project smile feature: Visible Tech VP Mike Spataro
living in the shadow of fear - live social reporting

bidding farewell to a powerful brand

Yankee stadium

The NY Yankees are one of the sporting world's most iconic brands.

Yesterday, we bid farewell to their home, the legendary Yankee Stadium.

And while I am a dedicated Mets fan, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia in saying goodbye to this monumental brand home, that is to many, a brand all it's own.

And with that, I would like to point to a few brilliant marketing tactics the Yankee's have employed over the years to transform their stadium into a monument.

  • The House That Ruth Built - While this title is compelling, Babe Ruth didn't play for the Yankees in their first decade, nor did he play for them in the 70s when they remodeled the stadium.  But the alignment of an iconic figure with a landmark brings authenticity and a sense of legend to the structure.

  • Yankee Stadium - George Steinbrenner is as much a nut as he is a fan.  While nearly every stadium is named for a corporate sponsor, Yankee fans have long had a home to call their very own.  And the new stadium will likewise, be a brand home rather than a branded home.

  • Monument Park - What better way is there to celebrate your own celebrity than by creating a monument to yourself?  While other stadiums retire numbers, the Yankees have actual monuments to their greats.  Brilliant

  • Not Making the Playoffs - there is no better way to say farewell, to orchestrate a day of media hype and overwhelming buzz, than by orchestrating a seemingly never ending farewell ceremony.  This could not have been possible had the Yankees' a glimmer of hope at a post-season presence.

  • Focusing On the Past - By all accounts, the Yankees should have a presence in this years' post season.  Their roster looks solid enough on paper, with enough big names and solid players to deliver at least a wild card position.  But yesterday, rather than focussing on the future of a new stadium (and an aging team), they highlighted their strengths - their past, the history, and the many moments fans relate to.

  • Embracing the Fans - Sure, they didn't make a Flickr reel of stadium memories, or a photosynth 3D rendering via Live - both of which would have been very cool from a fans perspective.  But rather than going digital, they went real and tangible.  They allowed fans to walk the field, to live the dream of standing on the grass in one of the most iconic sports stadiums of all time.  They gave fans SEVEN HOURS to bid their beloved stadium farewell.  They gave the fans what they wanted; a chance to live a dream, to walk the grass that countless legends called homefield, to cherish their own memories, to gather on long lines and share memories with one another, to say goodbye to the building that embodied many of their hopes and dreams, their passions and some of their happiest memories.

The Yankees may not be the most digital marketing savvy brand, but they know how to throw a hell of a goodbye party.

Some of us in the blogging world like to ask - would you miss brand X if they went out of business?

Yesterday, the baseball world gave a resoundingly unified answer.  Yes.