When I first heard about Club Scarlet, I was curious to see what it would turn out to be. So many ideas sound great in theory, but fare poorly in execution, like caffeinated beer, deep-fried cupcakes, and “Designing Women” without Delta Burke. (I was going to add bacon poutine to that list, but knew there would be a few dissenters.) I’m glad to see that the Caps are marketing to women. It’s a difficult task; you don’t want to come off as patronizing, but how do you finesse the diehard fans and the casual onlookers at the same time? Club Scarlet is the team’s attempt at doing this.
The website is a sea of red, black, and white. One of the highlights is the “Meet the Players” section, which features player photos and biographies. (Who knew that Tom Poti’s favorite food is pancakes?) The photos are almost beefcake-esque, but they offer a different view of the players than the standard headshots.
The Scarlet Blog section particularly interested me, as the Caps have asked our friends Hockey Mom and Aneesa to contribute entries for them. Hockey Mom’s first entry started things off on the right foot. However, the comment screening initially needed some work. The first comment was heavily censored; it took me a minute to figure out why the comment read like this: “It’s a great idea and a wonder[censored]l opportunity for the ladies to bond and get to know each other. I didn’t attend the Sa[censored]ay program but will be at tomorrow night’s [censored]tail event.” It was almost like a little game, trying to figure out the naughty words. But it was fixed, and now commenters can use words like “fun” and “button” without fear of censorship. Judging by the comments, there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the idea, so I hope the Caps can capitalize on this without turning fans off. Imagine a section of red-clad, cheering Club Scarlet members at a game! I’d love to be a part of that.
The Online Store brings fans to the Caps’ women’s section of shop.nhl.com. There are some decent items here, but I’d like to see more reasonably-priced women’s merchandise that doesn’t feature sparkles, ruffles, or the colors pink, lavender, or baby blue. I totally dig the faux-vintage shirt (see: surly model, left), but not at the bargain price of $49.99. At least the style is a step in the right direction.
All too often, it’s easy to immediately dismiss an unfamiliar idea without giving it a chance. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.