If you read #Padres related tweets on twitter or peruse some of the other Padres Blogs you may have seen a mention of a new campaign to Bring Back the Brown. I'm told that some of you, our dear readers, have even enjoyed a few beers with the guys behind bringbackthebrown.com and talked about us behind our backs.
We received an email from them earlier in the week explaining their mission:
Our grand objective is to foster a strong loyalty to San Diego, it's sport culture, and do our part to contribute to the fabric of our city and "team." We think the Padres are caught in a vicious cycle of being unable to afford talent because fans don't show up. We believe fans don't show up for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons involves a sense of an alienation and betrayal by the franchise. We think San Diego has an identity crisis, and the Padres epitomize that crisis. Between color changes, logo changes, player trades, etc, San Diegans and Padre fans probably find it incredibly difficult to be loyal to something that is hardly consistent or loyal to itself.
Our strategy with the campaign is to get fans and San Diegans to feel empowered. To feel like they're taking a degree of ownership and involvement in their team by demanding that the brown return full-time; all while having fun along the way. Like I said earlier, we have no illusions that this is going to be hard and take at least several seasons; however, we're not moving anywhere anytime soon and we think it could be a real fun project.
As you probably know already Dex and I are down with brown, maybe not enough to sign a petition but still we'd love to see the Padres wear their old colors again. As skeptical people we had some jerky questions that only Tony and Jordan could answer.
Why brown and not brown and gold? Your website seems to show a fondness for brown and orange. What do you have against gold?
Our strategy is primarily focused on establishing the brown as one of the visual foundations of the Padres since it's unique to the MLB and holds historical significance to San Diego. Without getting too deep into it, we know San Diego is the oldest European (Spanish) settlement in California and it was founded by friars. Friars wore brown and our team is called the Padres, it's that simple.
Ideally, the Padres could pick a very specific colorway and stick with it, but that could prove difficult given they've had so many colorways, logos, mascots, etc, and the tried and true fans have strong affinities to different colors from the 70's and 80's. However, brown is the common thread that link all those variations together. At this point, we're not sure if the Padres need to stick to brown and gold, brown and orange, or the combination. It's even feasible that variations of those 3 colors could be part of the Padre's identity system— or not. But we think many, if not most, longtime Padre fans all love the brown.
We have nothing against the brown and gold, in fact, it might be our favorite colorway. However, we're children of the 80's and we fondly remember the Padres rocking brown and orange when we used to go to the Murph in the mid-to-late 80's. We grew up collecting the autographs of players during that time, so for this first season of the campaign those were the colors we chose to work with.
You’ve just started your campaign several weeks ago, but at this current time you have collected 109 signatures. Your goal is 10,000. Is 10,000 the magic number that will convince Padres ownership or just a ridiculously hard goal?
Haha... yea, it's a big number right? Well, we picked a number that sounded challenging but also achievable for our first season. Keep in mind those 109 signatures came in less than a month, before the NFL season ended and almost entirely from people within our small network. An absolutely essential part of our campaign is to reach out to fan hubs like you guys who have the same ties to the brown. Without the support and leadership from dedicated fans, and local businesses we'd be wasting our time. Also keep in mind that those 109 signature have come before our marketing campaign, before we allied with any sponsors or fan organizations, before we released any products, and before we have thrown any events. We're going to learn a lot this first season, and we might not come close to 10,000 but we don't care. Gotta start somewhere and keep the right attitude, especially if you're challenging a Goliath. All we know is that it's damn better than doing nothing and that we're going to have fun working on it. Besides, just looking at some of the comments from those 109 signers reminds us why we're doing this in the first place.
Padres retro uniforms are still best sellers in the Padres Store. If money hasn’t convinced ownership what will signatures do?
Without fans a team is nothing. In fact, they're not even a team. This is something some "owners" tend to overlook. They obviously don't care that it looks like the Chavez Ravine when the Dodgers come to town, and we know this. We're under no illusions that it might take 10 years for them to change the colors and we don't care, we're not moving cities anytime soon. We're never going to adopt the blue and we know we're not the only ones. This isn't just about pressuring the ownership to change the colors, this is about San Diegans taking a degree of ownership and leadership of our city, and identity. It's no secret our city and it's fans need to step their game up when it comes to loyally supporting our home team. If the last homestand of 2010 against the Cubs wasn't an indication of that, I'm not sure what is.
If signatures and events fail to persuade the Padres to "Bring Back the Brown" what’s the next step?
Re-evaluate our strategy, start again in 2012. This is something we're already anticipating. We have no expectations that they're going to change to brown for 2012.
[Note by jbox ]: Part of me was hoping these guys were a little more psycho and would resort to extreme measures like hunger strikes or marches on Petco Park. Oh well.
What’s your all-time favorite Padres uniform?
Tony: Brown pinstripes of 85-90. Based on nostalgia and simplicity.
Jordan: Either the 74-79 brown and golds, or the 85-90 brown and orange pinstripe. Both simple. Both fairly timeless. Both unique to SD.
Good Interview! High fives all around! Follow the @BacktheBrownSD on Twitter, go to their events and sign their petition if you believe in the cause.
Mark April 9th. First official "Bring Back the Brown" event is being planned at @5andADime against the Dodgers. Brown up!!