WADESBORO — What’s a Wampus Cat?
That’s the query that Jerry Min, the overall supervisor for the Uwharrie Wampus Cats, requested Anson Excessive’s sports activities occasions and advertising and marketing class final week. Min got here in to talk with the category concerning the significance of brand name consciousness and advertising and marketing, utilizing Albemarle’s latest baseball workforce for instance.
“A part of the relevance of sports activities and occasion advertising and marketing is absolutely about model consciousness,” Min defined to the category. “So model advertising and marketing is a vital a part of what any firm or enterprise does. And it’s one thing that we spent lots of time engaged on previous to the launch of our workforce, which was in January of this yr.”
Min, who has 16 years of expertise working with ESPN, walked the category, taught by Peter Asciutto, by means of the steps of how the Uhwarrie Wampus Cats took place, from their emblem to their identify’s font. He defined that logos are an necessary a part of advertising and marketing and serving to individuals acknowledge the model. He began from the very starting, explaining that Uhwarrie was chosen since that’s the place the workforce is positioned in addition to the relation with bigfoot and sightings within the Uhwarrie forest.
“In order that’s how we got here up with Uhwarrie, we selected the forest,” started Min. “And naturally that ties again to the mascot. The wampus cat is a legendary panther-like, cougar-like creature alongside the strains of bigfoot.”
The choice to make use of the wampus cat because the mascot performed into advertising and marketing in it’s personal distinctive means. Given the legendary notion of the creature, individuals will ask what a wampus cat is, producing dialog and bringing consideration to the baseball workforce.
“As a result of the most effective questions anyone can ask is ‘What’s a wampus cat?’” Min mentioned. “In the event that they’re asking questions on your model, your product, they’re speaking about it.”
After selecting on a reputation, in addition to what the mascot can be, the following step is bringing the model to life and giving it a face, one thing individuals will acknowledge in addition to attraction to everybody. This step begins with selecting key phrases that the picture can be constructed round.
“We wrote down enjoyable, we wrote down pleased, we wrote down smiles. We wrote down good occasions,” defined Min. “So everytime you’re creating the model or a advertising and marketing plan for something, you wish to deal with the key phrases after which work out how one can create photos and colours that assist invoke these key phrases.”
Out of the key phrases comes and picture. For the Wampus Cat’s mascot, Catty Wampus, that was a smiling yellow, brown, and orange cat with a 5 o’clock shadow. A smiling face and vibrant and unusual shade scheme, attracts within the kids whereas the mother and father can relate to needing to shave on a regular basis.
“We created a mascot that actually is about drawing consideration to the model, drawing the eye and pursuits of children, as a result of when youngsters are interested by one thing, they sometimes will carry their mother and father alongside as effectively,” Min defined. “However we would have liked to make it, additionally, one thing for folks. So what’s somewhat instance of that? If you happen to’ll discover, Wampus Cat has razor stubble. These little black dots are razor stubble. It’s not only a child’s character, it’s an grownup character as effectively.”
The design went so far as interested by how the letters would seem, wanting on the wavy and swishing nature of a cats tail, and utilizing a font that might depict the cat’s tail. Each a part of the brand was thought of as a way to make their workforce, their model, marketable and recognizable.
“All of us wish to be often called Albemarle’s baseball workforce. or Stanly County’s baseball workforce,” Min started. “We’re a regional workforce; we signify everybody from all the area. We selected Uhwarrie as a result of that’s the forest. It’s not only a single place that individuals determine with, it’s an entire space.”
Min additionally defined that one other a part of advertising and marketing a baseball workforce was bringing consideration and folks to the video games. With out that, there wouldn’t be a baseball workforce. The outdated area wanted some love, and the Wampus Cats gave it simply that. They renovated the park, giving new life to the concessions stand and seating as a solution to present that this was not an American Legion recreation or workforce; this was Albemarle’s enjoyable baseball workforce.
“We wanted to verify we created a enjoyable surroundings. So, at that baseball area [Don Montgomery Park in Albemarle], we fully rebuilt the concession stand,” Min started explaining. “We’re going to have sizzling canines, pizza, and popcorn, regular belongings you’d discover on the ballpark, however it’s going to come back out of a brand new concession stand.”
“We took one of many bullpens [batting cages] and we merely simply removed it,” Min continued. “However we took that space, which is true close to the concession stand, we moved a fence, and we’re gonna usher in picnic tables.”
Different upgrades embody stadium seats, new bleachers, distributors and beer being served on the concession stand as a means to usher in extra younger adults who might not have kids.
“These are all issues that we’re doing from a advertising and marketing perspective to verify we ship on our promise that the Wampus Cats are going to be enjoyable and entertaining,” mentioned Min. “It’s nice to make use of all these magic issues to create a emblem, however should you don’t ship on these phrases and people guarantees, you’re going to fail in the long term.”
Which means that a model should talk with its shoppers and its viewers, gaining suggestions and seeing what they will enhance on or do in a different way. Doing this ensures that the corporate survives, and within the Wampus Cat’s scenario, hold coming to video games.
The workforce goes so far as utilizing picket bats, like the foremost league does, to provide audiences a extra skilled really feel to the baseball video games. It additionally appeals to the traditionalists, who really feel that picket bats are higher, and appeals to everybody with the satisfying crack of a picket bat each time it hits a ball. For the gamers, it offers them a possibility to develop, since swinging a picket bat is somewhat completely different than an aluminum one.
“So to attraction to traditionalists, we be certain we play with picket bats,” Min mentioned to the category of highschool college students. “And that’s actually good for the gamers as a result of one of many functions of our workforce is to get current school gamers to develop, an opportunity to proceed to develop.”
The Wampus Cats is a workforce made up of faculty baseball gamers and college students.
“We now have 34 guys on our roster,” Min mentioned. “We now have seven or eight pitchers. That’s going to provide all of the pitchers a possibility to work, however none of them are going to get overworked.”
The season will start on Memorial Day Monday, Could 29. The Wampus Cats can be dancing off with the Carolina Disco Turkeys beginning at 6:00 p.m.. Tickets may be bought on the Wampus Cat web site.