Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bush League

Strike one.

The Ottawa Rapids' new ownership has only been at the helm a few days, and already they've blundered.

They scrapped what was a very decent name, logo and colour scheme and come up with what looks like something your bus driver's slo-pitch team wears.

Really, guys? RAPIDZ? Do you figure the kidz dig that irreverent spelling? Gives the team a little street cred?

What I dug about the Rapids name was that, though this is a low minor league team, they opted for a classy image and name. They were not MuckDogs, or Rox, or DiamondJaxx. The name had local grounding, and it had dignity. The 'O' logo -- which figured to adorn the cap -- was strong. Now? Well, look at that thing... They've replaced a good logo, one that I'd be proud to wear, with something that looks slapped together and cheap. And as for the 'Z', well, fuck me. That's about the lamest thing a team can do, all in the interest of -- what, exactly? What demographic are we reaching that was alienated by the name Rapid(e)s? Among what group does an extraneous 'z' hold cache? Will this enable the team to sell more merch? I'd wager, judging by the reactions over at Out of Left Field and Carl Kiiffner's Rapids blog, that this might adversely affect sales.

I think there was something to be said for leaving the red behind. I understand that as a city, Ottawa has a widespread identification with the colour red (Senators, 67s, and several incarnations of CFL teams have all used red to greater and lesser extents, as did the second Lynx uniform design, of course). But wasn't there an element of moving away from the old team, the previous inhabitants of our ballpark, in the new colour motif? I thought so.

The new owners have bungled, and have done so, one suspects, for all the wrong reasons. I'm compelled to ask: will the players be wearing Zip.ca logos on their uniforms? Or is it a coincidence that the new colour scheme matches that of the owners' other venture?

FULL DISCLOSURE: In a former life, I used to know Messrs. Anderson and Hall, and when I heard their purchase of this team was about to be announced, I cringed. In my experience, their management style is extremely hands on, bordering on micromanagement, and I worry they won't be able to leave the operation of the baseball team to baseball people. This logo/name misstep is the result of heavy-handed intrusion into something that had already been done, and done well. I am also suspicious of their aims -- fearful that their ultimate tack is to use the team as a canvas for advertising Zip.

They're in the hole now, behind 0-1. Stay tuned to see if they can battle their way out.

And being as opposed to the 'z' as I am, you won't see any mention of 'Rapidz' on this site, only Rapids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"This logo/name misstep is the result of heavy-handed intrusion into something that had already been done, and done well."

You couldn't have said it any more perfectly. I was seriously excited about getting a ballcap and everything, now I don't even care about the team anymore. That logo changed just lost a fan (how many more will they lose before they even begin playing?)