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The Downbeat #1833: Where Men and Mountains Meet

A plea to the Utah Jazz for a better slogan.

One half of the Wasatch Front
One half of the Wasatch Front
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Utah Jazz trade for Jeff Teague? That seems to be the hot topic of this week's Jazz-osphere. It seems to have popped up everywhere. From Kevin Pelton's chats to Zach Lowe's weekly feature to twitter fights to here.  Even a few of our SLCDunk writers here are on the Teague train.  But does it make sense for the Jazz and match their strategic vision of the team?  Let's go back to our analysis of the Jazz from this summer and see if it fits into their vision, shall we?  After all that's what the Utah Jazz will do if they want to make this decision.  Does it fit in with their strategy?  If it does then they would pursue it relentlessly.  If it doesn't, it does not mean they wouldn't pursue it.  It just means the incoming value of the trade would have to be a of a player of more worth than Jeff Teague or Jeff Teague + more value.  So let's analyze this, shall we?

Here's our resource analysis from the beginning of the year:

Resource Analysis

It's funny looking at this thing now before the NBA Draft.  No Lyles, but it does point out how desperate the team was for big men.  Big men got high ratings for rarity because the Jazz were so barren there.  Also points out how the team needs depth and needs it bad.  Now let's take a look at an updated one as of today.

Updated Resource Analysis

I honestly didn't think Raul Neto was going to get panned this quickly.  Trey Burke has definitely improved.  The hard thing about Trey Burke is because of his size he's not rare nor hard to replicate.  He's definitely put the work in, but that doesn't change anything.

Trevor Booker's value has definitely taken a hit this year as what made him valuable last year (3 point shooting) has taken a big decline.  He's no longer a net positive when he's on the floor.  Trey Lyles has a higher net positive and he's a rookie.  With the analysis, it's easy to see who the untouchables are: Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum, and RODNEY HOOD???  Yes, Rodney Hood.  He's doing things that are Korver-like, but with more physical ability.  He has better handles and has the potential to be a better defender.  Quin Snyder has found his Korver protege and his name is Rodney Hood.

One intriguing name on here is Alec Burks.  I know, it hurts me as much as it hurts you.  The Jazz's tradable assets barring a godfather offer are as follows:

  • Trey Burke
  • Alec Burks
  • Trevor Booker
  • Tibor Pleiss
Now should the Jazz go for a Jeff Teague for Alec Burks switch?  Let's look at if he's valuable.

He draws a foul on 32% of all field goals taken.  He shoots close to 40% from three.  He's 6'2 and 27 years old.  He struggles a bit on the defensive end but with Rudy Gobert that will be okay.  He has been injury prone, but with Dante Exum back next year he would not be expected to play more than 20-25 minutes per game.  But if Dante Exum gets in foul trouble next year (which he will on occasion) Jeff Teague will be able to step in and play starting caliber minutes.  He also has played under Quin Snyder before while Quin was in Atlanta.  That would cut down the transition and learning period as he integrates with Utah.  This does look like a match.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Utah Jazz should go after this.  No lie.  I actually started writing this with the intent of saying this was a terrible move, but it honestly would be an amazing move.  The team friendly contract of Joe Ingles and his steady play actually make this move doable.  The Utah Jazz's best play actually came without Alec Burks in the lineup and while Alec Burks would be a boost, Jeff Teague would be able to do more.  He would be able to mentor the young point guards and help them become better.  If at the end of the season Jeff Teague isn't ready to take a backseat role the Jazz can look around the league for a new home for him and still receive a good return.

A lot of people make fun of the Utah Jazz for having streamers fall on every home win.  But really, it's for the people.  But mostly, it's for this:

Streamer Girl

Kevin Pelton has some life advice for you guys (h/t to @ClarkPojo). This is why larger sample size usually is held in belief until it's not the largest sample size:

Kevin Pelton Life Advice

Just your daily reminder that Derrick Favors is DA GAWD.

And he's hilarious.

One last rant and then you can end today's Downbeat.  Utah Jazz's slogan this year.  Actually, the Utah Jazz's slogan every year.

This year it is:

We Are Utah Jazz

Every year I just end up shaking my head.  Why you may ask?  Why?  Let's talk about slogans and catchphrases as it pertains to brands.  For a quick 101 on Brand Management, a slogan is a short phrase that communicates descriptive or persuasive information about the brand.  They function as useful "hooks" to help consumers grasp the meaning of the brand -- what it is and what makes it special.  Terrible and creepy commercials aside, State Farms' "Like a good neighbor" or the Toronto Raptor's "We The North" are great examples of this.

We will use Toronto's "We The North" right now for this example because it is an Apples to Apples comparison.  Fringe market team trying to gain national relevance.  Toronto's "We The North" is so smart, catchy, and poignant that those guys should be winning best marketing department in the NBA awards for the next 10 years just for that campaign.  It captures so much.

Aren't you hyped for that video??? Seriously, you WISH you were from Canada after seeing that.  Why does it evoke so many emotions?

It boxes up a feeling of tribalism much stronger than a basketball team.  It identifies with regionality.  What? It identifies with being Canadian more than being a Raptors fan.  The feeling of playing basketball in the cold outside for 9 months.  The feeling of being left out because you're not East Coast, West Coast, or South Side.  It targets the feeling of being wanted.  That identity of being one of the largest cities in North America that no one can think of readily.  Notice it doesn't do anything with Raptors or Toronto.  No, this is smart branding.  They aren't Toronto's basketball team.  They are not Canada's basketball team.  They are the basketball team of the outsider.  For those who live North of NYC and Boston.  Those who live North of Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.  Those who live North of Detroit.  They are the North.  Ahhhhh.  Yeah.  Now you see it.  Now let's compare that with the Utah Jazz's marketing and branding of the "We Are Utah Jazz".

Notice that it first starts out with a cowboy and then the pink grandmas.  While I have nothing wrong with the pink grandmas or the Cowboy, it has focused on people.  Even more so, it hits with stereotypes of Utah.  Cowboys, old.  Rural.  While the We The North campaign focused on a big market, this is Utah's team.  Utah's.  UTAH'S.  UTAH'S!!!  Notice anything wrong with that? I'll give you a quick example.  When Federal Express wanted to go international they ran into something.  Their name.  It had the name Federal in it.  That prevented them from being able to market outside of the United States.  It wasn't seen as a carrier service.  It was looked at like a U.S. carrier service.  Hate to break it to you, Utah, but people don't want to be associated with Utah.  It's nothing against your state.  It's not that your state has bad connotations.  Well, sometimes it does (especially with recent things in the LGBT community).  Selling the name Utah hurts your brand.  WHHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTT?  Yes.  It does.  It limits your appeal.

Think about your fans all around the nation.  I say I'm a Jazz fan.  Not a Utah Jazz fan.  Why's that?  I've never lived in Utah.  Raul Neto's father never grew up in Utah.  Our editor, Amar, has never grown up in Utah nor been.  That's why the Jazz are missing the mark on what makes a good slogan.  It doesn't tell what the brand is or what makes it special.  Toronto's We The North campaign DOES.  "We Are Utah Jazz" is clunky, doesn't tell you what the brand is or what it does.  Here are some quick examples of what could be better:

One Note

The Mountains Are Calling You

Where Men and Mountains Meet

Personally my favorite is Utah Jazz - Where Men and Mountains Meet.  It fits the Jazz's profile of their formidable front court of Gobert and Favors, sometimes called the Wasatch Front and matches the Jazz's defensive profile of being a grind it out team.  There's only one Grindhouse (hey, Memphis), but hearkening back to the mountains says something greater.  It also calls for a larger market size of the entire rocky mountains all the way up into Canada.  Imagine the commercial starting out with a mountain that's not even in the Rockies.  WHAAAA???? That's right folks.  Remember how the Utah Jazz have two Aussies?  Your first image of a mountain in a brand commercial could be this:

Men And Mountains

It's time for Utah to start marketing more to everyone and to see they are a global brand.  Not a Utah brand.  Not a Northwest brand, but a global brand.  They have fans all over.  There is money to be had, all over.  There are fans to be won all over.  Now is the time.  Make your brand less Utah, more Jazz, and more special than "We Are Utah Jazz".