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A winner markets itself

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Father Knickerbocker has a list up of NBA team slogans for the upcoming season. The Bulls slogan this year is 'you gotta be there'. Here's the full pitch:

In 1987, the Bulls were 40-42. The next year they won 50 games and began a sellout streak that lasted 13 years. Last season the Bulls won 47, made the playoffs and sold out 22 times.

Do you see where we're going here? Don't get shut out again. Call now!

Whatever, this works, although I'm not sure if it can top the (mostly unintentional) comedic gold that was last year's slogan, 'Through Thick and Thin'. Of course this spurred the famous Scott Skiles line: "I guess I'm in charge of thin". And let us not forget those commercials with Kirk Hinrich, Norm Van Lier, and an assorted cast of characters, jokingly referred to by WSCR's Dan Bernstein as "Willy McStereotype's Barbershop".

Other marketing slogans I can remember from the past few years:

  • History in the Making
  • Larger Than Life
  • Why Bulls Tickets? (meaning...go to see other teams and their stars)

Actually, this season's ad campaign stylistically is a lot like the 'History in the Making' one of of 2003-04. Hopefully this season turns out better than that one.

There are a lot of teams on Father Knickerbocker's list without a specific 'campaign' mentioned, maybe the upper-tier teams simply don't need them. I do think that the Bulls come off as amateur when hyping up tickets so much, but perhaps it's been necessary ever since the sellouts stopped rolling into the United Center.

But along with ticket commercials, the focus of a Bulls game during the dark days was diverted from the product on the floor to the extracurricular activates during the game. This means the luvabulls, the matadors, the bucket boys, the races held both on the court and the scoreboard, and of course the many many t-shirt givaways.

In the days of Kornel David and Khalid El-Amin, this is fine. But with a real team on the court I sure wish the theatrics would die down. I can't count how many times I'd be sitting in attendance during a close game, tense at the game situation at the time, only to have the incessant distractions of the Bulls marketing bananza in my face. Me? I like to sit there and feel the inherent excitement (or sense of dread) of a good Bulls team in an important NBA game. Since that will be happening more and more often, maybe the marketing guys can do us all a favor and ease up.