The Royals unveiled their 2015 team marketing slogan this week, to generally positive reviews, much different that the much mocked "Our Time" they unveiled for a 90 loss season. I'm not really sure why teams have slogans, as they seem to be the subject of much derision, and I doubt they get more people out to the ballpark. Sure, marketing works, as the "Forever Royal" ad that ran locally during the Super Bowl got me pumped for the regular season, but the term "Forever Royal" is not the reason I will head out to the ballpark.
Still, I guess we remember them, and job number one in marketing is to simply get consumers to remember your product. So let's look back at some of the marketing slogans from the Royals over the years. (h/t 1040X)
1978 "Catch Royalmania"
"It's like Wrestlemania! But with more drugs!"
1980 "We're Where You Want to Be"
The 1980 Kansas City Royals, sponsored by Visa.
1982 "Go For the Action"
Also used by Harrah's Casinos.
1983 "Turn on the Action"
The Royals were really into action in the 1980s. In 1983, America was still reeling from the 1970s energy crisis, so there were still concerns about energy conservation. Baseball players would lay still for hours, which made for a boring version of baseball. The Royals gave America permission to turn on the action once again.
1984 "Something Special in the Air"
It turned out to be asbestos. If you or a loved one caught something special in the air from the Royals in 1984, please contact Brown & Crouppen.
1985 "You've Got a Hit on Your Hands"
Literally, this makes no sense. Figuratively, I guess it's a take-off of "you've got blood on your hands," and I'm not sure why you'd want to make an allusion to that.
"Look, you squeezed George Brett too tight and now he's exploded all over the place! You've got a hit on your hands, mister!"
1986 "The Thrill of it All."
Yes, and? I feel like this is an incomplete thought. Please continue. The thrill of it all...what?
1987 "Get in the Swing of It"
The Royals had a very disappointing 1986 season, losing 86 games, their second losing season in a decade. Their response was to get fans into the starting lineup to jump-start the offense. "You! There in the second row. Get up here, get in the swing of it!!"
Two fans died that year due to fastballs in the head while batting, but the team did improve their runs scored slightly.
1988 "A Major League Attraction"
Gotta admire the straightforward approach - to make the slogan a technical description of what we are. "Royals Baseball - A Major League Athletic Organization, a Registered Trademark with Major League Baseball and a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of Northrop Grumman."
1989 "It's a Hit"
You can kinda sense the marketing department getting lazy over these years.
"What is a bland, generic, baseball metaphor we can use to express the success of the Royals?"
"Royals baseball: it's a stolen base?"
"It's a rosin bag?"
"It's a hit?"
"Bingo, let's go get lunch."
1990 "Catch the Thrill"
"The Thrill" was a venereal disease that ran rampant in Kansas City in the 1980s, so kudos to the Royals for being ground-breakers in spreading awareness of this awful disease that ultimately killed Giants first baseman Will Clark.
1991 "Turn on the Good Times"
This was particularly confusing for fans of the CBS show "Good Times". "Why isn't he saying "DYNO-MITE"? Wait, this isn't J.J., this is Todd Benzinger! I AM OUTRAGED!"
1992 "It's Here"
"I can't find Royals baseball, I've looked everywhere. Between the couch cushions, under the bed, in the trash can."
1993 "Catch all the Action"
This combines two constant themes with Royals slogans over the years - an emphasis on "action", and asking the fans to do something. Fans must "turn on" or "get in the swing" or "catch" something. Just leave me alone and let me eat my chili cheese nachos in peace!
1994 "For the Fun of it All"
"Hey, remember our 1986 slogan 'The Thrill of it All'? I have a thesaurus now. We can just substitute 'fun' for 'thrill'"
"Johnson, you just saved us three months of market research. Here's a promotion."
1995 "Bring it On"
Haha, I love when companies use hip phrases for the time that seem kinda outdated now. This beat out "Royals baseball: WAZZZZZZZZZZZUUUUUUP!?!?!?"
1996 "Get in the Game"
The Royals at this time were run as a non-profit as they searched for an owner. In an effort to cut costs, they had to use fans as players. I remember as an 18-year old kid outhitting David Howard. That was a special moment.
1997 "Come on Home"
"You know, the place that's a mess where your kids are loud and you argue with your wife all night? Come to it."
1998 "This is Hardball"
"I'm your host, Chris Matthews."
1999 "Be a Part of it All"
"Come join our creepy cult of Royals fans. We worship at the mustache of Jeff King."
2001 "You Gotta Love These Guys"
This was more of a threat than anything, as this was during the Royals darkest days when MLB was considering relocating or contracting some of the smaller market teams. "HUG JOE RANDA OR WE'LL MOVE THE TEAM TO LAS VEGAS."
2003 "Kansas City Royals: Your Hometown Team"
You can kind of sense the panic in the marketing department at this point. The team has been terrible for years, crowds are dwindling. But this is your hometown team. If they suck, it's a reflection on you. It's your fault. So come out and watch some games dummy.
2004 "We Believe"
It seems kind of lame in the wake of the Royals 2014 run that we used to call the Royals 83-79 2003 season "magical", but it was. They won their first nine games of the year, which caused us to "believe", even if they were a losing team the rest of the year.
It would be like showing a cell phone to someone from the 1950s - amazing unbelievable wizardry to them, and something we complain about taken for granted by us. I doubt an 83-win season ever caused Yankees fans to "BELIEVE."
2005 "It's All About Baseball"
In case you were confused and thought you were at the library, the Royals wanted to make sure you knew that being at the K was ALL ABOUT BASEBALL. Now catch this shirt from Sluggerrrr's t-shirt cannon, and cheer on the hot dog race!
2006 "This is Kansas City."
We give up. This is the city you are located in. You have to be in this city, you may as well be in Kansas City here. We have cotton candy.
2007 "True. Blue. Tradition."
"Forget about Jose Guillen and Ross Gload. Remember Amos Otis? He was awesome. That George Brett sure could hit. Let's remember that and drink until we can't recognize who is on the field right now. I miss my wife."
2008 "New. Blue. Tradition"
You could literally see "True" crossed out and "New" written in marker.
2009 "You Belong at the K"
I'll let Kansas City native Jon Bois take this one:
"There is a lot of losing at Kauffman Stadium. You belong at Kauffman Stadium. Connect the dots, shithead."
2010 "It All Happens Here"
It all happens here - 9-7 losses, 4-3 losses, 10-2 losses. All kinds of losses. You can get them all here.
2011 "Major League Moments"
Kansas City Royals baseball, we are not a minor league team, we swear.
2012 "Our Time"
Inspired by Jeff Spicoli.
2013 "Come to Play"
Our players aren't ready, so you may as well be.
2014 "Be Royal"
For the first half of the season, the slogan meant this:
By the end of the season, we were all "BEING ROYAL" whatever that means.
2015 Forever Royals
"Forever Royals." "Always October." The Royals have really seemed to have bought into the notion that time stood still last fall and will remain unchanging, immovable, for all eternity. Time is a flat circle.
What is your favorite Royals slogan of all-time?