Deep in the heart and deep in the basement

The NY Times has an interesting article on the new marketing campaign for the Houston Astros. You might remember the Astros are moving from being the team with the worst record in the National League (55-107) to being the worst team in the AL West by 20 games (the Seattle Mariners were 75-87 last season).

As part of their move they have put together a half-decent new uniform and a quarter-decent new ad campaign.

Last season, the Astros tritely borrowed from “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for its marketing efforts using the theme “Root. Root. Root.”

This season, they’re singing another tune: “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” which is played during the 7th inning stretch at Minute Maid Park, after “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Stuart Elliot in today’s Times writes:

The Astros are repurposing the lyric “The stars at night are big and bright” as “The star is big and bright and back for good,” and as “Big and bright. Back for good.” The references are to the star that appeared in the team’s logo for decades. Redesigned logos and uniforms that were introduced on Friday revive the five-pointed star, in orange or blue, over which a white H is superimposed.

The two “big and bright” phrases will appear in the 2013 campaign along with “Root. Root. Root.” Some ads will urge fans to “Get Ready to Root. Root. Root.” and will include a familiar expression addressing the coming season: “It’s a Whole New Ballgame.”

The Astros spent about $100,000 during the 2012 season on advertising according to Kathleen Harrington Clark, the vice president for marketing and strategy,  in addition to commercial time and ad space obtained through deals with Fox Sports Houston and The Houston Chronicle. She said the team’s budget would increase next season, “but not to a large degree.” It will also have a new television partner, Comcast SportsNet Houston, owned by the Astros, the Houston Rockets and Comcast.