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Wednesday September 23, 2009 8:07 PM

We Are Red Nation!

Rockets unveil marketing campaign for 2009-2010 season



Jason Friedman
Rockets.com Staff Writer

Houston - “We are Red Nation.”

It is a bold statement to be sure; one intended to both unite the Rockets’ global community and build on the ‘redification’ of the city of Houston which began in earnest a year ago with the launch of the Rockets’ enormously successful ‘Get Red’ campaign.

“With ‘Get Red!’ we wanted to stress fan, partner and community-wide activation,” explains Rockets’ Marketing Director Ken Sheirr, “and we thought it worked in spades, especially in how it manifested itself during the playoffs when we embarrassed the Lakers in Games 4 and 6, in part because the crowds were incredible – it was completely red and the loudest we’d ever heard the building; the atmosphere was unbelievable.”

The fans weren’t the only ones who embraced the call to arms – players like Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks did as well with their red blazers which gained national attention when TNT analyst (and former Rocket) Kenny Smith donned a red coat of his own. At that point, it was clear for all to see: the Rockets were building something special, which is why the team has chosen to take an even bigger step along that red-paved path this year.

“’Get Red!’ really created this sense of community and gave fans the opportunity to be part of something,” says Sheirr. “We thought it made sense to continue in that direction and to reinforce this whole community component, so we moved forward with ‘We are Red Nation,’ which is what we really think we are creating here – this community at large which is passionate about and loyal to the Rockets, which creates a homecourt advantage, and is proud to be representing the city of Houston. That’s what this campaign is all about. You’re going to see statements about the fan community, by the fans.”

Now that the campaign is underway, you’ll see signs of the Red Nation movement everywhere you go - on billboards, TV and, the internet. Stylistically, the campaign features an edgier look than fans have seen in years’ past. Rockets’ Creative Services Manager Jose Lopez explains why.

“I wanted a grittier, more distressed street look,” he says. “With the paint splatter, it’s a type of graffiti you’d see a fan do. It’s as if you threw paint on a wall and took stencils to make it read, ‘We are Red Nation,’ and that’s why the font is also distressed itself. It all has this street look that makes it seem as if fans are doing everything they can to get people to join the movement.”

Last but certainly not least, the Rockets felt the time had come to put forth a code of conduct for the people of Red Nation. So with a nod to our founding forefathers, the team drafted its very own “Bill of Red,” a document designed to help guide the team – and the people – of this burgeoning nation to greater glory.

We the people of RED Nation, in order to form a more perfect fandom, establish domination and dominion over all the land, provide for a suffocating defense, and secure the blessings of an awe-inspiring and intimidating homecourt advantage, do hereby ordain and establish this Bill of RED – a document passed down from on high and now ratified by the House of REDpresentatives.

We the co-signed, united by passion and bound by belief, pledge allegiance to the following code of conduct:

1. Right to wear RED
RED is our color. It unites us, defines us and binds us together as bearers of the sacred flame of Rockets fandom. RED is the symbol of our passion and, as such, must be worn whenever possible and ALWAYS on game day.

2. Right to arrive early and stay late
Attending Rockets games is a privilege not a right and we vow to honor that privilege by passionately cheering our team from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Those who take the opposite approach (arrive late and leave early) forfeit the right to complain when showered with scorn and ridicule.

3. Right to free speech/freedom of expression (In other words: the right to get rowdy and be LOUD!)
This is not limited to hooting/hollering, screaming at the top of our lungs, chanting along with the Red Rowdies, high-fiving/hugging fans around us, or starting the wave! Screaming clever quips at the opponent and imploring fellow fans of RED NATION to do the same are encouraged. Style points awarded for creativity and anything mercilessly mocking all players named Kobe, Dirk or Mehmet.

4. Right to spread the RED
Not everyone is born into RED NATION. Therefore it is our responsibility as true believers to spread the gospel to those poor, unfortunate Rockets-less souls so they might join the movement and be saved by the transcendent power of the greatest team on the planet. This is made possible thanks to…

5. Right to bear arms (laden with Rockets regalia, schedules and memorabilia)
By proudly displaying our true colors to the world, we are also equipped with the ability to proselytize, educate and inform the uninitiated about the rich tradition of our team and the passionate and dedicated nature of its loyal fanbase. We consider it our sacred duty to let everyone know that 22, 34, 94 and 95 aren’t random numbers – they are divine gifts from the basketball gods.

6. Right to follow closely from afar
Whether at home or away, the Rockets deserve our unconditional support and we vow to provide it from the front row, the nose bleeds or the edge of our living room couch.

7. Right to ALWAYS believe
Under absolutely NO circumstances is it ever allowed to give up hope in our team. We are neither blind, delusional nor naive. Rather, we are resolute in our belief that a team and nation founded upon hard work, heart and perseverance will always find a way to prevail come what may.

8. Right to stay true to our team
RED NATION is not a bandwagon from which to jump on and off. It is a community of believers whose unwavering faith is impervious to the prattle of talk radio. You’re either with us or against us – there is no middle ground. Our arms are open to all but this family is not for the faint of heart – we call those people Mavs fans.

9. Right to embrace new ideas, new perspectives and new technology
RED NATION is an enlightened community filled with forward-thinking, open-minded citizens dedicated to the discovery of a better way of life, both for our team and its fans. Therefore we will leave no stone unturned and no technology (Statistical analysis, social networking, advanced scouting methods and more) unused in our effort to usher in a second golden age. Let the message be heard throughout Facebook and Twitter: The Rockets’ red glare is illuminating the world.

10. Right to dream BIG
Our NATION knows no limits. The word ‘impossible’ is not in our vocabulary. Through the collective power of our imagination and sheer force of will we shall stride confidently down the path toward greatness, while savoring every single step along the way.

This Bill is our code, our foundation, our mantra. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all the men and women of RED NATION are endowed with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Championships. The people have spoken. Thus it has been written and thus it shall be done.

We are RED NATION.

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