Tuesday, January 27, 2009

'We Don’t Want to be Overly Opportunistic and Exploit This'

No, can't be exploitative while cravenly cashing in on Obamamania. Of course they'll probably turn off a good portion of their fans, but let's face it, are they going to go root for the Cubs?

No doubt by using the Obama logo there'll be a portion of the proceeds going to Obama's favorite charity: himself.
The Chicago White Sox are aiming to release a President Barack Obama-themed version of their cap in time for the start of spring training.

The club has developed two prototype designs of its club hat with Obama marks on the side and back. The hats have been approved by MLB Properties, and the White Sox now are awaiting a formal blessing from the Obama administration before league licensee New Era goes into production. Both designs will be made if accepted by Obama.

The White Sox enjoy a special relationship with the newly inaugurated president due to his roots in south Chicago. Should the hat happen as intended, proceeds from its sale would be donated to charities, likely ones that provide services near U.S. Cellular Field.
His roots in Chicago? I thought he grew up in Hawaii? Or was it Indonesia?
Retail distribution would likely be tied, at least at the outset, to official league and club channels, such as the team’s stadium store and MLB.com’s online shop, but a wider release could occur should demand warrant it.

“We know exactly what we want to do with this [hat]. It’s just a matter now of getting sign-off from Obama’s camp, going through the proper channels and moving forward,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox vice president and chief marketing officer.

“We’re very excited. This is somebody who’s obviously a White Sox fan, but more importantly, really embraces and embodies the attributes of our brand: the notions of pride, passion and tradition we rally around. He’s made it hip to be a White Sox fan,” Boyer said.
Let's just hope those nice kids in south Chicago don't start killing each other over the hats. Lord knows the murder rate in Obama's community is already off the charts. Maybe they can donate the hats to the poor, underprivileged youths as a magnanimous gesture.


Of course in all this frenzy, they don't want to appear as if they're, you know, shamelessly cashing in.
The club is devising other marketing and merchandising opportunities around its most powerful fan and have developed an area within the team’s official Web site devoted to Obama.

While team officials said there is not a concern about upsetting conservative-leaning White Sox fans, pointing to baseball’s historic role as a political unifier, they are aiming to draw a careful line about how much they do in connection with the president.

“We don’t want to be overly opportunistic and exploit this,” Boyer said.
George W. Bush used to be an owner of the Texas Rangers. I wonder what the reaction of sportswriters would have been if the franchise put a W logo on the caps of the players back in 2001?

I doubt anyone ever considered it and if they did, something tells me Bush would never have been such a megalomaniac to go along with it.

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