Making Over the Marlins

Miami's sports teams have a lot to live up to: the hype, the mystique, the proverbial heat and dangerously high concentrations of Latin machismo. Swagger is built into the city's DNA and the teams that represent it are held to the same expectations. However, this kind of reputation is earned, not simply inherited and Miami's professional teams (as well as the Hurricanes in recent years) have struggled and in some cases, failed, to maintain it. Nevertheless, every team deserves another chance and for the Florida Marlins, 2011 would bring an opportunity to redeem themselves. 

In case you missed it, the Miami Marlins (formerly known as the Florida Marlins) got a long overdue makeover last year. It has been a rough decade for the MLB franchise since their World Series win in 2003, so change had been on the horizon. With the completion of the new Marlins Park in the Little Havana section of Miami, Florida, the franchise introduced their new name and brand identity on November 11, 2011 to reignite excitement among fans and revitalize the team's image.

Out with the old:

In with the new:

The Marlins officially changed their name in a ceremony at their new ballpark on 11/11/11, unveiling a new logo, uniforms and color palette of black, yellow, orange and blue, inspired by the ocean and South Florida's sunsets. It seems like the band Maroon 5 may also have contributed to the design process.

In the city's traditional spirit of showmanship, the ceremony featured Miami native Pitbull and a fashion show of sorts as players modeled the team's new uniforms. Fans also got their first chance to score new Marlins gear at 11 p.m. that night (on 11/11/11) and long lines formed for team t-shirts, jerseys, caps and accessories.

While the new look has generated some excitement among baseball fans, the verdict is still out on whether this qualifies as a home run or a strikeout. It's a good thing TSR is here to settle the score.

While the logo is a good attempt at modernizing the face of the Miami Marlins, the core essence of the team (especially the actual fish) is lost. The design is certainly bold, striking and exotic in a league where traditional colors like black, navy and red prevail. However, there's something about the design that's a little too different from the classic baseball aesthetic that fans are used to, making it all feel a bit strange and uncomfortable. Different can be cool, but maybe this is too unique for the baseball world right now.

Interestingly, the uniforms get high marks. The logo actually looks better incorporated into the words, "Miami" and "Marlins," as opposed to the standalone version and the color scheme translates quite well on clothing. No other team in baseball looks like the Marlins and that's exactly what they wanted. Kudos to them for taking that risk even though it was only a partial success.

TSR's call on this isn't quite a home run, but far from a strikeout...yet. The Marlins missed on the logo treatment, but somehow managed to score with their uniforms. There's definitely an opportunity here to revisit their brand identity and make some design tweaks that will set the Marlins up for a comeback in more ways than one.

What do you think of the Miami Marlins' new look?


The Style Ref

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