Natitude arrived with a bang and faded with a whimper. Now the Washington Nationals’ indelible marketing campaign of yesteryear, at times beloved and reviled, has returned with a doink.

After the Super Bowl ended Sunday night, thus marking the unofficial start of baseball season, the Nationals tweeted a promotional video of Manager Dave Martinez strolling into his office at Nationals Park on Nov. 3, 2019, four days after Washington won the World Series. As sounds from the Nationals’ title run give way to silence, Martinez sits at his desk and answers a call from General Manager Mike Rizzo.

“Hey, what’s going on, Rizz?” he asks. “What’s next?”

#NATITUDE, for one thing, eight years after it was first sprung on an unsuspecting world.

While the Natitude hashtag mostly vanished from the team’s promotional materials by the end of the 2014 season and was replaced by One Pursuit in 2016, Jacqueline Coleman, the Nationals’ senior vice president of marketing, broadcasting and game presentation, said the slogan lived on in the hearts and minds of fans.

“Natitude never went away,” Coleman, who started with the Nationals in 2007, said in a phone interview. “People that are attached to the team always used it. Our fans and people that are from this area consistently used it. One Pursuit, for us, was about winning the World Series, and we did it.”

Coleman was part of the brainstorming session that produced Natitude in March 2012. It was inspired, in part, by Washington’s respectable 80-81 record in 2011 after the team averaged 99 losses over the previous three seasons.

“At the end of the [2011] season, we were competitors,” Coleman recalled. “Everything shifted for us. We had explosive players. We were bold and confident and had a team that just finally turned the corner. We were in the room, ideating, talking about their attitude, and then we said, ‘It’s Natitude.’ It was very authentic and organic.”

“It’s a young team, with an edge and attitude,” then-Nats chief operating officer Andy Feffer told The Washington Post before Natitude officially launched with an ad featuring Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa. “But now it’s different than the past: They’re talented, and they’ve got the skills to back it up. That kind of edge and attitude is Natitude.”

The slogan was certainly bolder than any of the team’s previous marketing campaigns, which included Welcome Home, NatsTown and Get Your Red On. Although it was often mocked by opposing team’s fans and media members — and no doubt some residents of NatsTown, too — Natitude worked because Davey Johnson’s team, propelled by a brash rookie named Bryce Harper, won.

“The Nationals are playing with a new swagger that inspired their new slogan, Ignite Your Natitude, a call to fans to fill the stands and drown out the sizable groups who root for the visiting team,” the New York Times wrote in April 2012.

Feffer launched a “Take Back the Park” campaign in an effort to keep Phillies fans out of Nationals Park that season. When Philadelphia visited D.C. for the first time in early May, the stadium was rebranded as “Natitude Park.” Later that year, the Nationals hosted their first “Ignite Your Natitude” tweet-up.

After winning 98 games and their first National League East title in 2012, the Nationals regressed in 2013 and missed the playoffs. Feffer announced in September that he was leaving the organization, and Natitude, it seemed, would leave along with him. But as front-office officials considered fresh slogans for a new era under first-year manager Matt Williams in 2014, a fan survey came back “overwhelmingly in favor of Natitude.”

“And what really amazed me was it was young and old,” said John Guagliano, the team’s VP of marketing and broadcasting at the time. “The younger group definitely was all over it, but the older demo was still on it, and it wasn’t much difference. If they know, if they can remember it, you’ve got to stay with it.”

Natitude’s use by the team, both in the ballpark and on social media, diminished from there. For the 2017 NLDS, the Nationals introduced a new sandwich called the Natitude, which featured a half-smoke sausage patty, crab mac-and-cheese and Virginia ham on a brioche bun, but it was a fleeting reminder of simpler times before first-round playoff exits were the norm on Half Street.

During the Nationals’ playoff run last October, Natitude experienced a renaissance of sorts, as searches for the slogan spiked on Google Trends and longtime fans tweeted it with pride. Coleman said she and her team knew that bringing Natitude back as an official part of the Nationals’ messaging for 2020 was “the right thing to do” after Washington’s World Series triumph. Expect to see the slogan along with Martinez’s mantra to “go 1-0 every day” a lot this season.

“You have to know the power of your brand,” Coleman said. “... We were no longer competitors; we were champions. [Natitude] is the thread that ties everything together. It will be our narrative.”

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