Range, a startup management firm founded a year ago, has two key partners in the effort. They include sports marketing and analytics specialist 4FRONT, which works on revenue-generating projects with a number of pro teams, and branding agency Base Design. Base clients including Apple, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Union Square Hospitality Group, Milk Studios, and the Prince Estate.
According to the official announcement, the objective is to “evolve the Mets brand and accelerate innovation and engagement across the organization.” If this mission is successful, the announcement adds, it will bring “new owners Steve and Alexandra Cohen’s progressive vision for the organization to life as it intersects with popular culture and innovative digital technologies.”
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Range’s role will be to “merge the realms of sport and entertainment in new and original ways,” the announcement said, by integrating the iconic Mets brand into film, television, fashion, social media and music. The internal Range team also includes sports marketers with experience from Momentum Worldwide brand partnerships with leagues from the NBA to NHL; social media specialists Andrew Weiss and Kai Gayoso (with experience from Facebook to Some Good News and When We All Vote); and music specialists Matt Graham, Jack Minihan and Evan Winiker. Range’s production and development teams will also work to build content extensions from Mets IP, the firm said.
“Range was built to empower exceptional storytellers, and the aspirations of this team go far beyond the field – to the intersection of sports, entertainment and culture. We are thrilled to partner with Steve, Alex, Sandy and the entire Mets organization and support their commitment to be the most innovative owners in professional sport – many of us at Range are lifelong Mets fans ourselves, and we know how important the responsibility of remaining true to the Mets narrative is,” Range CEO Pete Micelli said. “In addition to celebrating the authenticity, warmth and determination that define the New York Mets (and the city itself), we’re excited to be developing forward-thinking partnerships that will bring fans even closer to their favorite players.”
Along with the Cohens, key members of the Mets leadership team will join the initiative, including President Sandy Alderson, EVP of Marketing and Chief Content and Communications Officer David Newman and EVP and Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Deline.
The update of the Mets brand identity encompasses photography/art direction, motion system, optimization of typography, and incorporating additional graphic elements such as heritage illustrations. The effort will also seek innovative uses of technology and digital engagement, brand partnerships, and cultural activations. The goal is to make Citi Field, the team’s Queens home, not just a sports destination but a hub for culture and entertainment.
“We have an enormous opportunity in front of us – to both excite existing fans and entice new ones with the additional expertise and resources of Range, 4Front and Base Design as we make the New York Mets one of the most iconic teams in all of sport,” Alderson said. “We wanted to both celebrate and honor our fans and our city by bringing best-in-class partners to support the Mets organization as we evolve the brand.”
Cohen closed his $2.4 billion purchase of the team last November, closing a long period of ownership by the Wilpon family, during which fans grew increasingly restless. The Mets were eliminated from the playoffs last week. While they have made two World Series appearances over the past couple of decades, their last championship came in 1986. Another burden during the Wilpon era was the owners becoming enmeshed in the Bernie Madoff fraud scheme, which caused the team to pursue an even more austere course.
Promising a breath of fresh air, Cohen has contributed resources not marshaled by the Mets for many years. He has also engaged fans on Twitter and even recently invited one disaffected partisan to watch a game from his suite at Citi Field. The signing of shortstop Francisco Lindor to a 10-year, $341 million contract turned many heads, but did not immediately yield positive results on the field.
4FRONT’s team, led by Katie Foglia, includes Dan Migala, Tim Hirst, Brian Gainor, Ruchir Shah and AJ Stoner. Base’s team, led by creative director Min Lew, includes Geoff Cook, Harry Laverty, Gavin May and Ross Gendels.