Athlete brings edge to Mariners’ ads and image
Last year, the Seattle Mariners ignited new hope for a franchise that has yet to make a World Series and is currently sitting third in the AL West.
But the team is far more than a list of wins and losses. That’s what the man at the heart of the M’s new advertisement campaign wants you to know.
Rashad Floyd, the founder of the Portland-based Heart and Hustle Productions, has packed the teams’ new TV ads with game highlights and players’ voices – often unscripted.
“I’ve been an athlete all my life,” says Floyd. “I played football, basketball, baseball, ran track in high school. Then I went on and played football and basketball in college. Played pro football for nine years.”
So when he gets behind a camera, he doesn’t just see ballplayers. He has an insight into what they’re thinking, what’s in their gut, and what’s in their hearts.
“The players make the sport,” he says. “The players are the ones that are providing the entertainment based on their skill set, based on their competitive nature, based on them living a dream.”
Floyd has worked with the NBA, NFL, and Nike.
The Seattle Mariners is his first MLB team, a league that’s not often viewed as hip and edgy.
“It’s predominately been a very conservative sport,” Floyd said. “Handshakes, hat forward, jerseys tucked in.”
But he insists the swagger’s always been there. He connected with the Mariners while making a documentary about Seattle icon and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., whose smile, swing and, swagger drew many in Washington to the sport.
Floyd has a clear vision in his approach to the M’s campaign.
“Let’s do what we do with the other leagues. Let’s make it hype, let’s make it high energy, let’s make it fun. Let’s let the voices of players be heard. Let’s let it be unscripted.”
He’s bringing a nontraditional view to a traditional institution. But he’s good at that.
“We’re super unconventional in how we operate as a company because we’re just a family. Heart and Hustle Productions is just becoming a Mecca for creatives of color.”
He says many of his employees just needed a chance, as he once did.
“As a black man in this industry, not surrounded by a lot of photographers that look like me or filmmakers that look like me, it’s important for me to be present for the next generation.”
His ads bring an edge to a young team that’s ready to prove itself to the fans.
“We’re not going to win every game, but we’re damn sure going to give our very best.”