Creating Cultural Brand Connections

Peter Mayer Agency

John Pucci, Group Creative Director: Our relationship began because they were making a very popular bat. Once we learned about the materials – once we learned about the finish and got some of the insights as to just generally where the company wanted to go visually – we then completely went outside of the category.

Yes, we looked at other bats, but that wasn’t going to help us. We didn’t want to be like any other bat. We looked at high-end performance automobiles. We looked at the Mercedes AMG. We looked at Ducati motorcycles – anything where technology and artistry and high performance kind of were married.

The beginning point for building a strategy and using “honor the game” as the theme line for the brand sort of began with the insights we understood about baseball in general from a pro level and also at an elite level.

We noticed that a lot of the game in the mainstream and in social and everywhere you look is paying attention to pretty much everything that happened off the field and so our insight was that baseball for the player is on the field. In our minds, that meant honoring the game.

We talk about B to C. We were always P to P, player to player. So we didn’t want to be a coach. We wanted to be the team leader. We ask them to tell us, walk us through their day. Where do they consume their media? How do they communicate with their friends? So when we started to have the insight about their days, the idea about “honor the game” and just everything these kids are already naturally doing was what we really decided defined this brand.

There’s a particular kind of nuance and there’s a particular kind of language that these kids and these pros are using. It was Facebook but primarily Twitter and, also, Instagram was important.

It’s where those kids are paying attention. So on the desktop and on tablet, we had a particular experience. It was a bit bolder, a bit more message-oriented. We imagined many, many scenarios in order to help define what that experience should be. The product was the embodiment of honoring the game.

Luckily, there were a thousand other ways the brand came to life. We had the ability to design bats, apparel. We worked with engineers to design fielding gloves. We did truck wraps. We designed the elite baseball team’s practice facility. It was really exciting and really what I kind of hoped this, what I do for a living, would be like. It wasn’t just a branding exercise. It was something that became very personal to everyone on the team. We were all believing and we continue to believe.

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