic blue "DC" jersey has been retired and replaced by a darker blue Curly "W" version.  That new uniform and the returning script "Washington" away jersey will be worn with the new red bill, blue body and white Curly "W" cap.  In our opinion, that cap alone, a big improvement over the basic navy blue, white Curly "W" cap worn since the Inaugural Season of 2005.
Additionally, the red alternate with white Curly "W" will return for 2011 with some slight modifications. Only to be worn at home, the upgraded red jersey will now have blue piping down the buttons and at the cuffs, while sporting the new Washington Nationals Primary logo.
Nationals Fan Frank Cumberland Showing Off His New Primary Logo  Tee-Shirt

Here are the additional changes, not publicly stated this evening:

Washington's home batting practice jersey beginning in 2011 will be a modified version of the Red Alternate with White Curly "W".

The blue batting practice jersey will be worn before away games only.

The home field jacket will be a modified version of the Red Alternate Jersey as well. Included on the left sleeve will be the now primary Washington Nationals Logo with Curly "W".

In the style guide for Washington's marketing purposes, the "Nationals" block lettering will be retained for tee-shirts, memorabilia, etc.  For the time being, the "Nationals" logo on the HDTV Scoreboard will remain in tact.

Additionally, the new Washington style guide will include a "Script" Nationals logo--available for tee-shirts, memorabilia and other products.

Just after the completion of tonight's fashion show, Nats320 talked with Andrew Feffer, Chief Operating Officer of Our Washington Nationals about the upcoming changes.  Here is that conversation:

Nats320: Are you getting away completely from the block "Nationals" logo?
Sohna With Andrew Feffer

Andrew Feffer: “We are not getting away from the Nationals logo. Washington Nationals is still a part of the primary logo on the sleeves. But when we started this process, we listened to our fans first. They felt very strongly about the Curly “W”. In fact, they were buying it. They liked it. So this is an opportunity for us to respond to our fans in a very positive way, also to embrace the city. The Curly “W” stands for Washington and you will notice it on all of our uniforms. The Curly “W” is our primary (logo). The home, away, alternate and patriotic--I believe we are the only uniform that, I am aware of in baseball, where the home city is on the chest. So it honors our city and our fans who waited over 30 years for baseball." 
Nats320: Are we seeing the complete faze out of the “DC” logo?
Feffer: “No. In fact, the “DC” logo is still a part of our style guide. So you will see it on hats and tee-shirts, our fans will still have the opportunity to select that. But the equity of the brand and equity of The Nationals is the Curly “W”. And you will see more of the Curly “W” in not only the uniform, but in marketing materials, the in-game presentations, and in the way we communicate with our fans.”
Nats320: How about the HDTV Scoreboard, there is a pretty expensive “Fuddrucker” Nationals logo sitting on top of it. Is that staying or what?
Feffer: “The Nationals logo is the same. If you look at the patch on the sleeves, you will see we are using block lettering there. So the same block lettering you will see on the scoreboard, will also be a part of what you see on the primary set of uniforms.” 
Nats320: Changing uniforms, does it bring good luck, a better fortune?
Feffer: “Someone asked me that earlier. It sorted out as less about a look for a uniform and more about a discussion with our fans. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking to our fans, learning about what they felt the team needed to do to improve and what the opportunities were. In response to that, we found the equity in developing the brand and for developing the experience and customer service for our fans was wrapped up in the Curly “W”. They felt very strongly about that.”
“So as we look forward to 2011, we had to decide how we would express that brand of youth, energy and authenticity--which is in the players. We looked at the uniforms. We looked at the marketing materials. We looked at the scoreboard. We looked at the experience. Everything reflected toward that youth, energy and authenticity and that has to be shown in a very demonstrative way in everything we do.”

All Photos & Videos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


Edward J. Cunningham said...

Although I was as big a fan of the block font as anybody. (Who am I kidding? I was probably the ONLY fan!) But I like the idea of using the "curly W" the same way that the Tigers and Yankees do. As Phil Wood will surely tell us in his blog, throughout most of Washington's baseball history, there has usually been SOME type of W worn over the left breast. Until the team officially became the "Senators" in 1955, spelling the name out across the front was very rare.

My only nitpick is that the "Washington" font is still red on the away jerseys, although somebody will surely point to the Cardinals as an example.

Now let's stick to these uniform changes for a while and get this team back into contention!

Sam R said...

Thanks for the pictures and story. I was pretty disappointed in the lack of invitations to Stars & Stripes Club members as well as all full season ticket holders. I would bet that if you compare who buys and wears Jerseys you won't find an equal percentage in the Lexus and Diamond club as you will in the other sections. Once again management misses the boat.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!


Screech's Best Friend said...

SamR: Just passing along what we know here. On those invitations, it was our understanding from a team official, most invitations were given to fans who had paid for their 2011 season tickets in full, in advance of the late October early bird deadline. But we really don't know how precisely that was executed.