October 10, 2013

Washington Nationals’ New Uniforms: a Walgreens Home Run

pitcher-craig-stammen-nats-walgreens Is the U.S. pharmacy chain Walgreens benefiting by having their logo plastered on the snug-fitted uniforms of strapping young athletes? Keep in mind that 46% of baseball fans in the U.S. are women. Imagine how many pharmacy transactions are performed by women. Can see the appeal of a MLB pitcher like Craig Stammen (pictured right) performing acrobatic thrusts across a green, diamond studded field to the female baseball fans out there?

Maybe you follow baseball and already know who The Washington Nationals are. If you don’t, well, they’re the team who’s new uniforms look like one big advertisement for Walgreens.

washington nats logo on field

We did a bit of reading and found that in recent years Walgreens sued grocery store chain Wegmans for use of a logo with a “W” that was too close to the Walgreen’s mark. Wegman’s argued that their logo was an updated version of a mark they used back in the 1930’s but eventually agreed to settle. Although Wegman’s isn’t a necessarily a direct competitor of Walgreens, they do bear many of the same products, so it makes sense that the Walgreens chain would want to protect their mark.

Could it be that Walgreens hasn’t made a fuss about The Washington Nationals yet because, frankly, it just might be a business booster? Call me paranoid, but I believe that chances are that ever since those new uniforms were unveiled in November of 2010, Walgreens has had increased sales in the state of Washington particularly.

Marketers might be wondering: walgreens washington nationals w floor field

  • Should Walgreens fight to protect their trademark which has been in use since 1951?
  • Or should they ride the wave and reap the benefits of having the Washington Nationals advertise the Walgreens “W” to an audience who makes the majority of household purchase decisions in North America — women?
  • What about the graphic designer who developed this updated logo treatment? Should the designer or the designer’s firm be held responsible?
  • Do you think this is good, or bad for the Walgreens brand?
  • What about for the Washington Nationals brand?

Discuss in the comments below!

Photos courtesy of the Washington Post

Filed under:  Branding  ||  Tagged under:

Diana Santaguida

Diana is a persuasion architect who works directly with marketing decision makers to advance strategic alignment between sales and marketing through creative ideation, emerging technologies, copy-writing and conversion-oriented UX design.
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