This morning, the Blue Jackets took the wraps off of this season's marketing campaign, starting with an email to Season Ticket Holders (that was almost immediately forwarded to Porty over at the Dispatch, it seems), and then going out to a wider audience in the afternoon through the team's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
It's a pretty simple statement - but there's some pretty interesting subtext underneath it.
As things go, "March with US" still plays on the team's Civil War theme, calling up images of ranks of Union Blue soldiers tromping across the battlefield towards victory. In that sense, it's the same vibe as "Join the Battle!", "Carry the Flag!", or the "March On!" call that rallied the fans towards the playoffs in the past.
But it's also a very inclusive statement - an answer back to 2014's calls of 'We Are the 5th Line'. The embrace of not just the fans, but the City of Columbus, is no accident.
Since going above and beyond to promote everything that Columbus has to offer back during the All Star Weekend festivities, the Blue Jackets have made a point of being part of the community here, not just a team that happens to play in Columbus. The look and feel of the slogans and graphics is a pretty clear callback to the City of Columbus' current branding - particularly the red "US", which has been a part of adds and graphics for the city for the last several years - and the effort to include several major landmarks from around town in the video is a nice touch.
The efforts to make Columbus itself part of the team's identity has been an ongoing process, and we know that it's made a big impression on a lot of players past and present who now maintain homes in town throughout the year. Now the next step is for the team to make the kind of impact on the ice that will help bring that to the rest of the NHL, and hopefully turn a few heads at the national and international levels in the process.
Regardless, it's nice to see the team center the city and it's community, and this campaign seems like one that fans can buy into pretty easily - we've seen groups do "marches" from places like the R-Bar over to the arena before games in the past. Maybe that's something we can tie in this season to help bring the message that this team is headed in the right direction - and the fans are right along side them, marching our way towards victory.