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Mullen Recalls Yesterday for Today's Warthogs

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ATLANTA The latest work by Mullen for the Winston-Salem Warthogs aims to spark the nostalgia and tradition that surround minor league baseball, the agency said.

The Winston-Salem, N.C., shop will launch its new campaign this month to coincide with the start of the 2003 minor league baseball season. The work will run through season's end in August.

Through radio spots, print ads, billboards and an assortment of collateral, featuring the tagline "Warthogs baseball. Where baseball is still baseball," the agency said it wants to remind fans of the personal intimacy that is unique to America's minor leagues.

"We wanted to bring people back to a time when baseball meant more than salaries and profits," said Pete Fish, general manager of the team. "Mullen's concept captures the authenticity of the sport and reflects the experience fans will have at Warthogs games."

Print ads and collateral display vintage photos of Warthog players as well as ballparks from the 1940s and '50s. Copy serves to articulate the differences between major and minor league baseball. Copy in one ad states, "These players negotiate curveballs, not contracts."

Radio spots, titled "Batboy," "Usher," "Vendor" and "Mascot," are narrated by the fictitious voice of the team mascot, Wally the Warthog. According to the agency, the commercials are meant to address the importance of tradition in baseball in a humorous way.

"Baseball is much bigger than two teams playing a game," said Denzil Strickland, agency executive vice president and creative director. "We want to remind the Warthogs' audience that it is the smallest details of the game, like the stadium ushers and the concession vendors, that actually create the baseball experience."

Campaign spending was not disclosed.