It doesn’t matter what the sport is, when it gets to playoff time – everybody gets excited. The regular season games are fun, but the playoffs are when the no-holds-barred games come to play. This is the time where tickets sell out within minutes and everybody dresses in team merchandise.
In 2007, the Washington Capitals started an incredibly public relations strategy. The team emerged at the start of the new season with new uniforms. The older uniforms were black, white, and gold. The new uniforms were predominantly red with blue and white accents. The jerseys were made to be reminiscent of the original team jerseys. With the new uniforms, came a new slogan.
Rock the Red
Ever since the new uniforms were released, everything regarding Washington hockey has been Rock the Red. You can buy red shirts, pants, bathing suits, socks, shoes, head bands, beanies, caps, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Rocking the red has sort of become a mindset in the Washington D.C. It is not only all over the Verizon Center, but it has carried over to advertisements throughout the city to local restaurants aiming to attract fans. For the fans who can’t get tickets to the games, there are a couple of restaurants who have viewing parties and give discounts to customers wearing red.
Walking through the Verizon Center, you are inundated by the color Red, all as a way to pump up the fans and get them ready to cheer for their team.
The Capitals public relations group has even included rocking the red in advertising. This season, they released a commercial that used the snob-appeal that insinuated: if you are at the game and you’re not wearing red, you just don’t belong.
In order to kickstart the campaign in 2007, they had the players release a music video which, admittedly, is definitely not a showcase of supreme musical talent, but it was a very cool idea.
Has it worked?
I certainly think that this particular strategy has been incredibly successful. The best thing it did was to unify all of the fans. Not only that, but now when somebody thinks Washington Capitals, they automatically associate Rock the Red. Places all over D.C. are embracing the color red to try and reel in Caps fans and giving the hockey club some pretty awesome free advertising.