New Name, New Look, New Stadium: The Marlins are Shaking Things UpOctober 21, 2011 —
By Alex Gimenez
The Florida Marlins are finally turning the page on their nineteen years playing at what is now Sun Life Stadium. They are set to open the 2012 season in their new ballpark at the former Orange Bowl site in Miami, Florida. The team is plunging into an off season full of excitement and transformation with new team branding, a new logo, a name change, and the potential to acquire higher end players all on the horizon. The organization is due for a complete overhaul as they move into the next stage of their legacy and team officials are looking to change the mold that has fit this team over the last decade. With much attention from around the league on the newly named Miami Marlins, all eyes are watching to see how the organization will change over the coming months.
In a series of leaks recently the Florida Marlins new logo, set to accompany the team into their new ballpark in 2012, hit the web sparking outrage among fans and team officials. The logo was set to be released on November 11, 2011 at 11:11 at a ceremony at the new ballpark site that will also feature the unveiling of the team’s new uniforms and official name change to the Miami Marlins.
Many team officials including team president David Samson have declined to comment on the new logo, and Samson said the team would not clarify whether this leaked logo was accurate until the unveiling ceremony in November. During a Marlins-Braves game during the final weeks of the season, a game in which the club was selling many pieces of authentic memorabilia containing the team’s current branding, team officials were outwardly frustrated about the leak, and many did not understand how the information could have been obtained.
One thing is for certain; the logo has not been well received by fans. All over the Internet, the outcry against it has been well documented, with comments saying it’s either too artsy, or does not capture the essence or history of the team. Since the team’s inception in 1993, they have donned the black and teal logo with the “F” for Florida being straddled by a teal marlin. In recent years, many fans have called for the team to return back to the teal caps and jerseys they wore during their inaugural season and for some time after that. With many other changes set to come over the off season, it should be interesting to watch the team transition into their new home, name, and branding as the 2012 season approaches.
So is this logo the real one the team intends to announce in November? While I cannot explain how it was leaked, or where it came from, I strongly believe that it is in fact the new logo that the Miami Marlins will be wearing on opening day 2012 and for years to come, and I am prepared to explain why.
In talking to sources with very close ties to the team over the summer, there was a strong sense that team owner Jeffrey Loria wanted to make a change towards a primary color scheme in the new ballpark and with the new uniforms and branding. Members of the tight nit group who helped lobby for the stadium to county law makers stated that during a recent tour of the new ballpark, team officials confirmed Loria’s intention to shift towards primary colors in regards to the teams branding. This makes sense, given his background as an art enthusiast. The logo that was leaked clearly embodies his new vision for the team. The three colors on the logo, blue, yellow, and red, are the three primary colors. The stadium seats are also colored a very standard blue, and the first seat installed in the stadium was colored red as a way of commemorating its importance. Both are primary colors.
In addition, the art deco style of the “M” also embodies the team’s move towards affiliating itself more with Miami than with Florida. Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami both played integral roles in the acquisition of the Orange Bowl site where the new ballpark is located, and it would only make sense that the team would gravitate towards its roots in Miami because of this.
Based on all of this information, there is no doubt that this is a part of the Marlins’ branding as they head into the new ballpark. If anything, the logo definitely brings out questions about what the new uniforms will look like with the potential for a blue, red, and yellow color scheme being very probable.
The last team in Major League Baseball to undergo a change in branding and naming was the Marlins’ in state rival the Tampa Bay Rays who were formerly the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The team completely changed their logo, and color scheme of their uniforms and both were met initially with speculation. However, the look has caught on, and the team has turned around their history of fourth and fifth place finishes to become perennial contenders in the tough American League East. Going into the new ballpark in 2012, and coming off their worst season in recent years, the Miami Marlins can only hope that this new branding can bring about similar success.