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Baseball Banner Branding

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Take a look - Major League Baseball has revamped its team websites in preparation of ringing in the new baseball season. Gone are the pictures of individual players - scrubbed completely, in fact. In place is a potpourri of design choices, a primer of web banner branding spanning the generic to the adventurous, the simple to the inscrutable.

Here is a rundown on each team's new look for the web...

Angels - LOGO: Pattern of the Team Logo. COMMENT: Arte Moreno is all about branding

Astros - PHOTO: Stadium panorama. COMMENT: If the former Enron Field is being marketed as a summer Air-Conditioned retreat, it is probably a better selling point than the team.

Athletics - LOGO: Zoomed in 40th Anniversary Logo. COMMENT: Will the resentful ghost of Connie Mack meddle with their rebuilding plans? In 42 years, will they be blindly celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Fremont franchise?

Blue Jays - SLOGAN: It’s Always Game Time. COMMENT: This slogan is only accurate among the baseball/hockey-mad fan, although you can safely assume there are a few dozen out there.

Braves - SLOGAN: Welcome To The Bigs. COMMENT: Do Braves fans get a hard rap or does Atlanta have to work hard to remind their forgetful fans that they are still a major league team?

Brewers - PHOTO: Stadium panorama. COMMENT: The great indoors of Miller Park are a great selling point as it is Milwaukee’s largest indoor bar.

Cardinals - PHOTO: Stadium panorama. COMMENT: If any fan on earth can get misty-eyed wistfully nostalgic over a picture of a two-year old stadium, it is a Cardinals fan.

Cubs - COLLAGE: Wrigley Field. COMMENT: With the naming rights about to be sold, they are leveraging the shit out of this asset one last time.

Diamondbacks - LOGO: Zoomed in 10th Anniversary Logo. COMMENT: While X-Rays of Randy Johnson’s kneecaps might be more compelling, the fact that the franchise survived some very dark times may imply this logo placement as a cocky swagger.

Dodgers - LOGO: 50th Anniversary Logo amidst Palm Trees. COMMENT: Brooklyn shrugged; you either love L.A. or you don’t notice it.

Giants - SLOGAN: All Out All Season. COMMENT: It is rare that a team’s slogan matches the opinions of its fiercest critics.

Indians - COLLAGE: Jacobs Field. COMMENT: Dropping hints to the fan base that a little more loyalty (in the form of the sold-out attendance of yesteryear) may be in order.

Mariners - SLOGAN: Mojo Risin’. COMMENT: So Jim Morrison was born in Florida, the Doors were from Southern California and the team’s slogan is a phrase from the song L.A. Woman. Another line from that song might describe the team’s fan base:"Took a look around me/Which way the wind blow"...

Marlins - SLOGAN: You Gotta Be Here. COMMENT: There is something poignant in the aloneness of YOU being here. This is almost an invitation to sequestering one’s self away from everyone else, save 18 performers hundreds of feet away.

Mets - LOGO / NOTHING: Final Season at Shea Stadium Logo pushed to the side by an Orange blob of nothing. COMMENT: Maybe the abyss that the Mets fell into last September was orange? Nietzche never described a color of the abyss did he? I don’t want to stare too long to find out...

Nationals - PHOTO / SLOGAN / LOGO: New stadium panorama (empty) with Slogan “Welcome Home” that features the team’s W Logo prominently starting off the phrase. COMMENT: This is a building in DC suburb without any windows boarded shut. It is a start. The slogan is a nice way of saying "Get used to it"...

Orioles - SLOGAN/PHOTO: “This is Birdland” occupies 1/5 of the banner, with a panorama of the Rope Factory Outfield wall stretching across the rest. COMMENT: Oriole fans probably see something in this logo like East Berliners did in their wall.

Padres - LOGO: The team name as it appears on the home jerseys superimposed on the team logo’s wave motif. COMMENT: At every marketing opportunity, the Padres take the absolute boringest middle of the road direction. The consistency here is staggering.

Phillies: - COLLAGE: Citizens Bank Park surrounded by monochrome solid dark blue. COMMENT: The team has obviously worked hard to give their online fans as little to boo at as possible.

Pirates - SLOGAN: Let’s Go Bucs. COMMENT: And Las Vegas will supply the moving vans!

Rays - NOTHING. Every banner has a team logo on the left and then something. This one has the logo on the left on top of it s new “star” insignia blown up, so that all the banner gets is the “rays” of blue streaks emanating from the star. COMMENT: Sometimes history steps in and a brand defines itself and a company can just wait for that definitive moment. Not at all likely here, but there is something to be said for flexibility in this era of sticks up every corporate ass.

Rangers - SLOGAN: You Could Use Some Baseball. COMMENT: Canseco, Palmeiro, Sosa... I dunno if I want to be taking prescriptions from anyone associated with this franchise.

Red Sox - SLOGAN: "2007 World Champions" - spelled out on the Fenway Park Scoreboard. COMMENT: This is really the only slogan that works. Nice ring to it.

Reds - PHOTO / SLOGAN / LOGO: Stadium panorama with the Slogan “C You There!” in the far corner, featuring the team’s “C” to start off the phrase. COMMENT: There is such a thing as too “C”lever...

Rockies - PHOTO: Stadium panorama. COMMENT: If there is a team in baseball that should be exploiting a league pennant it is the Rockies and they go for the generic photo op.

Royals - PHOTO: Outfield fountains. COMMENT: It pretty much screams out, “Folks, our pitching staff is sure to put a lot of baseballs into these!”

Tigers - PHOTO / SLOGAN / LOGO: Stadium panorama and “Who’s Your Tiger?” slogan with the Team “D” logo nearby. COMMENT: The Reds’ banner designer/slogan writer needs to visit the Tigers site.

Twins - SLOGAN: This is Your State, This is Your Team. COMMENT: Carl Pohlad’s marketing team is not on his “small media market” page.

White Sox - PHOTO: Stadium panorama. COMMENT: We skipped the retro-stadium trend and we can skip the regular playoff contenders movement that is so fashionable these days.

Yankees - PHOTO / SLOGAN: The Outfield White Picket Fence gives way to the Slogan “All Star Summer 2008 New York City". COMMENT: Any promo of the All Star Game that does not include “This Time it Counts” gets a free pass.