SBD/February 12, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Fans Can Decide New Pirates Logo For '14 Season

In Pittsburgh, Bob Cohn reported Pirates fans will "have a say in choosing a new logo" for the '14 season. Four focus groups -- season ticket holders, corporate partners, suite holders and random fans -- are "meeting at PNC Park this week to help pick a new buccaneer symbol." The present model, which features a "snarling pirate in a black and red bandana," has been in use since '97. Pirates Exec VP & CMO Lou DePaoli emphasized that contrary to some reports, the "traditional and popular gold 'P,' which is worn on the hat and featured prominently in advertising and marketing, will not be touched" (TRIBLIVE.com, 2/11).

A TRIBE'S QUEST: FOXSPORTS.com's Ken Rosenthal writes the Indians "suddenly are relevant again" after adding manager Terry Francona, RF Nick Swisher and CF Michael Bourn. Rosenthal: "Did anyone foresee the Indians spending a combined $104 million on Swisher and Bourn, even after their owner, Paul Dolan, sold the team’s regional sports network, SportsTime Ohio, to Fox Sports?" The Indians in each case "exploited their unique position in the market, landing accomplished free agents for less money than most in the industry expected those players to receive." For once, the system "actually worked to their advantage" (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/12).

BOTTOM FISHING: In Miami, Clark Spencer writes, "Weird describes a lot of things for the Marlins this spring." When pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training yesterday there was "nary a hint of last year's media circus that converged here like locusts ... to detail and document the unveiling of the rebranded Marlins." The New Yorker and N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine "did not send representatives this time, and the production crew for 'The Franchise' series was no longer about with cameras rolling." Instead, only a "handful of sportswriters and one South Florida TV station showed up" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/12).

ROYAL TREATMENT: In K.C., Pete Grathoff writes a new Royals billboard campaign featuring P James Shields and C Salvador Perez is "clever stuff." A billboard on eastbound I-35 in K.C. shows Shields "having just delivered a pitch," while another on the westbound side shows Perez "preparing to catch the ball." A rip in the billboard "goes straight to the ball." Royals VP/Community Affairs & Publicity Toby Cook: "It's supposed to look like the ball ripped through the billboard and is going into Salvador Perez's glove" (KCSTAR.com, 2/11).
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