Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


In case you haven't heard, the Wizards have changed their marketing slogan for the 2006/07 season. In the past two years, the slogan was "One Team, One Goal," but since the Wizards have had sustained success in the past couple years, management obviously felt they needed to beef up the slogan. Here's what they came up with:

"Go All-In"

Alright, so in order to show that they are a real contender, the Wizards decided to change their slogan to an obscure poker reference. Many people read last year about how Gilbert Arenas plays online poker at halftime of games. A funny story, for sure, especially for those who had not been previously exposed to Arenas' quirkiness.

But let's get real here. The Wizards are actually changing their 2-year slogan because of one funny story that only Wizards aficianitos and NBA-obsessed bloggers really heard about? I love Gilbert Arenas as much as the next Wizards fan, and probably more than most, but this is kind of ridiculous. Not only would the target audience of the Wizards marketing brass not completely understand the reference, but how can you apply poker to basketball?

Dan Steinberg, he of the awesome DC Sports Blog, had this to say about the slogan.

This "Go All In" sloga of the Wizards is kind of confusing. It's a poker reference, I guess, so maybe it's a nod to Agent Zero's purported half-time activities, but I'm not sure if this is the right year to go all in. There are several scenarios that would make you go all in in poker, right?

1) You have the best made hand, someone else is on a draw, and you want to end things.
2) You're bluffing.
3) You're short-stacked and desperate.
4) You actually do have the best hand and want to get paid.

I don't see any of these scenarios applying to the Wizards, circa 2006. They don't have the best team, they have no reason to bluff or be desperate, and it's not like they're ahead in this hand, metaphorically or otherwise, although I have no idea what that means. Anyhow, as our poker-related interview with Gilbert Arenas from last spring shows, a better slogan for the Wizards might be "I take all my crap into the flop." Now that would sell tickets.

Let's take a closer look at the possibilities.

1) You have the best made hand, someone else is on a draw, and you want to end things.

As Dan correctly points out, the Wizards do not have the best team. That distinction belongs to a handful of possible teams, but the Wizards probably aren't one of them. More importantly, though, why should the Wizards want to end things? Are the Wizards really saying that this is our last chance before the draw hits and the team becomes bad again? Come on, we've had like 4 good teams in 25 years. Don't do that to us.

2) You're bluffing

Great message guys. Let's pretend our team is good and exciting when it really isn't. Way to go, Wizards brass!

3) You're short-stacked and desperate

The Wizards have improved in expected wins in the last two years, so I hope management doesn't think they're desperate for anything. Maybe for a championship, but simply saying "Go All-In" doesn't convey that to the fans. I mean, come on, when we hear "all-in," we only think about guys like Chris Moneymaker.

You actually do have the best hand and want to get paid.

No question, the Wizards want to get paid. But "One Team, One Goal" does that too. Hell, Steinberg's suggestion of "I take all my crap into the flop" works even better. Why not just make that the slogan?

Okay, so what's the real reason for the slogan? Why would the Wizards adopt such a gawd-awful slogan this season?

No More Online Poker

With the online poker ban, Gilbert Arenas won't even be able to play online poker at halftime ever again. That's definetly is not going to sit well with Agent Zero. How will he ever be able to stay focused? At least now, with the slogan change, he can talk poker all he wants in the commercials and stay focused the entire season.

This is probably the conversation Arenas and Abe Pollin had recently.

Gilbert Arenas: Yo, yo, Abeman, we's got problems!
Abe Pollin: What troubles the great Black President?
GA: Abeman, I can't play online poker no more. Those Senate people made it illegal. How can Gilbert focus on Gilbert's basketball playing now? Will I have to move the altitude tent to the locker room? Don't make me do it, man!
AP: Relax, relax, I have a solution.
GA: I hope it's good!
AP: You know that wierd slogan we had last year, the one that was like "One team, one goal."
GA: Ya.
AP: Why not change it to "Go all-in." That way, you can always be playing poker.
GA: Hey, I like it! Poker keeps Gilbert Arenas going, so why not let Gilbert Arenas talk about poker in commercials! This is going to be awesome! Wait...I don't get it.
AP: What?
GA: Go all-in with the Washington Wizards this season? What does that even mean?
AP: I dunno, but it doesn't have to mean anything. It's perfect.
GA: Yeah, you're right. Abeman, you're a genius. You wanna play some cards?
AP: I bet I go all-in first!
GA: No way man, I'm so beating you to it!

By that logic, the switch makes sense. If Gilbert Arenas needs to play poker to stay focused, why not make it the team slogan. That way, the Wizards will have a Gilbert Arenas that is always focused on being the "East Coast Assasin." Clearly, that had to be the motivation. Otherwise, the Wizards would be making yet another strange decision.

What's your take on the "Go All-In" slogan?

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Anonymous Gideon Katsh said...

It'd be sweet if they gave out chocolate poker chips at halftime...then spun dreidels and lit a hanukiah (menorah if you're not in the know).

4:17 PM

Blogger Pradamaster said...

Go all-in with the entire family!

11:01 PM


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