Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
With the Super Bowl over and football season in the rear-view mirror, it’s baseball season again. Well, not really, since pitchers and catchers don’t report for another two weeks, and we’re still two months away from regular season games, but you get the point. We can really start to focus on the Kansas City Royals and their defense of their American League crown.
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Before the baseball can begin, however, the marketing must take over. It’s not that there isn’t already interest in the team, of course, but there’s still a need for advertising. Every year around this time, the Royals release their slogan for the upcoming season. This is just an easy way for the organization to have a consistent message that will help generate more enthusiasm as we inch closer to spring.
Following last year’s “Be Royal” campaign, the team has doubled down on that theme for 2015, launching their newest slogan: Forever Royal.
They revealed the slogan during a local Super Bowl commercial last night, which you can see here:
Slogans in general tend to be easy snark targets, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of it again – probably from yours truly, even – but to be honest, I’m kind of digging “Forever Royal.”
Considering how close the team came to winning a World Series title last season, they were likely tempted to use some type of slogan that reflects the on-field play. Perhaps something about “We’re Back,” or “Unfinished Business.” As we saw in 2012 with that disastrous “Our Time” ordeal, predicting success through the slogan is very rarely a good idea.
The “Forever Royal” slogan does a great job of connecting with the 2014 season, which was such a significant one for the franchise and the city. Obviously the World Series appearance was nice, but the late season run and playoff magic helped Kansas City to fall in love with the Royals again, and this slogan gives the impression that the bond between the city and the team will continue, well, forever.
That mental connection may not sell thousands more season tickets, but it has a much lower likelihood of blowing up in the organization’s collective face than any kind of implied promise of success. As long as the team doesn’t immediately turn back into the pre-2013 Royals, that is.
There’s another aspect of this message that I also enjoy, even if it isn’t something you might think of right away. The 2015 team is missing a few key players from the 2014 squad that I’m always going to consider Royals.
Billy Butler has said he would love to come back to Kansas City, and there is no question he is always going to be a Royal at heart. James Shields was such a huge part of the team’s resurgence, and even though he was here for just two seasons, he’ll always be a Royal to me. And Nori Aoki did some really awkward-looking things while wearing Royal blue, things that you couldn’t forget if you tried. Those guys are all Royals, even if they’re wearing different uniforms this season.
“Forever Royal,” to me, has as much to do with last year as it does with this year, which isn’t a bad way to go. There will be jokes, of course, but using that message to bring up the memories of the 2014 postseason run, while projecting those happy feelings forward, seems like a solid strategy. I like it. What do you think about “Forever Royal?”