The San Francisco Giants, 2010 World Champions: Team of Misfits

If you have read my bio on this site, or have ever met me even for a second, you can probably understand that I have a soft spot in my heart for the city of San Francisco. Because I love San Francisco and because I love athletics, throughout my lifetime I have come to endear the San Francisco Giants. They are my all time favorite sports team. I love going to AT&T Park, smelling those Gordon Biersch garlic fries, and watching Buster Posey hit a long one into the Bay. Yes, watching the Giants play, whether it is a day game or under the lights, is my favorite pass time. So it only seemed natural to write a blog post about this incredible team.

When the Giants were on their journey to win the 2010 World Series, the marketing department and some recognizable playoff announcers coined the term “team of misfits” as the season’s phrase. This ploy brought together the many playful nicknames Giants players received over the course of their stay in San Francisco. They include “Pat The Bat” for Pat Burrell, “The Freak” for Tim Lincecum because of his fashionably long hair, and “Kung Fu Panda” for their slugger Pablo Sandoval. These so called misfits conveyed the underdog story to the millions of Americans that watched baseball that year and won their hearts.

On the other hand, Giants announcers coined the term “Giants Baseball Torture,” due to the epic last minute wins by the team and scrappy nature in which they won. They literally would do anything to win. Prior to their 2010 race for the win, the Giants had only appeared in the World Series once since their arrival in San Francisco in 1958; signifying their performance up until then, hence the Cinderella story.

Every sports fan loves the underdog story. Marketing teams and advertising managers try to position their team in a light where they can get fans on board especially in the post season, because they can’t sell post season tickets to season ticket holders. They need to sell new tickets. They want to generate the fan base that recognizes the hard work and playfulness of their athletes. They want fans to notice that these professional athletes are just like them.  San Francisco succeeded in doing this. Their fans keep coming back for more, even now in the 2012 season where they are having a very rocky start. This team has enrobed a large dedicated fan base and that is all that is necessary to keeping a team alive. Go Giants!


Crooked Arrow??

To take a break from industry talk, here is a post unrelated to advertising.

I am a member of US Lacrosse, which is a “national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse, primarily serving the youth game, and committed to providing a leadership role in virtually every aspect of the game.” With this being said, as a coach, I receive frequent emails form the US Lacrosse regarding lacrosse news and promotions. I was startled to receive one email regarding a lacrosse movie coming out soon. I was initially astonished at the fact that the movie industry was actually coming out with a lacrosse film, the first of its kind, but then I was even more baffled when I discovered the plot.

The movie will follow a native American lacrosse team emerge through adversity of a sport that has in recent years, been run by primarily upper middle class white traditions. A fact that I will point out is that the sport of lacrosse initially started out with the Native Americans years and years ago and this movie is pointing out the significance of this institution.  This is cool and all, although extremely cliché. Every sports movie includes some sort of “underdog” and his/her unlikely dominance over the whoever is #1. This movie falls into that category. One of the trailers even demonstrates a direct comparison to those great sports movies like Rudy and Remember the Titans.

The underdog, in this case, a group of misfit Native Americans, learns how to take pride in their tribe. Their goal is to bring the sport back to their people.

Lacrosse has become the nations fastest growing sport.  Both women and men engage in play at mostly high school and collegiate levels. The NCAA now acknowledges the sport more and more and it is nice to see that lacrosse is slowing entering the mainstream media with the release of the new movie.