The debut season of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) was an immensely successful one, with the team leading the circuit in attendance and registering one of the biggest attendance hikes in all of baseball. Anchoring that rise: a unique look to the team, led by one of the most distinctive logos in baseball. Because of all this, we're pleased to announce the winner of the Ballpark Digest Award for Logo of the Year: the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
When it was announced the former Connecticut Defenders would be called the Richmond Flying Squirrels, we instantly conjured up visions of Rocket J. Squirrel and other similar carton characters. When the team's logo and mascot came out from Plan B. Branding, we were surprised, to say the least: the flying squirrel wasn't a cartoon, but rather a sleek, modern superhero -- a squirrel with an edge, as it were. And individualistic: it was a logo that looked like no other in baseball. The same for the team's secondary logos and uniform designs: they didn't look like any other logo or mark in baseball.
Which, apparently, was good for sales: the Flying Squirrels were a hit in Richmond, and their logowear was a top seller in Minor League Baseball. The logo and associated marks gave the team a unique identity, one that told locals that it was not business as unusual at The Diamond.
“We enjoyed building this logo from the ground up with Plan B. Branding and are really excited with how it has connected with the community and more importantly how our product has impacted the community in a very positive way and will continue to do so," said Todd "Parney" Parnell, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Flying Squirrels.
"The look represents the organization's energetic, 'nutty' brand of fun that Squirrels fans have fallen in love with," said Jason Klein of Plan B. Branding. "All credit goes to Parney and (Chuck) Domino, whoe tenacity and imagination brought the brand to life."
There were a few notable runners-up. First, the West Virginia Power (Low Class A; Sally League) updated the classic Charleston Charlies logo, keeping the distinctive derby but turning the gentleman into a pirate and losing the cigar -- sadly. (Why a Pirate? The original Charlies were once a Pittsburgh Pirates farm team, the same as the current Power.) Second, the Everett AquaSox (short season A; Northwest League) took the classic Mariners "M" trident and turned it on its side, creating a new "E" logo with strong ties to the parent team. That motif was carried over into other new Everett logos.
Both came from Plan B. Branding -- it was a good year for them. Plan B. also unveiled something pretty cool: The Clink Room, an online gathering spot for logo fans. The description from Plan B.: "The Clink Room is Plan B's new "behind-the-scenes" studio clubhouse. It's a backstage site to brainstorm, finger-paint or pop open a cold one. We collaborate with friends of the studio, share our branding approach, and bring out unreleased concept artwork from the archives. The ideas are flying, the beer is cold, and bottles are clinking!"
ABOUT THE BALLPARK DIGEST AWARDS
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go though the submissions (numbering some 300 pages of documentation this year). The awards cover both individual accomplishments as well as team accomplishments. This is the fourth season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards.
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