The Nationals Thursday announced a new marketing and advertising campaign called “NatsTown,” which team officials said is designed to unify fan attitudes toward the team, the ballpark and the community. The phrase will appear in all of the team’s promotions and advertising during the season at Nationals Park, on television, online and in newspapers. I spoke with Chartese Burnett, the team’s vice president of public relations, to get an idea of what the new campiagn is all about.
“NatsTown is really about what baseball means to D.C., what the community means to the Nationals, and the ballpark and fan experience. So we’ve got community, the ballpark. And it’s pride, you know, the national pastime in the nation’s capital, the best city in the world. It’s a place—the ballpark—but it’s also the community, us embracing the community and the community embracing us. But it’s also a state of mind. We want people when they think about the Nationals, to think of the sense of the community and about the place they can go, which is the ballpark. And they think of us being in their neighborhood.”
Burnett also said the team will bring back the “Get Your Red On” slogan, which had been used during the 2006 season, the first with the Lerner family at the helm.
“We’re doing a lot with the color red, which we consider our primary color. We’re going to go back to where we were in 2006 when the Lerner family took over the team and we asked fans to ‘get their red on’. You’re going to see a lot of the secondary logos and promotions about rallying around the red. It’s obviously an amazing color, when you’re talking about boldness and winning and so we get to use it in our favor because it’s part of our logo and our primary color.”
I asked whether the team had been inspired by the success of the Capitals use of red in all their marketing.
“It’s been very, very successful. That didn’t go unnoticed. But again, this is a campaign that we used when the Lerner family took over and when we moved into RFK and did some things to spruce up the place before we left. The campaign then was ‘get your red on.’ Now, I’m not going to say that anyone stole it from us. You know, you look around and you see sports teams that have had similar themes, but I don’t think it’s fair to say we got anything from the Capitals. And as good ideas go, it’s ok to steal. But I don’t want it to go unsaid that we had a very good rallying around ‘get out your red’ when the Lerners took over back in 2006. So we’re going back to that, and that rallying as we rally to build this team as we go into the 2009 season.”