A’s Hit Spring Training

FCB Welcomes Oakland’s Next Generation
SAN FRANCISCO–Foote, Cone & Belding and its in-house sports marketing unit last week launched an aggressive campaign for the Oakland Athletics with the tagline “They’re young, but they can play” and the theme “Generation A’s.”
Backed by an estimated $3-4 million in media spending (20 percent more than last year), the effort is appearing only in the Bay Area, and includes outdoor, in-stadium, radio, print and TV executions. It is FCB’s first work for the Oakland, Calif., Major League Baseball team.
“We’re really going after two groups of fans,” said Keith Bruce, vice president and director of sports marketing for FCB. “First, we’re trying to get the ‘latent’ Oakland A’s fan re-excited about the team. Secondly, we’re trying to woo the ‘neutral allegiance fans’ … who have moved from another part of the country and have other baseball team allegiances.”
The overall goal, however, is to introduce the young A’s players, Bruce said. Advertising will “strengthen the brand identity” of the team, and the Generation A’s theme offers “lots of cross-promotional and branding opportunities,” he said.
One of six TV spots features Oakland mayor Jerry Brown telling A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, “You’re young, you’re talented, but you have to campaign!” Inspired, Chavez rents a rickety van with loudspeakers on top, and drives around the Bay Area promoting himself, handing out bumper stickers and kissing babies.
Outdoor work uses one-liners such as, “They’re so young, they still think it’s a game” and “We’ve got bat boys older than our players.” Newspaper ads tout the A’s ticket prices, which remain the same as last year, according to Bruce.