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Baseball Season & Louisville Slugger's New Redesign in Full Swing

Posted by: Jamey Wagner and Will Kladakis on May 03, 2013
Louisville Slugger

Only a month into Major League Baseball’s 2013 season, it’s already been an eventful one. Collin Cowgill became the first player to hit a grand slam during his debut game as a Met in franchise history. Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper set a new MLB record, becoming the youngest Major League ball player to hit two homeruns in his team’s season opener. May snow interrupted yesterday’s Royals vs. Rays game in Kansas City, leaving players snapping shots of the snowfall from the dugout while the Royals played video of a fireplace on the center-field board and KC’s Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas had fun running on the tarp and sliding into second through the snow.

For players and fans alike, baseball and Louisville Slugger® are synonymous. Chevrolet has even released a video extolling the most recognizable name in baseball’s craftsmanship. Interbrand Cincinnati, located in the same city the first professional baseball team called home, was honored to be selected to celebrate that craftsmanship in our redesign of the iconic Louisville Slugger logo, the brand’s first update in 33 years.

Tasked with developing what is only the second significant change of the Lousville Slugger logo since the 129-year-old, fifth-generation and family-owned company made its first bat in 1884, Interbrand Cincinnati fielded a passionate project team with a love for and unique expertise in baseball. Staffers truly became a part of the brand in Louisville, on softball and baseball fields, with high school and college teams and in meetings with their key retail accounts.

The rollout of the new logo began in time for Opening Day and will continue through the season, hitting retail stores in late October. Along with the logo, Louisville Slugger is introducing its new wood bat, MLB Prime™, to the diamond. The new bat boasts the hardest hitting surface in the game.

Interbrand’s branding solution hit a home run as it found the balance between remaining a heritage brand and having a fresh, contemporary and relevant identity. The new logo and secondary mark provide the Slugger brand with tools to launch new products, connect with new, younger players and create a brand story for the modern era.

The new “Louisville Slugger” logo provides balance between iconic elements, preserving the legendary oval and authentic stamp of approval, “Made in the U.S.A., Louisville, KY.” Interbrand envisioned how the new identity would extend to other touchpoints such as: the iconic finger stall on the back of a pitcher’s or fielder’s glove; catching equipment; non-wood bats for college and youth players; Louisville Slugger Field (home of the AAA Reds affiliate Louisville Bats); and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory logo.

A secondary mark was created within the logo that can be used in smaller/alternate applications. This allows the brand to stretch to new products that are more image-based and it creates a visual shorthand for the brand that cameras can easily capture and fans in the stands and viewers can recognize.

The overall program includes a color palette created for the brand that works for corporate and partner applications. The design successfully works for product, promotional and merchandising purposes.

The Louisville Slugger logo redesign is generating significant excitement and media coverage, including pieces in Ad Age, The New York Times Blog and Business Courier.

Jamey Wagner is Creative Director and Will Kladakis is an Account Leader for Interbrand Cincinnati.

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