The Royals know how to do billboards right.
A year ago, they had dual billboards on Interstate 35, just southwest of the downtown loop. On one billboard, James Shields was pitching across the road to Salvador Perez on another billboard, which appeared damaged by the ball.
BuzzFeed called it one of the top 15 most creative double billboards in the country and AdWeek proclaimed it one of the 10 best billboards in the previous two years.
The Royals tore it up again with a billboard that went up Monday as part of their “Be Royal” campaign. This year’s version shows Royals left fielder Alex Gordon sliding head first into a base and ripping apart the billboard behind him.
“Our hope was that we would be able to top last year’s campaign or at least match the response that we got, which was overwhelmingly positive,” said Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president of community affairs and publicity.
“It remains to be seen whether it’s going to be the same or better, but so far the response has been pretty overwhelmingly popular both nationally and local.”
Cook said the billboard, which can be seen heading north on I-35 not far from downtown, has been been mentioned by ESPN, CBS Sports and Major League Baseball’s Man Cave.
How did the Royals decide on Gordon?
“We picked the player on purpose,” Cook said. “We picked Alex because we just feel like he epitomizes the way the team plays: gritty, play hard everyday. We wanted people to think about living up to the name on the jersey, Royals.”
The construction of the billboard was a bit different than a year ago.
“Unlike last year when they put the billboard up and then literally tore a part of it when it was up, this year, everything was built and then the billboard was hoisted up,” Cook said.