Mets take risk with Syracuse rebrand

The Mets have decided to leave the casinos in favor of some lake effect snow. It is old news that the Mets were relocating their AAA affiliate to Syracuse. When the Mets announced that they were rebranding the team in Syracuse, the Chiefs, there was some initial shock. After all, the Chiefs had been a staple in the city since 1934 when the Jersey City Skeeters moved to the city. While ownership of the team has bounced around from team to team, the longest a team has been affiliated with the Chiefs has been the Toronto Blue Jays, who were there from 1978 until 2008. The Mets have decided to double down on their commitment to Syracuse, signing a contract that will keep them there until 2043.

Logistically speaking, moving the team to Syracuse makes a lot of sense. The team is now a lot closer to New York than they resided in Las Vegas. The new tenants of the 51’s, the Washington Nationals will feel the same crunch of sending players through multiple time zones to play at the big league level. Not only does it bring the players closer to New York, it allows the fans to watch their top prospects without having to go to Las Vegas. Instead, the Chiefs will play in places like Lehigh Valley, Scranton, and Rochester.

It was a risky move shooting for the rebrand. The team, as well as other local professional sports teams, will always compete with Syracuse athletics in terms of attention. This shows, as the Chiefs finished second to last in attendance during the 2018 season. It has been a while since the team has had any sustained success, as they have only made the International League playoffs once since 1998. It is clear that the team needed some revitalization.

What the Mets tried to do was connect their colors, blue and orange, to Syracuse athletics. They knew logo that is on the hat of the Syracuse Mets immediately brings to mind the signature “S” of Syracuse athletics. The S on the Mets hat is given a twist that can only be described as Metsian, as it adds a certain Flushing flair to the letter. The intent of the organization is quite obvious.

It is a smart, yet risky move to try to emulate what Syracuse athletics has already created in the city. On one hand, the Mets are trying to make things uniform in the city. Pittsburgh has seen success with this strategy, as all of their major sports teams have a combination of black and some sort of variation of gold/yellow. On the other hand, the Mets run the risk of simply fading into the ocean of blue and orange that currently resides there. So far, nothing stands out about the team, besides Peter Alonzo, that might attract a casual baseball fan to the ballpark. The Mets furthered their investment by committing $26 million in renovations to NBT Bank Stadium, where the Syracuse Mets will play.

Overall, it was a good idea to decide to move to Syracuse. The organization will benefit a lot from having the team in state. They will forever play second fiddle to Syracuse Athletics however, which is something that the team is trying to embrace with the rebrand.

7 comments for “Mets take risk with Syracuse rebrand

  1. October 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

    The key piece, really, is that the Mets own the team. There won’t be this every three to five year scramble to nail down a AAA location. The are in a stable state for at least 25 years.

    • Name
      October 20, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      This is so overrated and holds little merit. If having stability in your AAA club actually provided a competitive advantage, then you would be seeing every MLB team owning their AAA affiliate.

  2. Rob
    October 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    You lost me when you said the nationals now are “new tenants of the 51’s” ….. first, the “51s” name is ring retired and the new affiliates — the Oakland A’ — will be involved in renaming them .

    • TexasGusCC
      October 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Sorry Rob, your post just came through in my browser, it may have been in moderation or something, that’s why I wrote about the A’s too.

      I had forgotten that they are renaming them.

  3. TexasGusCC
    October 20, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Dalton, just want to add a few things to your fine work, if I may:

    -As someone that has driven through Syracuse in mid-August, the university rules the town. It was mid-week at 3:30pm and everything we saw was closed. Every eatery was on the circumference of the school’s grounds, and was closed – even the fast food places. It took us 45 minutes of driving around to find an open diner, and it was slammed on a weekday at that time! Yes, the university provides the blood that runs through that town’s veins.

    -The Washington Nationals are moving their AAA team to Nashville. In fact, with the new stadium coming into Las Vegas, the Oakland A’s swooped in and grabbed the Las Vegas location immediately after informing Nashville that they will not be renewing.

    -The Syracuse Chiefs were second to last the last three years, and last for the three years before that alternating with the Gwinnett Braves. However, before 2013, they were usually in the lower middle, but not too far down numbers-wise. So, there’s promise.

    I put into the open thread on Monday an article about how the Wilpons bought a franchise in the new e-League which has teams from all over the world compete online in video games. Truth is, business wise they make good decisions. Even the grief Jeff Wilpon gets, I maintain that as the COO it’s his responsibility to have his finger on the pulse of the team. Kind of like what Derek Jeter is doing.

  4. Met fan 4ever
    October 20, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Moving the Triple A club to Syracuse is a great move. It might turn out to be the best offseason move they make.

  5. Dave
    November 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    The Chiefs have not been owned by different organizations as stated in the article. Rather,from 1961 until the sale to the Mets, the franchise was community owed,i.e, there were as many as 5000 stockholders who paid $10 per share. Also, the Nationals’ AAA farm team will be in Fresno, not Law Vegas or Nashville.

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