A's unveil 'Rooted in Oakland' ad campaign

A's unveil 'Rooted in Oakland' ad campaign

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's have let go of longtime slogan "Green Collar Baseball" in favor of "Rooted in Oakland," which drives home a recurring message emphasizing their commitment to the city.

Details of the new advertising campaign, which include commercials and a series of print messages, were released Saturday morning. In addition, the A's plan to install 122 flagpoles in Oakland next week, which can be seen downtown and around Lake Merritt, and increase their billboard usage around the city to expand their outdoor presence.

Mayor Melvin

"It reflects our commitment to building a ballpark in Oakland, and also our rich heritage and history in Oakland," A's vice president of sales and marketing Jim Leahey said. "So we wanted all of the print advertising and the TV spots to kind of reflect that."

All five television spots unveiled Saturday were filmed in Oakland; in years past, the majority were shot in Arizona. The change in location allowed for fan participation, and D.J. O'Neil, founder and creative director of the A's advertising agency, Hub Strategy & Communication, noted, "It felt like the city of Oakland rolled out the welcome mat for us."

Even Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf got involved, starring in a spot with manager Bob Melvin and another with shortstop Marcus Semien. Other commercials highlight a visit to the Oakland Zoo, where players Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman and Ryon Healy lose track of the A's mascot, Stomper, who is transfixed by a new love interest.

Elephant Country

"Our priority this year was to highlight our amazing city," A's president Dave Kaval said in a release. "Our players loved shooting in Oakland, and it was great to have fans watch and participate.

"From our downtown light pole branding to a large outdoor billboard presence, our fans and community will know that the A's are truly rooted in Oakland."

The campaign also features a nearly 80-foot-high mural showcasing a large elephant with the city of Oakland on its back, to be seen downtown soon at 19th and Webster.

Around the city, print messages will include Oakland-centric taglines like "Hella Hustle," "Welcome to the Beast Bay," "A Fastball Nastier than the Bay Bridge at Rush Hour," and "We Never Give Up, Unless it's a Seat on BART, Because We're Gentlemen."

The A's have continually stated their desire to remain in Oakland, with the Golden State Warriors ready to relocate to San Francisco and the Oakland Raiders mulling a move to Las Vegas, and the ad campaign is an extension of these efforts.

"We do view that as a really good opportunity to show our fans that we're committed to creating a world-class experience," Leahey said. "We're focused on us. We can't control what the other organizations are going to do. They have their own plans, but it's a good opportunity for us."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.