The long-standing bond between Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball and Howard’s Appliance & Flat Screen Superstores confirms how powerful well-placed trust can be when building a successful marketing strategy.
Everyone familiar with Angels baseball knows Scioscia, manager of the Angels, is the official “Howard’s No. 1 Fan,” and Howard’s is the “Official Superstores of Angels Baseball.” What some fans may not know is that the regard Scioscia, the Angels and Howard’s have for each other is more than a relationship of mutual convenience. It is sincere — and that is why it works.
“We don’t turn over what we call the team mark to just anybody,” said John Carpino, president of the Angels. “There has to be real trust.”
When Carpino came on board with the Angels in 2003, Scioscia already had a relationship spanning nearly 20 years with Howard’s, the only company for which he is an official spokesman.
“I’ve always had a lot of fun with the things I do with Howard’s, especially autograph signings in stores. It’s great to keep in touch with fans on a personal level,” Scioscia said. “But it would never happen if I didn’t know that if those fans shop at Howard’s, the employees are going to be professional and caring no matter who the customer is. Howard’s has people you can trust on
Carpino recognized that even though Howard’s and the Angels were in different businesses, they had a lot in common. Howard’s was built from scratch 65 years ago, just as the Angels were 50 years ago. Both are homegrown originals that became successful through making people a priority.
“We did our research to verify that Howard’s is what it says it is and does what it says it does. What we found out exceeded our expectations,” Carpino said. “When we put an Angels brand next to Howard’s, we’re telling our fans: ‘This is a good place to do business. You’ll be taken care of.’ We trust Howard’s with our team mark.”
In some ways, the Howard’s-Angels alliance has taken on a life of its own. Now, when instant replays of Angels’ games happen in the stadium and on the radio, fans think of them as “Howard’s replays.”
Radio spots with Scioscia extolling Howard’s in his trademark wooden tones have earned the affection of listeners. Fans know Scioscia may not be very polished in radio — “In the recording studio, Mike is always one take and he’s done,” Carpino said, laughing — but he is pretty good at baseball. And those familiar with Howard’s know Scioscia also is pretty good at choosing a worthy company to champion.
Another thing the Angels, Scioscia and Howard’s have in common is a loyal following that spans generations.
“When we do autograph signings at stores, people overwhelm us with support,” Carpino said. “People remember watching Angels games or seeing Scioscia when they were kids. Now they bring their own kids to meet these guys. When we brought rookie Mark Trumbo to the Irvine superstore a few months ago, we had people lined up there at 2 a.m. to meet him.”
“I just love to mention Angels baseball with Howard’s,” said Connie Schmidt, regional manager for Sony Electronics, the largest consumer-electronics vendor at Howard’s. “Howard’s has a very loyal customer base. Grandparents bought there, their kids bought there, and now their grown grandkids buy there. That kind of local, multigenerational support is also integral to Angels baseball. At Sony, we really appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Howard’s-Angels relationship.”
“Mike and Angels Baseball reflect so much of what Howard’s is all about,” said Howard’s CEO and President Judy Lawrence. “It’s an ideal pairing of two very different kinds of entities.”