Mar 24, 2016

Remembering Mets History & the Slogans: "The Magic Is Back " & "Catch The Rising Stars"

In 1980 the New York Mets ownership changed hands as the team was purchased by Fred Wilpon & Nelson Doubleday. 

One of the first things the Doubleday people did was, hire a Madison Avenue advertising company to promote the team. The firm of Della Femina, Travisano & Partners were paid a hefty $400,000 to come up with a new slogan to sell a Mets new image.

Jerry Della Femina, was a giant in the ad industry, also having a bestselling book under his belt, he spoke out right away for his new clients. 





He said attendance should rise by 50,000 just getting rid of M. Donald Grant & the De Roulet sisters. He said New York fans had to settle for a Reggie Jackson when the Mets started losing in the late seventies. If the Mets were where they were in ’69, a guy like Jackson couldn’t get arrested in New York. He also said going to a game in the Bronx baseball Stadium was a very unpleasant experience and Shea was a better & safer place to go. 

He promoted Lee Mazzilli as a guy with Bucky Dent looks that could actually hit. Of course the AL New York team got upset at these comments, even baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in and fined the Mets $5000.

This was at this time when the advertising firm came up with the classic slogan “The Magic Is Back” for the 1980 season. 

Obviously the Magic wasn’t back in 1980 as the Mets lost 91 games. In the strike shortened 1981 season they went 41-62, and in 1982 they lost another 94 games. The media laughed at the slogan as did some teams driving into the ball park. It didn’t do well. 



After 1983 the team changed it to another Della Femina advertising classic; “Catch the Rising Stars”. In the 1988 Mets Yearbook, there is a 25th Anniversary tribute to Shea. In is a picture dated around the mid eighties where the slogan atop Shea says "The Magic Is Real- Catch It."

As those words were painted atop the sides of Shea Stadium, a strange thing happened, in 1984, the Mets began to win & became contenders. 

Those Rising Stars did actually rise, most of the most of them right out of the organization and by 1986, they won another World Series.

1 comment:

Dave's Mets Dugout said...

Love it... Can I share this to my FAcebook page?