Long time Rapids fans can list any number of marketing and outreach ideas from the FO over the years that landed with a thud with the fans. This has left some of them with a lack of interest in what the Rapids are promoting at a given time. This year though they've done a couple of things that have really appealed to me as a long-time fan and from what I've heard, other fans like me.
Last week the Rapids starting XI came out for pre-game warm ups in these training jerseys:
A nice throwback to the early Rapids kits (specifically this 2001 home kit) when the Rapids were green:
Seeing them was a fun nod to the past but the Front Office also arranged for season ticket holders and C38 members to buy their own versions for $40. I picked one up and its not cheaply made or overpriced, its a solid souvenir for those of us who remember those early days.
The second thing is a little silly, yet appreciated:
Yeah, I'm talking about RapidMan. He's goofy and really doesn't make sense, but he's our goofy mascot. He at least had character and was something unusual to represent the team. The 4 animal mascots are bland an uninteresting. Bringing him back is another nice shout out to the team's history and long-time fans.
I'd even add in the signing of Jermaine Jones. Its was a big move on the even of the season that made people sit up and take notice. I'm not sure he's any sort of long-term answer on the field but apparently the team feels the same way if the SI report of a one-year deal is accurate. Off the field though its another sign that the team is increasing its effort and interest and while maybe they haven't dialed in the scouting its at least showing they're trying.
In the end of course none of this matters if the on-field results don't improve significantly from the last two seasons. While the Mythbusters proved you can polish a turd there is a limit to how much a good marketing plan can cover for a bad team, especially one that has had the last few years we have. Credit where credit is due though, the marketing department has made strides in reaching out to long-time fans this year. Lets hope that continues.