SI Vault
 
The Ceremonial First Sales Pitch
Rick Reilly
March 13, 2006
I feel sorry for certain people. Leon Spinks's orthodontist. Bode Miller's agent. Anybody in a ham-eating contest with James Gandolfini.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 13, 2006

The Ceremonial First Sales Pitch

View CoverRead All Articles

I feel sorry for certain people. Leon Spinks's orthodontist. Bode Miller's agent. Anybody in a ham-eating contest with James Gandolfini.

But nobody has it worse than the poor souls in marketing for some major league baseball teams.

Thanks to owners with the financial acumen of Mike Tyson, baseball has no salary cap, which means only about 10 teams out of 30 have a chance to win a championship. They know it. We know it. Tibetan monks know it.

So the marketing guys have to come up with a slogan that will lure fans to the park without flat-out deceiving them. I mean, it's not like the Kansas City Royals can put up billboards that read FOLLOW US TO THE WORLD SERIES!

In the world of advertising, this is considered a very tough sell. Like pitching Asian chickens or fur sinks or vacation time-shares in Kabul.

Still, they continue to amaze with their ability to find something good about their teams. Take a look at this year's batch of marketing slogans.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS--Coming Soon! Major League Baseball!

DETROIT TIGERS--We Guarantee We'll Get More Wins Than the Lions!

BALTIMORE ORIOLES--Steroid-free Since February!

Continue Story
1 2 3 4