***Stop #6 on the #MiLBRoundTripper: the Lexington (KY) Legends***
The Lexington Legends are all about the mustache – and my kids and I took notice.
Everywhere you look, the artistic, Monopoly-like royal blue and green mustaches greet you.
There were at least 9 huge mustaches visible from the behind the plate as we scanned the field (note that my 11 year-old insisted there were 8 while my 4 year-old counted 12).
The mustache theme carries through the gift shop which is stocked full of mustache related gear – everything from hats, to shot glasses, to shirts and baby ‘staches.
Mustaches are everywhere at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington – and certainly not by accident.
As Andy Shea, President and CEO of the Legends, put it, “Our fans have gone nuts about the mustache logo. It’s simple, fun and family friendly – it’s our thing.”
My kids taking notice of their branding efforts tell me that the Legends have it right – but it didn’t happen overnight.
“We started to change our brand several years ago and we did so slowly – mixing the mustache in. Our mascot always had a big mustache, so it wasn’t like we were completely re-inventing things,” Shea continued. “But, as of now, we’re all in on the mustache and it has worked.”
When trying to come up with a fresh look, the Legends did not only evaluate their logo, they reworked their uniform colors.
“We’re in the heart of UK country, so it made sense to go with Kentucky blue as our primary color – and, with the Royals affiliation, that was a perfect fit.” Shea told me.
The sea of blue-clad fans at the ballpark was noticeable – giving the impression of a large contingent of Legends fans that were, more likely, University of Kentucky alums.
We came to see the Lexington Legends for a ballgame and, instead, found a marketing lesson centered on fun, family and connecting with the community.
Yes, the Lexington Legends have it right – and, when you get there, the mustache theme is something you “mustache” the locals about.
A day with kids in Lexington, KY
A half day wasn’t much time to see Lexington, but we were able to have some fun before the ballgame at two stops.
For anyone that has never experienced the pageantry of a big-time horse race, a stop at Keeneland is perfect. The grounds were flawless trimmed with lush green grass extended for as far as the eye could see.
The race track and grandstand were gorgeous – from the outside, looking more like a fancy country club clubhouse than a venue for horse racing. Although there was no racing going on, the facility was completely open for free public use.
The grounds of Keeneland are home to over 100 horse stables where young thoroughbreds are readied for sale and racing. My kids and I were able to watch as trainers tended to the horses in the stables near the grandstand.
Although I’ve only watched a few horse races in my life, I walked away impressed with Keeneland’s grounds and no-cost accessibility.
Needing some relief from the Kentucky sun, we retreated indoors to Malibu Jack’s for some air-conditioned fun.
Yosef, my 11 year-old, whipped around the indoor go-kart track.
My little ones, ages 4 and 1, moved from game to game in the vast arcade area.
Lynden, 9, and Vivi, 8, tested their putt-putt golf game at the 18 hole miniature golf course.
There was no end to the indoor fun at Malibu Jacks, and no end to the complaining when we packed up to leave.
An afternoon in Lexington wasn’t enough – we didn’t even see the main University of Kentucky campus or Rupp Arena.
Next time, though, we must.
***The next stop on the #MiLBRoundTripper: the Cedar Rapids (IA) Kernels***