Really Good (And Really Bad) Times For A Sports Team To Change Its Logo

A logo is a hugely important part of a sports team. So when is it time to abandon the look and go a different direction?

Logos are one of the most important parts of a sports team, associating the team with its fanbase through jerseys and other memorabilia. A great logo can increase sales and revenue for a team, and make its fans feel closer to the team.

At Project FANchise, fans will get the chance to pick the team logo (and the team name) — an underrated decision when it comes to the success of the team. Some great classic logos that never change and never should: Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. So how does a sports franchise know when its time to change its logo? Here are some really good times — and some absolutely terrible times — to change a team’s logo.

Good times for a sports team to change its logo

  • When your team sucks

The Detroit Lions are currently considering an entire revamp to their look — everything from logo to color scheme to the uniforms. This is a good idea, because the Detroit Lions suck. The Lions haven’t won an NFL playoff game in 24 years, since 1992. Now is as good a time as any to get something fresh going. Another side reason for the Lions to change their logo? ISIS is apparently using it as part of its propaganda.

  • When your logo needs to be modernized and updated

There was a trend for awhile, in the 80s and 90s mainly, for logos to be cartoonish and “fun.” Now logos have become more sleek and modern, and sometimes its best to update the team logo to get rid of the more cartoon aspects of it. Some examples? The Toronto Raptors, who had a big, well, dinosaur, until this year when they went more minimalist, with a clawed basketball. Three years ago the Miami Dolphins got rid of their dolphin-wearing-a-football-helmet in exchange for a more realistic looking dolphin. A personal favorite is the new Milwaukee Bucks logo, which took a nice looking deer and replaced it with a deer that looks like it wants to run through your car and laugh at your misfortune.

  • When your logo is super offensive

The Cleveland Indians have used that cringe-worthy, smiling Indian for a long time as their logo, until they dropped it two years ago. This seems wise (although the replacement, a boring C, could be a little more exciting). Will the Washington Redskins and other teams like it change their logos soon (or perhaps their team name)? We’ll see — not yet. But it wouldn’t be a bad reason to change the logo.

Bad times to change your team logo

  • When your team has a new owner that wants to make his mark

Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers from their racist former owner Donald Sterling, and everyone celebrated the change. But one of Ballmer’s first acts was the upend the Clippers logo with something that looks like it took 200 consultants to come up with. It has no remnants of the previous logo, and has so much going on that it simply doesn’t make sense. A new owner should make some changes, but changing the logo completely is a bad idea.

  • When the new logo is terrible

The Miami Marlins went from the Florida Marlins to the city-specific name, and with it, a completely ridiculous new logo four years ago. The colors? Terrible. And nothing like the previous, pretty good, one.

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