Jacksonville, Florida’s Minor League Baseball team has gone from a sleepy outpost of the Southern League to one of the most innovative franchises in MiLB and a major player in a major league market. No small feat considering the Jumbo Shrimp are a plucky Double-A club that doesn’t have new ballpark.
All of our rebranding projects start with a research visit to the team’s hometown. It’s the only true way to understand if a brand and name are going to work for that town.
Besides a handful of great brainstorming sessions with owner Ken Babby and President Jim Pfander, the highlight of our trip to Jacksonville was a historical tour given by a guide dressed in an Andrew Jackson costume.
FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD
When Ken Babby purchased the Jacksonville Suns, the team had struggled to find a foothold in a market shared by an NFL franchise. In a noisy market where it can be difficult to be heard, you have to rock the shrimp boat. Ken and Jim have been regarded for their bravery, becoming a premier entertainment destination in the region and a beloved brand due to their bold name choice, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Every branding project starts with a “shotgun” round of concept sketches where we explore all the directions that we could take the storytelling and logo design. For the Jumbo Shrimp, we knew we needed a logo that boldly puts our hero front and center and that there was no need to complicate a name that has fun so thoroughly baked into it.
The final family of logos for the Jumbo Shrimp incorporate a wide variety of ideas. The Jumbo Shrimp is, of course, front and center but the identity pulls in imagery from shrimp boils, super heroes, neon signs, the Navy, and even G. I. Joe.
We loved the idea of trying to incorporate elements that interweave fluidity and boldness into the design. The water splashing around the shrimp and the shrimp pot, the blue wave within the word marks, and flow of the Jumbo Shrimp’s antennae on both the character and the text, they all incorporate fluidity and boldness.
When it comes to wordmarks, the Jumbos have some of our favorites. The custom font strikes a balance between fun and tough. Of course, we always want to equip our partners with all of the graphic ammo they’ll need to succeed, so we made sure to give them the shortened “Jumbos” and “Bold City” (Jacksonville’s nickname).
Harold Craw, the team’s General Manager, spearheads one of the most innovate front offices in sports. They have quickly become one of our most bold partners. They’re always open to listening our crazy new ideas and willing to give anything a shot. Here’s six game changer ideas that we think every franchise should consider emulating.
1. Brandiose has been designing, sculpting, and, with the help of our fulfillment partners, delivering custom food and beverage vessels for a few years now. The Jumbo Shrimp have one of our favorites, a Jumbo Shrimp cup perfectly designed for a spiked adult slushy. Click here to learn more about our process and to see a few of our other creations.
2. A lot of teams have their own beer. It’s a tried and true way to expand your brand. Your fans get to have a taste of special at the ballpark. Partnering with a local brewery can be great marketing for both the brewery and your franchise.
The Jumbos take it up another level by infusing their beer’s branding with their brand and giving it a fun Minor League spin by calling it the “Jumbo Shrimp ‘N’ Grit Cerveza.
3. Rivalries in sports are a time honored tradition. In Minor League Baseball, rivalries are less prevalent and we never really understood why. To remedy this, we approached three teams that Brandiose has named and branded, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and the Biloxi Shuckers, to create the “I-10 Seafood Buffet Rivalry”. It’s a sports rivalry with a Minor League twist. And with an opportunity for each club to get the rivalry sponsored, the clubs created new sponsorship inventory in addition to a fun new tradition.
4. We grew up in Southern California and we loved going to Disneyland. Our goal has always been to bring the magic of Disney to sports franchises. One of the many things that Disney does well is theming their restaurants and food purveyors. The Jumbo Shrimp get it and they always bring that Disney level of branding and theming to their venue.
5. Within the industry the saying goes, Minor League Baseball’s product is fun and baseball is the alibi. So expanding your specific brand of fun into other sports is a no-brainer! Your brand mixed with other sports iconography can be used to sponsor local sport leagues, produce sport-specific merchandise, or why not field your own team!
6. And last, but certainly not least, is one of our favorite theme night promotions in recent memory. Since they are in Florida, the Jumbo Shrimp themed out their entire ballpark for a Miami Vice tribute. Brandiose created a Miami Vice inspired logo with an homage to Don Johnson’s iconic shades and white sports coat.
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