Smells Like Team Spirit: Yankees Fragrance Launches With Big Push

What Would Your Favorite Team Smell Like?

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Smells like ...
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The fragrance market is awash with celebrity fragrances, but nothing has yet come out fronted by a Major League Baseball team. That's changing with the launch of a New York Yankees fragrance backed by ads expected to reach 95% of New York males ages 16-34.

Ads bearing classic black-and-white shot-on-film photography and the slogan "Past, Present, Forever," will show up everywhere from one entire side of the No. 4 train that goes to Yankee Stadium to a bullpen sign and a "Fragrance Day" event inside the ballpark. There will also be billboards in the metro area, and national magazine, newspaper and internet ads in a seven-figure campaign created in-house and aided by Media Kitchen , Carrot Creative and PR shop DKC.

What does New York Yankees cologne smell like? "We hope it reflects the smell of success, not to sound too cheesy," said Duncan Bird, a veteran of Grey Global Group, BBDO, Anomaly and BBH who's now creative director of the Cloudbreak Group, marketer of the Bronx Bomber scent. "It's not too challenging. It's a very refreshing smell."

Others might have different ideas. Like the smell of money. Or the ghost of George Steinbrenner. Or calzones. Or fear -- from newfound payroll austerity amid commitments to pay Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez into their golden years. Red Sox fans will no doubt have a wide array of profane suggestions.

Cloudbreak could have opted to name a fragrance after one of the Yankees' stars, but why limit things to one man when you can have what smells like team spirit?  "Players come and players go," Mr. Bird said. "The Yankees have been around a long time and represent something unique."

Initial consumer research and reaction to the fragrance among Yankee fans has been "extremely positive," Mr. Bird added. "I expected at least a level of resistance or negativity, but we received none."

No promises, but Cloudbreak's deal with Major League Baseball allows for other team fragrances too. Imagine a Pittsburgh Pirates cologne someday, hearkening to the old Homestead steel works. Or a Milwaukee Brewers fragrance with subtle notes of beer and sausage. Or a Cincinnati Reds fragrance capturing the essence of cumin-and-cocoa infused chili with hints of soap and pork processing. The possibilities are endless.

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