1. Alliteration—Wichita Wingnuts. It rolls off the tongue. All great teams need alliteration: The Philadelphia Phillies, The Los Angeles Lakers, The—um—Manitoba Moose.
2. Multiple Mascots—Every excellent team these days has more than one mascot. First, we have the actual Wichita Wingnut, found on ball-caps, T-shirts and various logo-ized merchandise.
Isn’t it soooo cute? It’s a baseball wearing a wingnut like a little beanie cap. Awwwww. And it looks so angry, too—maybe the wingnut is screwed on a little too tight.
If beanie-wearing fuming baseballs aren’t your thing, then you might enjoy the second Wichita Wingnut mascot—the child-friendly Spinner. How’s that for adorable? (Just ignore those chicks draped on each arm—those are the Diamond Doll dance girls. Ugh.)
3. More mascots!—If those two don’t float your boat, check out all these other sorts of characters you’ll see at the ballpark. Crazy!
4. Hometown Connection—As Wichita is the “Air Capital of the World” (since the Kansas landscape’s pretty darn boring), the Wingnuts take their namesake from the aviation industry in the surrounding area—at least as long as those companies stay afloat.
For those of you not in the know, a “wing nut” or “wingnut” is a steel nut having two flat, widely projecting pieces such as it can be readily tightened with the thumb and forefinger. Now, I don’t know if wingnuts are used all that extensively in the manufacturing of airplanes anymore—not since the days of Orville and Wilbur, maybe—but I do know you need a lot of steel to hold those birds together. And since jets have wings, the name is all that more appropriate. Wichita Wingnuts. Sounds a lot better than Wichita Butterfly Nuts or Wichita Thumbnuts.
5. Clever Play on Words—Go Nuts! Between every inning, the MC tells us to yell that one the count of three. Ready? Try it . . . one, two, three . . .
Wasn’t that fun? And, of course, the whole enjoyment of said rally cry is the duplicity of its meaning—1) Yes, we are supporting and rooting for you, Wingnut baseball players; and 2) WeEHAAA!! Let’s go crazy! WhooowoOOH!
Naturally, the fans walk around in T-shirts claiming membership in the “Nut House.” I didn’t see any particular zone in the stadium where these “Nut Housers” congregated, but I like the idea. Let’s put all the most obnoxious fans in one section—kind of like a mosh pit. Works at the college level—and most of those fans are underage.
Unfortunately, there already is a Nut House in Wichita. It’s the Nifty Nut House, a wonderful store that sells candy and nuts. Best in town. Check it out: http://www.niftynuthouse.com/. Maybe the Wingnuts and the Nifty Nut House can do some sort of joint marketing. I can already see free peanuts and sunflower seeds for all the players. Maybe the fans, too? I’ll take some dark chocolate covered Brazil nuts. They’re good for the prostate.
One drawback (?) of such nut nonsense is some people are bound to snicker at the name and revert to their middle-school mindset. (Nuts. Kee-hee.) Grow up. But maybe that’s what the PR people like. Beats me.
I DO know that if they ever need another promo, the Wingnuts should milk the first part of their name. Give out free Buffalo wings for each home run. Have some sort of wing-flapping cheer to go along with “Go Nuts!”
Go wild on this. Call me, people. I’ve got tons of ideas.
So there you have it. Wichita Wingnuts. Fun minor league distraction. Brilliant team mascot and marketing. Don’t even have to like baseball.