With the football season now completely over and as the cold dark days set in before us one franchisee is desperate to make news. Well, if it were me as the franchise owner this type of breaking news would have been saved for oh, draft day or before training camp starts. Oh well, that's just silly old me. What do I know.
Earlier this week the Jacksonville jagUars NFL franchise held a press conference announcing their revised team symbol, icon, logo, whatever.
This isn't the first time I have opined on sport symbols, icons, logos, whatever here on the blog. I guess having spent 32 years as a full time professional graphic designer is enough qualification.
Why, one asks, does any entity want to tamper with or revise their logo be it a sports franchise, brand of dish soap or beverage? Many reasons. It usually begins with the marketing team. Marketing people come and go. The new ones waste no time to make their presence more powerful within the organization and to do that they must boost sales. I have met them, worked with them and have seen how irresponsible or successful they can be. What works and what hasn't. I wish I had a dime for each time I heard a corporate marketing director say "I hate our logo" just because they personally hated the logo objectively.
To begin the process a director of marketing initiates an effort called "rebranding". That's corporate-speak for changing the logo. A rebranding initiative could cost tens and at worst, hundreds of millions.
A rebranding initiative is usually in response to sagging sales and the company from the top on down realizes it's time for a rebrand or fresh start by updating or revamping the old packaging. The package is what the consumer identifies the brand with more than anything. It is what customers see first. If the new packaging gets noticed and backed up with clever broadcast advertising a short term sales boost is assured. Unless the product delivers the promise a short term boost is simply that.
Sidebar: Years ago my agency came up with a sub-rebrand for Sears. The advertising asked customers to "Come See The Softer Side Of Sears". The intent was to get women to buy their wardrobe at Sears, or what Sears called "soft goods". One problem. Sears did not have the trendy apparel promised in the advertising. Most of it was the same old frumpy Sears stuff. They came, they saw, and they never went back. My old partner Barney called it "selling the dream, delivering the turd".
In the case of the jagUars this franchise has recently been sold (2011) to another owner with a lot of money to burn. Carl and Dan will be pleased to know Shahid "Shad" Kahn is Pakistani-born and graduated form U of I. His auto parts business manufactures automobile bumpers and the main manufacturing facility is located in Urbana IL. He is worth billions. My hope is the designer soaked this nouveau riche cat, Shad, for as much money as he possibly could. Some franchise owners are simply wealthy men or families and the franchisee is just a hobby where making more money is not much of an issue. Shad appears to be taking a more serious businesslike approach. Will his plan sell or will he just deliver another turd?
A year after finalizing his purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars, owner Shad Khan has a new general manager in David Caldwell and a new head coach in former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Tuesday marked Khan's next step in rebranding the Jaguars, as the organization unveiled a new team logo.
Committed to "harnessing the momentum" of bold, purposeful changes, Khan envisions the logo as a "new symbol for a new generation" in Jaguars history. More changes to the uniforms could be coming later this offseason.
My assumption is Shad is serious about reinventing his brand across the board. A total rebrand.
The before appears to be a stylized 90's-ish motion graphic. In the 90's everything smacked of visual motion. Nothing sat still. This was the X era. Gen-X, X-Treme Sports and anything else marketers could slap an X on. X-cuse me, it's tired. So are terms such as "grunge" and "edgy".
The old jagUar symbol was not too different from the existing Carolina Panthers emblem or the current pirate flag for Tampa Bay or the updated Patriot designed for New England. All looked as if they belonged to the same era.
In retrospect the updated Patriot is far and away better than the corny old AFL emblem they wore against the Bears in SB XX. The same case can be made for the old gay pirate that Tampa once foisted upon us straight NFL fans complete with Dreamsickle uni colors. I believe both these can stand the test of time but anticipate an updated Carolina Panthers emblem in a few years.