Two things are working against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs from the beginning with me. First of all, I hated to see the Allentown Ambassadors fold in 2004, they had one of my favorite independent league logos and having been to the quirky and strange Bicentennial Field a couple times, I was sad to see it go (it does still play host to the National Pro Fastpitch’s Philadelphia Force, though).
I’m also not that happy to see the Ottawa Lynx flee Canada leaving the Great White North with only one Minor League Baseball team, the Vancouver Canadians. It’s a sign of the big money times and it’s troubling for people like myself who liked it better when everything wasn’t well funded and perfect.
But on to the nickname and logo itself. I give it a lukewarm “I like it”. The name is interesting and is definitely unique, maybe a little too “unique”. I don’t like that it’s IronPigs instead of Iron Pigs or even Ironpigs but what can you do? It’s become perfectly acceptable to write a team name this way and teams won’t stop doing it anytime soon.
I like both the wordmark and the pig head as individual pieces. I think they are both spot on given the nickname and they will be a strong visual presence in the community for many years to come. I would love a t-shirt with just the wordmark on it and I’m looking forward to purchasing a game cap with the pig head on it. However, I don’t like them combined as they are in the logo above. The city name makes the whole thing look off-center and crooked.
Despite the reservations that I have about the IronPigs nickname, logo and the team in general, I do have a lot of faith in Plan B Branding, the San Diego masterminds who designed this logo and marketing plan and have revolutionized minor league branding packages. I trust that they have a plan for this nickname and logo and will help the IronPigs get the most out of it and by the end of the 2008 season we will be admiring the IronPigs for all of the success that they had in their inaugural season.
UPDATE – Yesterday the Lehigh Valley IronPigs released the rest of the package produced by Plan B and I’m happy to report that my faith is paying off. The alternate logos, wordmarks, jerseys and caps are incredible. Very well done, although five different sets of jerseys is a little bit of overkill. My favorite of the alternate logos are both of the full body pigs and the “I” with the tail…
The only logo that I really don’t like is the Saturday cap logo that shows only the snout, eyes and rivets. It’s not my style, I wouldn’t wear it, but I am positive that it will be their best selling cap. Just look at how popular the Lake Elsinore Storm caps are and I hate those passionately.
You can see the whole package over at BallparkDigest.com and at the IronPigs website.
Team: Lehigh Valley IronPigs
League: International League
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Stadium: Coca Cola Park
Online Store: Caps, jerseys and a ton of shirts are now for sale