With baseball in it's final series of 2009 I wanted to share some of my thoughts on baseball, branding and social media, thoughts that have been brewing for a while. I currently live in Washington, D.C., a plane ride away from my favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, and within driving distance of the two teams with the worst records in baseball this past season, the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals respectively. They both lost a lot of games this year (98 and 103) which only makes me miss my hometown Cubbies even more but let's not forget they have been nothing less than disappointing for over a century. Even in 2003, where I was five outs away from doing Wrigley Field victory dance by heading to the World Series they found a way to break my heart. But every season, I still come back with even more resilience that it could be the Cubs year.
That said, due to my social technology and media background (my baseball skills probably didn't hurt either), I was invited to meet with the Washington Nationals executives last month at Nationals Park. I was honored to do so and in meeting with Stan Kasten, Bob Wolfe and others I realized that they are just a three year old start-up that spun out of what was the Montreal Expos organization. Call me an optimist but I think they have an almost clean slate, branding-wise, that offers them a huge opportunity to create a strong following both online and off.