Texas Rangers Court Women for ’99 Season

TV Campaign Urges Females to See Baseball as Entertainment
DALLAS–The Texas Rangers, whose second American League West title in three years pleased many 13-34 males here in 1998, are looking for the entire family to cheer them on to even loftier heights in the upcoming season.
With “Your friendly neighborhood team” as the new tag, the Rangers are targeting women 25-54 in a television campaign. The new ads promote a night at the Ballpark in Arlington as an entertainment alternative to an evening at the movies or a day at an amusement park.
Rangers marketing vice president Charlie Seraphin said the strategy is similar to what the club has done for the past three years. “It’s not a new direction–it’s an evolution of what we’ve been doing,” said Seraphin.
The Rangers feel their main competition is for families’ everyday entertainment dollars, not against other professional sports franchises in Dallas. And Rangers’ research showed that women are the ones making those household decisions.
Billings were undisclosed, although Seraphin said spending would reach into the “millions,” not including local Rangers broadcasts.
In the first 30-second spot now airing, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro–returning to the club after a six-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles–appears at a kids’ playhouse occupied by other Rangers, but he has to give the password before entering. His final test is to prove his loyalty to the team and the state by singing an off-key rendition of “The Eyes of Texas.” In previous seasons, the Rangers TV ads employed a young pigtailed girl to engage players in sunflower-seed spitting contests and video game baseball on the stadium’s huge scoreboard screen.
Producing the “clubhouse” ad was LIN Productions, which is owned by Rangers owner Tom Hicks. Radio spots are being developed this season by The Northway Group in Dallas.
–Glen Fest