In what could prove to be the year's second-worst re-branding effort, the Omaha Royals announced today that they will now be known as the Storm Chasers. The promotional video almost makes it all pathetically endearing, but mostly it's just pathetic.
The Royals, Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate, are moving to a brand new stadium next year — and to really start fresh, the ball club let their fans suggest new mascot ideas. They sorted through over 1,500 submissions, held an online vote, and then went with the people's choice. The in-transition website would like to desperately remind you that the name was "voted on by you, the fans." In other words you, the fans, are the ones responsible for your new mascots: Stormy, Vortex, and Casey.
The team's press release reads:
"The team name recognizes the importance of weather in the metro area and across the state," said [VP and GM Martie J.] Cordaro. "It also, in a whimsical way, pokes a little fun at the variety of weather we experience here."
In addition to the team name, the Storm Chasers have two new mascots to provide that aura of whimsy. Stormy is a loveable green furry fellow who wears his weather vane beanie cap as a badge of honor. His sidekick, Vortex, is an inflatable mascot that looks like - well, a vortex. Fan-favorite Casey will remain with the club as a Storm Chaser.
Frankly, this whole thing has the same dubious tone as my middle school yearbook's superlative awards, when the kid with an encyclopedic knowledge of World War II army tanks was voted "Most Athletic." But it seems to be for real.
Let's just hope that the Omaha office has figured one thing out and we can expect brave, storm-chasing widow Dr. Jo Harding to throw out the first pitch come April.
Royals will become Storm Chasers [Omaha World-Herald]