Sometimes, they’re as exciting as “I Feel Good” (1989), “It’s Magic Inside” (2010), or even “Together We’re Giant” (2012) and sometimes they’re a capitulation to the reality that the team’s gonna stink: “You Gotta Like These Kids” (1986), “It Doesn’t Get More SF” (2018). With pitchers and catchers set to report next week, it’s time to take a look at some possible campaign slogans they might use for 2023.
Keeping in mind that the slogan signals to some degree how the franchise feels about the team they’ll field in a given season, I’ve bunched these by negative view, neutral view, positive view. Of course, the team will always say at the start of a season that they feel like they’ve put together a competitive team. They like what they did this offseason, etc. And that’s all due to the optimism that comes with Spring Training. But the slogan is the projection of their internal hopes and fears, the feelings they can’t convey to the public to avoid overhyping or deflating fans.
Negative View Slogans
It’s the name of the game if you’re in the front office, and if their influence touches the marketing department and the roster moves this past offseason don’t create much excitement beyond “Hey look, we still got most of the players on our shopping list,” then maybe this is the best they can do. Maybe they think that the best way to deal with any angry customers over not getting Judge or Correa is by turning into the skid and hoping it all works out. But it only works if they have the exclamation point.
Thinking Fast & Slow
This would be based on the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow that Farhan Zaidi requests his hires read to understand what the organization is trying to do. It’d be a way to signal to the fans that they need to reconceive their own views on baseball. An attempt to get them to rise above the mindless binary of “winning” and “losing.”
Again, trying to distract people from Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger missing 120+ games between them, the team could try to lean into the criticisms with something tongue in cheek like this. Also, platoons can work, so there would be times when this could be invoked without irony.
Neutral View Slogans
Similar to last year’s “Game Up,” this would be a value-neutral statement from the front office, though maybe not from the marketing team. If you’re trying to get fans excited about the season, you’d probably want something with a little more sizzle. On the other hand, maybe they have market research that shows their slogans only really impact a certain segment of the audience. TV ads are sort of a separate issue (do you remember the team’s slogan the year they did the series of Life Coach Bill commercials? Probably not. But you remember those ads if you were alive to see them.) And guess what? There’s a whole segment of fans who love process. A 100-loss team doesn’t suck if the process is sound.
And who knows, the Giants’ process could very well set them up to win 100 games this season. They’re the smartest front office in the history of professional sports and they already broke a franchise record for wins as recently as the season before last. They can push the #Process narrative without a shred of irony and simply insist fans get on their level.
RS^2 / [(RS^2 + (RA^2)]
Why, this is simply the Pythagorean Theorem for expected wins and losses. A move like this would be anti-American. Despite the nationwide boost for STEM, Americans simply don’t like to see equations out in the wild. But it’d be a strong statement from the team that they are a math-first enterprise and that fans should first look there before rushing to judgment or throttling back on their excitement for the squad.
Well Funded, Well Led, Progressive
This comes from Gabe Kapler’s answer during the Winter Meetings when he was asked how he would describe the appeal of playing for the San Francisco Giants. (watch here: https://www.mlb.com/video/live-now-gabe-kapler-45325). It would be somewhat true and attaching “Progressive” to it would work to invoke the spirit of San Francisco and the hope that all fans have that their team will be better this year.
Positive View Slogans
Winning Above Replacement
This would be the opposite of winking at a criticism. This would be embracing it to change the perception. This would be daring fans to take the preconceived notion that the team didn’t do enough in the offseason and bury it, because all the moves they made to add depth and fill needed rolls with solid players will create something better with the sum of these parts rather than one bigtime player.
Big Time SF
After missing out on Aaron Judge, what better way to show that you still feel like you’ve got a good team in 2023 then by using the same marketing slogan you probably planned to use had he signed? Plus, it would fold in the idea that part of what makes the Giants the Giants is their creativity and their minds — how they’re going to think their way through a talent gap with other teams in the league and be successful doing so.
For the Bay
Any slogan that tries to bring in the entire region would show that the team has supreme confidence to be a competitive team in 2023. Certainly better than the A’s and willing to put it out there that they welcome people’s judgments — the naysayers will be proven wrong.
Which one of these do you think is most likely and what do you think the slogan might actually be?