Front office and marketing team keep Astros’ stars shining

As overused as the term rebuilding is, it aptly describes the situation the Houston Astros are currently in. The franchise will be moving from the National League Central to the American League West and Owner Jim Crane has brought in a new manager in Bo Porter. The Astros marketing team has also kept up with the winds of change, creating a new campaign centered on Texas tradition and the team’s new uniforms.

The Astros have begun a reconstruction with the phrase “It’s a Whole New Ballgame.” Marketing strategists in Houston hope the redesigned black and orange uniforms introduced last week will make fans forget about the past two seasons that ended with more than 100 losses. They kept the club’s signature five point star, but changed the color from red to orange and superimposed a white H over it.

The reworked star is at the center of its advertising campaign, which features a play on words to Gene Autry’s song Deep in the Heart of Texas. Posters read “The star is big and bright and back for good” and feature players like outfielder Justin Maxwell.

Kathleen Harrington Clark, the Astros vice president for marketing and strategy since March said she wanted to design a marketing plan that was “honest and upfront” with fans. The team was able to accomplish this by also keeping last season’s ‘Root. Root. Root.’ campaign.

Lowell Williams, owner of the Austin design firm who worked on the team’s advertising last season and this season, said the words inspired from Take Me Out to the Ballgame helped build sincerity within the Astros fanbase.

“It wasn’t promising a better season,” Williams said. “It was asking you for your support, to ‘root, root, root for the home team,’ from the song you sing at every baseball game forever.”

Clark said there is a slight increase in the Astros marketing budget this season, so Texans can expect to see a lot of hype leading up to the team’s 2013 season opener — the first game of a Lone Star Series against the Texas Rangers on April 2.

Source: New York Times