Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Go Time!



When my sister (the taller, more manicured version of me) stepped into a downtown bar in Orlando one St. Patrick's Day evening, she had no idea that she was about to strike gold.

She ordered a drink. Talked to a cute boy at the bar. Got his phone number. Their 10-year wedding anniversary is this year. Their oldest daughter turned to me today and said "Auntie Ally, next year I'm going to be a pre-teen."

Oy vey.

In addition to marrying a well-educated, well-traveled, Scottish chap, she also married a sports marketing genius (as in...he is all of these things...not that she was married multiple times). Working at the time for the Scottish Claymores, he eventually left there to do marketing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and finally ended up at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And this is how I came to have one entire shelf in my closet designated for the teal.

I have to admit...I loved his time with the Bucs. Their colors are badass. They have a pirate's ship...with cannons that fired for every touchdown (rent in the neighborhood had to be dirt-cheap). And a peg leg is the new black (insert lame pirate's joke here: What kind of socks do pirates wear? ARRR-gyle!). Plus, they play their home games at Raymond James Stadium. You feel like you are investing just by attending a game. There wasn't much to hate about the Buccaneers. Oh, except their losing seasons. That was unfortunate.

Who's up for a little swashbuckling on a Monday night? 

And lo and behold, right before they won the Super Bowl in 2002, Mr. Marketing took a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars (I love how Wikipedia lists the Bucs as "Super Bowl champions in 2002", which is immediately followed by "Period of Struggle" from 2003-2008." No shit. That's putting it nicely.) Trading it in for teal on the cusp of a national victory is kind of like playing the nickel slots for 12 hours and then walking away to go to the bathroom, only to return to discover someone hit the jackpot of $500K while you were wiping

It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. So, I didn't. I was being stockpiled with Jags gear, but I just couldn't give up the red and black...the parrot accessories...the eyepatch....the rum...until I caught a Sunday afternoon Jags game. Jackson DeVille, the teal-clad, cool kat mascot was working the crowd. He could be Chester Cheetoh's twin brother (er...or cousin...considering the whole genus/species thing). I love cheetoh's and I madcrush on Chester. I was hooked. Goodbye village pillaging pirates, hello kitty kitty.

That was 3 years ago. Since then, they've changed their slogan each year and explored the challenges of marketing to a college football state (and selling tickets for a Florida NFL team that is not the Miami Dolphins). This season, the rallying cry is "It's Go Time!" Fitting for a club that's been cooling their heels all summer waiting for the sealed deal. In addition, the tickets will feature the faces of "superfans"...the painted warriors and diehard ticket holders. My sister saw them last week and the most appropriate word she had was awesome. I guess they took a note from the Bucs Bad-Ass Playbook.

Marketing for the upcoming year had its own set of challenges. Until the strike was over, no player's photo could be used for any marketing campaigns. Creating excitement around a season that may be played by ghosts requires no small amount of creativity. But with the slogan and the superfan tickets, the Jags are well on their way. It's GO Time and we've got our game faces on! Is it pre-season yet?

4 comments:

  1. I have mad respect for anyone who succeeds in marketing with a franchise like Tampa Bay or Jacksonville. Seems pretty bad ass to me. He has my former dream career, but now I can live vicariously through him, through you!

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  2. The Jags. That's one of the few teams the Chargers can beat on a regular basis.

    But that's not what this post is about, is it?

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  3. Ally, Ally, Ally, how could there possibly be any question about your supporting the Jags... they are a cat after all. And you, of all people, are the number one [wild]cat fan.

    I love the Jags' aqua. Hope they win, but the color is all I need. [It's kinda like doing that mascot bracket thing...]

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  4. I'm so glad I'm in the office alone right now I let out a really loud laugh at the Arrrrrr-gyle joke! awesome!

    Monique's comment also made me laugh as well [sorry Ally but it was pretty funny].

    I neither love nor hate the jags - well done for your brother-in-law to get the job done! I would love to work in design and marketing for a NFL team just don't make me work for Ocho Cinco, ok?

    I'm so ready for preseason it's redonk!

    Great post Ally!!!

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