The Mariners sent Portland-based marketing and media agency Heart & Hustle Productions down to its spring training facility in Peoria, Ariz., to “capture some of the players’ energy,” resulting in a “more complete picture of the personalities and passion on the team than baseball’s unwritten rules of conduct typically allow,” according to Jason Notte of ADWEEK. Heart & Hustle Productions Founder Rashad Floyd wanted to “show both the organization and fans a different side of players” by "earning their trust and allowing them to 'do all these things that they have inside of them.'" The team is “embracing ‘swagger’ and individual complexity.” It is “stepping away from the photo-and-stats approach” and making the athletes and the game as “accessible and real in their marketing as they are on social media or in their most candid on-field moments.” Floyd argued that when athletes are “allowed to be open and show off the complexity of their personalities,” that is “ultimately what makes them cool.” With Mariners Senior VP/ Marketing & Communications Gregg Greene “fielding calls from Mariners team partners" -- including T-Mobile and Holland Americas -- asking for more player access, brands “appear to agree” (ADWEEK.com, 5/11).
TAPPING INTO POTENTIAL: In Seattle, Heather Bosch wrote Floyd has “packed the teams’ new TV ads with game highlights and players’ voices -- often unscripted.” Floyd “has worked” with the NBA, NFL and Nike. The Mariners is his first MLB team, a league that is “not often viewed as hip and edgy.” But he “insists the swagger’s always been there.” Floyd “has a clear vision in his approach” to the M’s campaign. Floyd: “Let’s do what we do with the other leagues. Let’s make it hype, let’s make it high energy, let’s make it fun. Let’s let the voices of players be heard. Let’s let it be unscripted” (MYNORTHWEST.com, 5/10).