Hope springs eternal…

Hope springs eternal…

Isn’t that how it goes at the old ballgame?

For everyone around here, tomorrow, the Milwaukee Brewers will capture most of the media attention with their Home Opener against divisional foe, the St. Louis Cardinals. Starting right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will be squaring off against the Cards righty Miles Mikolas.

I write that as if I know who these guys are. Truth is, I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I know baseball and love the game, even played it in college — but I don’t follow it like I used to when I was a card collecting kid. Heck, I didn’t find out about Brewers MVP Christian Yelich until August of last year, when he, and the Brew Crew went on a tear to get into the playoffs.

At today’s game, the Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio, will have his sons sing the national anthem, Bernie Brewer and the Racing Sausages will be there… and all fans who are in attendance will receive a 2019 magnetic schedule. Oh, and guess what, they can interact with the team on social media using #ThisIsMyCrew and #BrewersOpener. That’s 40,000+ fans coming to a game to eat hot dogs, drink beer and buy merchandise… and share their experience with friends in person and on social media.

And then, 40,000 more will do it another 80 times this season.

(Perhaps there’s a reason why Mike Trout just signed a $426,500,000 deal with the Angels.)

So what does all of this have to do with you and your business?

We get so busy in our day-to-day affairs, that business can turn into a real grind. Not only for us as owners, but for our employees and our customers, too. There is no “down-season” and the churn to drive new prospects into customers and customers into brand ambassadors can lose its luster. It’s then that you hit a plateau and your work gets hard… really really fast.

In short, your business begins to burn out.

Have a Home Opener – every year.

New product launches, new websites, and even the next trade show can give us a lift to broadcast a new message and help fire up the team. But did you ever think to actually create a “Home Opener” for your business — to set a real date, each year, to “open up” your business, your products or services, to your adoring fans (and their friends)? This is not to change your brand, but to enhance your brand. Like major league teams, it’s time to show your excitement to your fans that you have new talent to add to the vets in your line-up.

The easiest thought is an actual open house — to call in your best customers (and their friends) to re-new their interest in what you have to offer them. However, it could also simply mean establishing a digital launch of new creative work, new product offerings, introductions of new employees, vendor partners or associations that have improved your business. I guarantee you that you have business assets that have not been exposed to your customer base…

Have new certifications to show off or awards that you’ve collected? Taken pictures of your facility, products or people? Gone through your catalog? You could launch a new social campaign and drive traffic to a new landing page, complete with plenty of freebies — all for the price of admission — an email address. How about a dealer contest of some kind or advancing a new promotion?

Now is the time!

Don’t worry about being perfect. The real trick is you have just given yourself license to “brag” about your business to any and all simply because you created a Home Opener event… but it feels less like bragging and more like letting your team simply take the field. So here’s your chance to dust off your spikes, put a little rosin on the mound and show off your Major League stuff.

Know what? People pay good money to see that.

March Madness Mascot Deathmatch

March Madness Mascot Deathmatch

Forget about Duke, Virginia, North Carolina or Gonzaga…

it’s the Iowa State Cyclones you should be picking to win it all. 


There are many strategies in filling out your NCAA bracket, but until now, no one has given the “Mascot Method®” it’s due…

What’s the rationale, you ask?  

A fight to the death, on a basketball court, with five of the actual team mascots (and not a guy in a latex suit).  Also, they get to keep whatever armor, fur or skin; claws, fangs or weaponry available to them. We figure that’s only fair… you aren’t really much of a knight if you don’t have the sword and a suit of armor.  However, we don’t give much credence to imaginary characters — otherwise St. Louis University basically would win the title every single season (see below).   

Consider it gladiatorial combat:  

Why not Duke?
One might think the Duke’s Blue Devils might take it all every year, being “devils”, but in truth, the team was named after the French “les Diables Bleus”, a clever nickname for World War I Chasseurs Alpins — a French Alpine light infantry battalion. Formidable?  Perhaps, but being French soldiers, you know that a white flag can’t be too far behind.

Keep dreaming.
St. Louis could almost be unstoppable because the “Billiken” is “the god of all things that ought to be” — except for the fact that he’s simply a fictitious character contrived by a Missouri art teacher named Florence Pretz, in a dream in 1908. By that standard, you could name your team the Captain Marvels and win every NCAA tournament.

What the hell is that?
College mascots run the gamut with nicknames known only to their schools (i.e. Billikens).  Try these:
Hokies (turkeys); Terrapins (turtles); Orangemen (an Indian hoax); Racers (horses); Catamounts (cougars); Gaels (Irish folk); Sooners (land rush families); Tar Heels (poor naval store workers) and Aggies (farmers).

Spartans or Braves?
Or Knights, Raiders, Norsemen, Rebels and Pirates.  This is really tough to call, but there is a reputable resource that can give us insight — the 2009 TV show, Deadliest Warrior. We stated the rules of engagement above. What can Indian braves do against a Spartan phalanx on a basketball court?  We think the results speak for themselves.

Why not Sun Devils?
You might think that this “devil” would work where Duke’s does not.  You’d be wrong.  “Sparky”, the Arizona State Sun Devil is actually the third mascot for the school (after Owls and Bulldogs) and the name for little whirlwinds that kick up dust in the hot Arizona desert.  The best they can do is make some of the other mascots uncomfortable.

Guns vs. Knives… 
What’s the old addage, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”?  This holds far too true for many of these menacing mascots.  Pirates may get a musket and Raiders (masked outlaws) get 6-shooters, but Rebels have rifles and Volunteers, too… while the previously mentioned Blue Devils are still in existence today, armed with FAMAS assault rifles.  

Cats vs. Cats.
In this year’s tournament, 4 teams use Bulldogs, but in two match ups — we get Cougars vs. Panthers and Wildcats vs. Wildcats.  We looked to their respective logos for guidance, but found that it’s impossible to pick a winner — meaning BOTH death matches go down scratching and clawing with all sides losing in the end.  

A force of nature.
Although it is true, that a cardinal does show up from time-to-time for Iowa State fans, “Cy” is only a sideline mascot because they couldn’t depict a 300 mph storm very well at games.  Given that the school is going back to a tornado only logo, it would appear that the road to the Final Four and the Championship would begin and end with a category 5 twister.

Here’s the full bracket, see how your favorites fare in the Mascot Method®… you’ll be thanking us for the insight.

JSH&P is a small business branding agency in Cedarburg, Wisconsin — famous for creating memorable brands for those that can’t afford March Madness budgets. 

p.s. > JSH&P also wants you to know that no mascots were actually harmed in the predictions detailed on this page.