Denton: Magic Unveil New Campaign, "WE WILL"

By John Denton
September 25, 2012

ORLANDO -- Building off the organization’s history of success and resiliency through the years, the Orlando Magic have rebranded the organization with a concise, yet bold and aggressive campaign.

The message of ``WE WILL’’ speaks to the Magic’s desire to put a championship product out on and off the basketball court. The shift from ``Be Magic’’ to ``WE WILL’’ comes at a time when the Magic have a new general manager, new head coach, several new players and a new direction, but in actuality the change was made simply to update the Magic’s message and reaffirm the franchise’s desire to be great. The powerful proclamation of "We Will’’ promises that the Magic will do whatever it takes to put a winner on the floor and create a product that Magic fans can be proud of.

"For us, this campaign was relevant with or without roster changes. We feel strongly that it’s a great statement and a strong message that we wanted to provide to our employees, our fans and all of our corporate partners,’’ said Roman Vega, the Magic’s Vice President of Brand Management. "It’s designed to shatter any questions out there about us not wavering in our mission to put us in a position to win a NBA title. That’s our number one goal.

"When you look at our mission statement, it’s to be champions on and off the court delivering legendary moments every step of the way,’’ Vega continued. ``What we do from a marketing standpoint is to support and deliver with our mission statement and we really feel, ``WE WILL,’’ does that for our organization.’’

The Magic will unveil the new marketing campaign on Monday and will begin blanketing Orlando and the Central Florida market on Oct. 1. The team will utilize television, print, radio and billboard advertising as well as non-traditional avenues such as online, social media and in-arena options. "WE WILL’’ will also be plastered across game tickets, pocket schedules and digital formats.

Several Magic players are already at the team headquarters going through voluntary workouts and training camp opens on Oct. 1. The Magic open the preseason against the New Orleans Hornets in Mexico City on Oct. 7 and play their first preseason home game on Oct. 11 against the new-look Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic also open the regular season at home, hosting the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 2.

The "WE WILL’’ campaign speaks to the Magic’s success throughout its 23-year history. Great players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Dwight Howard have come and gone through the years, but the Magic have been able to string together a history of long-standing success while owner Rich DeVos has owned the team.

- In the last 20 years, the Magic have had the fourth-most seasons with a .500 record or better with 16. Only the Spurs (19), Jazz (18), Lakers (17) and Rockets (17) have more winning seasons over that period of time. Orlando has had a winning record each of the past five seasons, including 59-win seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

- By comparison, franchises such as the Clippers (three), Wizards (six), Celtics (nine), Sixers (10), Knicks (11), Pistons (11), Mavericks (12) and Bulls (13) have had fewer winning seasons over the past 20 years.

- In the last 19 years, the Magic have reached the playoffs 14 times. That also ranks fourth in the NBA behind only the Spurs (18), Lakers (17), Heat (15) and Utah (15) in playoff appearances. The Pacers and Suns also have 14 playoff berths over the last 19 years.

- Since the 1994-95 season, the season that Orlando first reached the NBA Finals, only 10 teams have gotten to multiple NBA Finals. The Magic did so in ’95 and ’09, losing to the Rockets and the Lakers.

CEO Alex Martins, new GM Rob Hennigan and head coach Jacque Vaughn have talked of rebuilding the Magic with players with strong moral fiber who have a strong desire to be in Orlando. The trio also wants to emphasize the total team over an individual, and new advertising will reflect that mantra. The Magic hope to move on from the era where one player overshadowed all of the rest, and now the spotlight will be on the team as a whole. "WE WILL’’ speaks to the Magic’s willingness to build a team that plays for something bigger than just their selves.

"We talk about it not being about the past and it being all about today and the future. We are resilient as an organization. And around here it’s about the name on the front of the jersey and not the one on the back,’’ Vega said. "The Orlando Magic, as an organization, is going to be here. Players will come and go, but at the end of the day it’s all about the organization. That’s what we want the fans to connect with. We want the fans, season ticket holders and clients to establish that interpersonal connection with us as an organization and the values that we carry as an organization.’’

A team of 25 members of the Magic staff, including Martins, worked with local advertising firm, Great Big Circle, to create the new slogan which is designed to promise fans and sponsors that the franchise will rebuild. Vega is confident that the "We Will’’ campaign will be warmly greeted by a Magic fan base that is excited about the squad’s rebuild under a team-first mantra.

"Internally, we’ve heard that it’s a positive statement and something that we want to build upon,’’ Vega said. ``In terms of where we’ve been in the past with `Be Magic,’ this is a lot more edgy. It’s playing on an aggressive and aspirational component as well. `Be Magic’ was a great campaign and served its purpose, but given the moment in time and where we are as an organization, it seems like a natural fit to change brand campaigns and come up with something that is right for True Blue Nation.’’

John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. John has covered the Magic since 1997. E-mail John at jdenton@orlandomagic.com or follow him on Twitter at @JohnDenton555.

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