Published on November 18, 2021, at 12:34 p.m.
by Alyssa Thomas.
Logos and designs are everywhere in the sports industry, and their purpose is to make a team’s brand and image more recognizable to key publics. While some are known for their classic aesthetics, others are known for their unique designs and color schemes.
Whether the Rocket City Trash Pandas or the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the men of Brandiose have been creating logos and designs “bursting with personality and verve” to help make minor league baseball teams’ brands “saturated in the culture of the communities” they represent for over 20 years.
Brandiose is a sports branding firm based in San Diego, California, that works with minor league baseball teams across the United States. Lifelong friends Jason Klein and Casey White began the company from their freshman college dorms. There, they created logos and designs for high school athletic teams. After their freshman year, the duo sent out over 150 letters to minor league baseball teams, hopeful for an opportunity to expand their work to the minor leagues. They received a response from one team, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. Klein and White created a new logo and design for the Diamond Jaxx, which then became the Jackson Generals, and that is where they got their start in the minor leagues.
Spokane Indians’ respectful rebrand
Klein and White agreed that one of their favorite rebranding projects and biggest accomplishments was the Spokane Indians in Spokane, Washington.
“Whenever we traveled to Spokane to visit the team and city to start the rebranding, we had the chance to go in front of the Spokane tribal council to ask them questions and get their opinion on the ideas we had for the new logo and design,” explained Klein. “When we met with them, they gifted us with an eagle feather to use in the design. We knew we had to use the feather in the design after they gifted it to us. So, Casey created a couple different design options incorporating the feather,” stated Klein.
White added, “The Spokane Indians rebrand has been one of my favorite projects to work on, because Jason and I wanted to pay tribute to the Spokane tribe and give the tribe the justice it deserved. We were able to give it heart while still being socially responsible.”
Klein and White also redesigned the Spokane Indians’ uniforms, paying respect to the tribal council again. Klein said, “We met with the tribal council … and discovered that less than a dozen people still speak Salish [the Spokane tribe’s native language]. So, we really wanted to focus on the authenticity of the Spokane’s language and incorporate it into the team.” The new uniform for the Spokane Indians was revealed in 2014 with Spokane written out in Salish across the front of the jersey.
The sports branding firm stands out from its competitors because of the creative approach its owners take when rebranding and creating new names, designs and mascots for minor league teams. Examples of this creative approach include the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Akron RubberDucks and the Clearwater Threshers.
The Brandiose creative approach
Klein describes their creative process as “having a Disney storytelling background.”
“Since Casey and I grew up with Disneyland in our backyard and [went] to the theme park frequently, we really took away a lot of Disney’s creative qualities and storytelling ability and put that into our creative process when it comes to rebranding,” explained Klein.
White added, “We felt like the sports industry could really thrive with more Disney-like thinking and creativity when it comes to names, logos and designs.”
Another aspect of Klein and White’s rebranding process is traveling to the cities of the minor league teams they are rebranding. The duo spends two days in each city getting to know the community and seeing what the city is all about. Klein explained, “We travel to the cities of these minor league teams so we can get an authentic feel of the city and come up with a creative idea for the logo that represents both the team and the city.”
Klein added, “Our goal when creating a new logo and design for a team is to inspire a creative world for the team and have the brand appeal to all ages.” Both Klein and White asserted that there are no bounds to artistic possibilities when working with minor league teams.
From Plan B to Brandiose
Brandiose, formally known as Plan B, went through a rebranding experience of its own after being established for over 10 years.
“When we started our company and named it Plan B, we had the idea in mind [of] ‘Don’t like your Plan A, we’ll be your Plan B!’ and Plan B worked for a while,” explained Klein. “After about 10 years with the name, we started seeing Plan B popping up more and more, so we knew we needed to come up with a new name.”
“Casey and I really liked the idea of a mashup word,” Klein said. Both Klein and White came up with the name Brandiose, which was inspired by the word grandiose.
Klein stated that Ken Barber helped create Brandiose’s new logo during the rebrand. Barber did a handwriting analysis of Klein and White’s signature of the name and reversed it to give it an authentic look.
“The transition from Plan B to Brandiose was seamless and very smooth,” said White. Klein went into detail about what they did to unveil the new name of the company. “We teamed up with some of our clients and hid the letters of our new name on their websites for our consumers to find and try to guess the new name, kind of like ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” described Klein.
Brandiose is an example, along with the work that it has done for athletic teams, of how important name, logo and design are in making an impactive impression on a brand or company in the industry. Klein and White work together to create new identities for minor league teams that have the ability to stand out in the sports industry.