After their best season in a decade, Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals are enjoying a brief reprieve from their cellar-dwelling status—even the word “royals” seems to be all over the place lately. And though that has less to do with KC’s baseball team and more to do with a certain Grammy-winning 17-year-old from New Zealand, the Royals are taking advantage.
The team’s 2014 advertising campaign was kicked off today with a simple slogan: “Be Royal.”
Don’t expect to see Lorde sitting in the stands at Royals games any time soon, but the team is embracing the attention their moniker is getting these days. “We proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to live up to the name on the front of our jerseys,” said Michael Bucek, the team’s vice president of marketing and business development.
What does it mean for a major league baseball team to be jumping on a trend started by a teenage pop star? If anything, the new ad campaign is simply returning the favor. Reportedly, Lorde got her original inspiration for the song “Royals” from a photograph of Kansas City Royals legend George Brett signing baseballs in a 1976 issue of National Geographic.
What this particular member of the 3,000 hit club has to do with jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash isn’t really clear, but Brett is a fan, apparently: “I love the song. My tastes run to Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra now, but I was young once,” he told ESPN. One of his autographed baseballs even ended up in Lorde’s hands after the Grammys, bringing this thing full-circle.
Do Royals fans think this new pop-music-tinged slogan will give them good luck in the 2014 season, bringing the team its first playoff appearance since 1985? Well, maybe some of the more desperate ones, but I wouldn't count on it. For now, though, we can let them live that fantasy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.