Time will tell if the Texas Rangers have the players to contend for Major League Baseball's American League West title. The ball club, however, is convinced it has the right lineup to sell tickets.
The team's opening marketing salvo for the 1998 season shows it will place a strong imaging focus on star players like Juan Gonzalez and Rusty Greer through TV spots highlighting their talents, sense of humor and community involvement. Fronting the ads is LIN Productions, the Arlington, Texas, company that also produces Rangers game telecasts.
"We're doing a full range of commercials, highlighting why people would want to experience Rangers players and baseball at The Ballpark [in Arlington]," said Lee Spieckerman, executive producer at LIN.
The first commercial, featuring Gonzalez, was introduced in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dubbed "Juan's Porch," the 30-second spot promoting season-ticket packages shows Gonzalez swinging at a newspaper tossed by a newsboy as a signal that he is anxious for the season to begin.
Also starring in upcoming work will be Molly Palmison, the perky adolescent who is the team's signature pig-tailed representative in TV ads. Two years ago, Ranger players were eager to join the young girl in humorous spots produced by The Richards Group of Dallas. In those ads, Palmison challenged players to Sega video baseball games displayed on the Diamond Vision scoreboard and sassed umpires with interview questions like, "Where's the strike zone going to be tonight?"