Sunner: Wichita Baseball’s marketing campaign is a dumpster fire


Easton Thompson

Construction continues on Wichita's new minor league baseball stadium. The stadium will be just one attraction at the ballpark village which is said to be completed by 2020.

Wichita’s new Triple-A affiliate will soon get its new permanent name, but not until the team’s awful marketing campaign is over.

The team, who’s “fake name” at the moment is the Wichita Linemen, have started a community engagement campaign that reveals a new team name every two weeks until the official team name is revealed in the weeks ahead. So far, the Wichita team has revealed two other team names, the River Riders and the 29ers.

First off, the whole campaign that the team thought was a good idea, is in fact a dumpster fire. This whole ordeal has media outlets scrambling for answers because no one knows for sure what is actually going on.

When the first name was released back in August, the immediate reaction was that “River Riders” was going to be the official team name, but that wasn’t the case. KMUW reported that the name was the official team name, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until the team posted to their Facebook page when some clarification was given. Miss Kansas Annika Wooton announced that the River Riders was one of the 3,000-plus name submissions from the general public. She also stated that it was one of the team’s “potential names.”

But that’s where it gets confusing. The logos that the team is releasing every couple of weeks aren’t going to be the team’s actual logo, regardless if that name is chosen. Confusing right? It’s especially confusing that the team would use this strategy considering the logos they are releasing look like a third-grader drew it up in their spare time. Wooton stated that the actual logo will be created by Todd Radom, who has created a multitude of logos for the NBA, NFL, and the Big 3.

So why release these terrible logos? For myself, the fake logos take away from the names that are being released. Yeah, the names aren’t that much better, but the logos are just flat out awful, and continue to get worse with every name that is released. The way the team is going about the situation also leads me to believe that these names actually hold no meaning towards the future official name of the team, and that the community may actually not have a say in the official name in the first place.

What if this is actually for no reason at all, and the team is just going to surprise all of us with a name that won’t even be mentioned? At this point, it’s very possible in my opinion.

So far, “River Riders” has been the name with the most backlash. The logo shows a boater rowing down the Arkansas river, which is actually pretty funny. The fact that the team thought this would work is humorous considering at many points the river is only ankle deep, and the fact that no one ever boats in the river in the first place. The team got a little better with the second release, the “29ers.” The name was historical with the 29er bombers being built for World War II in Wichita, but the three-year old drawn logo did the name no justice.

The third name released has given “River Riders” a run for its money as worst yet.

On Sept. 4, the team released a new name, the “Linemen.” The logo released showed three upside down baseball bats as telephone poles, with whatever “Linemen” are climbing them. Basically, it looks like three strippers working their poles in a “Magic Mike”-like setting.

In conclusion, this marketing campaign needs to stop, and I feel like I can speak for all of the Wichita community. So do your thing Wichita Baseball, spare the community and just stop while you’re ahead.