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Minor League Football - Discussion and Logos


Artisan219

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Off the top of my head, here are some markets and identities that I could see being a part of an NFL-affiliated minor-pro football league.

Arkansas Diamonds (Little Rock)

Birmingham Blitz or Birmingham Vulcans

Columbus Explorers

Connecticut Yankees or Connecticut Crusaders (Hartford)

Hawai'i Niuhi (Honolulu... tiger-shark theme)

Las Vegas Vipers

Louisville Thunder (as in thoroughbreds thundering down the stretch)

Memphis Pharaohs or Memphis Jackals

Michigan Mammoths (Grand Rapids)

New Mexico Monsters (Albuquerque... gila monster theme)

Oklahoma Roughnecks (Oklahoma City... oil-worker theme)

Omaha OmaHawks

Orlando Juice or Orlando Dragons

Portland Cutthroats or Oregon Cutthroats (cutthroat trout theme)

Raleigh-Durham Rampage or Carolina Rampage (rhino theme)

Sacramento Grizzlies

Salt Lake Sting or Salt Lake Swarm

San Antonio Sidewinders, San Antonio Roughriders or San Antonio Posse

San Diego Destroyers

San Jose AzTechs

Shreveport Rogues (pirate theme) or Shreveport Steamers (riverboat theme)

Virginia Ironclads

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FDLmarkets.png

Okay, probably not the best idea I've ever had, but I stayed up making this map of primary and secondary media markets. A good example here would be Charleston, whose market is vastly expanded with the inclusion of Myrtle Beach and Savannah, Georgia. Do please let me know if I made any mistakes on the map. I know it isn't the largest image, but it was well after 2am by the time I got this uploaded, so I can't swear that I fixed everything.

Quick note, the city markers correlate to the actual cities I named earlier. So while the white dot marks New Haven, most of Connecticut is still considered the Designated Market Area (DMA) for Hartford.

New concept ideas:

  • Harrisburg Hazards
  • Shreveport Pythons

EDIT: As I look at this map, I think I should go back and add Topeka as a secondary market for Wichita, and I'm wondering if Vermont shouldn't be considered for Albany.

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I'll mention a couple of names for Utah/Salt Lake. While "Lizards" is an OK name, I feel that there are some better names out there that are more fitting to the entire state, such as:

--Bucks/Stags; deer are common throughout the state

--Raptors; named after the Utahraptor and has similar colors to the mountain boomer if I'm not mistaken

--Stingers; good bee-themed (Utah is the beehive state) name that would work for a football team

--Stars; an homage to the first major-level pro team in Utah...the ABA's Utah Stars

--Yeti; unique alliteration (as in "Utah Yeti") and fitting to the region, what with all the snow and mountains and such

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There are so many bee mascots for Utah teams already. I like Lizards for a few reasons, namely that these cool little things are everywhere in Utah.

BlueCollaredLizardMountainBoomer.jpg

But furthermore, there was a trend, however less active now than it was in years past, for teams in Utah to have a Z in the name (Grizzlies, Buzz, Jazz, Blaze...and later teams arbitrarily added a z or zz, like the Starzz or the Owlz). I thought Lizards was at least an applicable name that somewhat played to that older tradition.

I could have the Salt Lake Pronghorns, but Bucks is already a basketball team, and Stags just leaves the team open to some euphemisms you wouldn't want drunken football fans shouting around your kids.

I actually think Utah Yeti is a cool concept, but I'm not sure exactly what do with that. I'm already planning a gorilla logo for Portland as an homage to Bigfoot, and making an abominable snowman seems a bit of a challenge.

With Stars, I'm also hesitant. It's a mascot that's been used often enough in sports, and in Utah more than once already.

I do like the idea of a Utahraptor, but I'd have to do something that would be far afield of the Toronto Raptors logo and I'm already planning on a dinosaur logo for Boise. I don't have to be so hung up on avoiding other sports' logos (ie: Chicago Bears, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Wild) but I'd really rather not overlap if I can avoid doing it.

That all said, I do have a logo I did some time ago for the Salt Lake Leopards (I did the logo as a relocation of the Jaguars, but with a new snow leopard logo). It'd lose the old Z tradition, but it might be better, who know? Then again, my best concept for Wichita is currently the Cheetah, so maybe having both would weaken the branding?

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There are so many bee mascots for Utah teams already. I like Lizards for a few reasons, namely that these cool little things are everywhere in Utah.

BlueCollaredLizardMountainBoomer.jpg

But furthermore, there was a trend, however less active now than it was in years past, for teams in Utah to have a Z in the name (Grizzlies, Buzz, Jazz, Blaze...and later teams arbitrarily added a z or zz, like the Starzz or the Owlz). I thought Lizards was at least an applicable name that somewhat played to that older tradition.

I could have the Salt Lake Pronghorns, but Bucks is already a basketball team, and Stags just leaves the team open to some euphemisms you wouldn't want drunken football fans shouting around your kids.

I actually think Utah Yeti is a cool concept, but I'm not sure exactly what do with that. I'm already planning a gorilla logo for Portland as an homage to Bigfoot, and making an abominable snowman seems a bit of a challenge.

With Stars, I'm also hesitant. It's a mascot that's been used often enough in sports, and in Utah more than once already.

I do like the idea of a Utahraptor, but I'd have to do something that would be far afield of the Toronto Raptors logo and I'm already planning on a dinosaur logo for Boise. I don't have to be so hung up on avoiding other sports' logos (ie: Chicago Bears, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Wild) but I'd really rather not overlap if I can avoid doing it.

That all said, I do have a logo I did some time ago for the Salt Lake Leopards (I did the logo as a relocation of the Jaguars, but with a new snow leopard logo). It'd lose the old Z tradition, but it might be better, who know? Then again, my best concept for Wichita is currently the Cheetah, so maybe having both would weaken the branding?

Fair enough, then--I have no qualms against trying to be unique. I'm not going to lie, those colors (looks like teal/gold) are cool. As one from the area, I'd wager a bet that the mountain bloomer is as common, if not more, in southern Utah as the Salt Lake area, so if I'd have any say, I'd call them the "Utah Lizards." It fits better and rolls off the tongue better IMO than "Salt Lake Lizards."

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Fair enough, then--I have no qualms against trying to be unique. I'm not going to lie, those colors (looks like teal/gold) are cool. As one from the area, I'd wager a bet that the mountain bloomer is as common, if not more, in southern Utah as the Salt Lake area, so if I'd have any say, I'd call them the "Utah Lizards." It fits better and rolls off the tongue better IMO than "Salt Lake Lizards."

I'm actually not at all opposed to a Utah team name, but since 75% or more of the population falls within just 4 counties in the Salt Lake region, that only leaves another 700,000 residents in Utah over the remaing 80,650 square miles, which I imagine would put the remainder of Utah residents well outside the "driving to the game" distance. Beyond that, you can see on my DMA map that Salt Lake covers more than the entire state (3 counties in each Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming) so the low population density outside the Wasatch Front makes I don't really know that a distinction can be made, for media purposes, between Salt Lake and Utah.

In any case, if I use a state title, I would do Utah Boomers over Lizards, though, since without the L, I lose the alliteration anyway.

Just wanted to congratulate you on all the work and research you did on that market map, it's truly something.

Thanks, I appreciate that. While the map as a Photoshop project only took so many hours, the constant looking up of numbers on the Nielsen site did take some time.

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Okay, I'm not exactly new to the boards, but I haven't really used my account much since I first started out playing with Illustrator.

So, here's the deal. A while back, I started talking with some online buddies about NFL expansion and relocation, and sure enough the UFL came along and that moved the conversation into a new direction. The UFL is, so far as I know, dead and gone, but the concept of using secondary "gap" markets as a development team seemed to stick with me, and I've worked out a map, complete with population statistics and market analysis, and yes, my own brand of personal preference here and there. In any case, I came up with 24 markets that I felt would do well as an NFL equivalent to AAA baseball. Yes, the NFL has the NCAA program, but you can't really send bust players back to the minors in the NFL, and that kind of farm system could have some utility. Regardless of feasibility, though, here are the markets I've chosen.

Eastern Division:

  • Long Island (Hempstead)
  • Orlando
  • Virginia Beach
  • Raleigh
  • New Haven, CT
  • Charleston, SC

Northern Division:

  • Toronto
  • Columbus, OH
  • Milwaukee
  • Louisville
  • Harrisburg
  • Grand Rapids

Southern Division:

  • San Antonio
  • Memphis
  • Oklahoma City
  • Birmingham
  • Albuquerque
  • Pensacola, FL

Western Division:

  • San Diego (with the assumption that the Chargers would relocate to Los Angeles)
  • Portland
  • Las Vegas
  • Salt Lake
  • Sacramento
  • Tucson, AZ

FDLmap.jpg

Do let me know your team suggestions or opinions. I do have team concepts in mind for more or less all of these markets (I have a few that could stand better ideas), but I'd like to hear some opinions from the board before I finish up the rest of my logos and such (planning on a uniform design as well), so don't want to redo more work than I need to. I'd much better scrap a few drawings or vector art than have to scrap the amount of work that'd go into a uniform sheet.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1174271-nfl-minor-leagues-what-needs-to-be-done-to-help-develop-talent-in-the-nfl

Wrote an article on it. I have name suggestions for some of those places.

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Uncertain Concepts (ideas that work, but I think I can do better)

[*]Charleston Stingrays - I've been trying to avoid other sports' logo identities and there is a minor league hockey team called the South Carolina Stingrays, and there are the Tampa Bay Rays as well. I suppose Charleston Cannons, work, but that overlaps some other logos too.

Swampfoxes - like the Patriot

Man of War - yes, jellyfish

Battery - Cannons?

Charleston also has a reputation as the Holy City so that could be played into it as well.

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EDITED June 29, 2012, 1:26AM, EDT

I made some tweaks to my DMA map, mostly adding more secondary markets. I tried to include all adjacent media markets for my 32 selected cities, provided that the adjacent markets were not core-NFL markets (exceptions for NYC and San Diego) or were not far afield of the core city (I could have added Amarillo, TX, as a secondary market to Oklahoma City). Consequently, some markets could be functionally larger (counting Phoenix with Tuscon, for instance). The goal here is to more or less set audience boundaries, primarily for television viewing purposes, but this also would apply to merchandising.

A few secondary markets are split into fractions, simply because they adjoin more than one media market. For example, two-thirds of the Des Moines market (1,029,792 total) is counted for my Iowa franchise in Cedar Rapids while the remaining third is counted for the equidistant Omaha market. (I could have had a franchise in Des Moines, but it would have been too close to Omaha to warrant separate teams.)

The other split markets were divided evenly. These markets include:

  • Little Rock = 1,345,718 (Memphis-Shreveport)
  • Jackson, MS = 852,742 (Memphis-Birmingham-Shreveport-Pensacola)
  • Reno = 682,259 (Sacramento-Las Vegas)
  • Yakima = 608,628 (Portland-Spokane)
  • Montgomery = 583,560 (Birmingham-Pensacola)
  • Tupelo = 461,767 (Memphis-Birmingham)
  • Sioux City = 380,636 (Dakota-Omaha)
  • Meridian = 172,585 (Birmingham-Pensacola)

DFL_Markets.gif

Toronto = 8,759,312 (This is the population of Southern Ontario's Golden Horseshoe region. This figure is used as a placeholder for an unknown Canadian media market, but the television rights for a Toronto franchise could ostensibly be all of Canada, so the indeterminate market is not much of a concern.)

Long Island = 7,568,304 (even though this is only a third of the NYC market, I couldn't justify including the entirety of the market. The Long Island team would play in Hempstead, but this figure includes Brooklyn, Queen, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.)

Sacramento Market = 6,488,798

Sacramento = 3,837,728

Fresno = 1,817,626

Redding = 492,314

Reno ½ = 341,130

San Antonio Market = 6,085,036

San Antonio = 2,259,437

Austin = 1,743,018

Harlingen = 1,174,745

Corpus Christi = 531,265

Laredo = 245,091

San Angelo = 131,480

San Diego Market = 5,253,204

San Diego = 2,889,035

Riverside County = 2,189,641

Imperial County 174,528

Raleigh Market = 5,139,782

Raleigh = 2,726,148

Greensboro = 1,644,404

Wilmington = 426,440

Greenville ½ = 342,790 (shared with Chesapeake)

Columbus Market = 4,588,011

Columbus = 2,178,783

Dayton = 1,141,851

Toledo = 1,011,149

Lima = 175,473

Zanesville = 80,775

Memphis Market = 4,323,448

Memphis = 1,675,981

Paducah = 920,364

Little Rock ½ = 672,859 (shared with Shreveport)

Jackson, TN = 231,098

Tupelo ½ = 230,884 (shared with Birmingham)

Jackson, MS ¼ = 213,186 (shared with Shreveport, Birmingham, and Pensacola)

Jonesboro = 194,759

Greenwood, MS = 184,317

Grand Rapids Market = 4,181,824

Grand Rapids = 1,878,788

Flint = 1,112,972

Lansing = 614,513

Traverse City = 575,551

Portland Market = 3,870,056

Portland = 2,994,368

Eugene = 571,374

Yakima ½ = 304,314 (shared with Spokane)

Charleston Market = 3,828,967

Columbia, SC = 953,628

Savannah, GA = 796,706

Charleston = 752,498

Myrtle Beach = 692,140

Augusta = 633,995

Chesapeake Market = 3,812,082

Norfolk = 1,761,530

Richmond = 1,334,922

Salisbury = 372,840

Greenville ½ = 342,790 (shared with Raleigh)

Louisville Market = 3,656,075

Louisville = 1,595,863

Lexington = 1,179,226

Evansville = 686,227

Bowling Green = 192,996

Oklahoma Market = 3,632,015

Oklahoma City = 1,662,429

Tulsa = 1,285,676

Wichita Falls = 372,511

Sherman, TX = 311,399

Orlando = 3,561,548

Susquehanna Market = 3,105,902

Harrisburg = 1,820,476

Altoona = 691,946

Wilkes-Barre = 593,480

Milwaukee Market = 3,081,668

Milwaukee = 2,183,639

Madison = 898,029

Birmingham Market = 2,993,531

Birmingham = 1,764,377

Huntsville = 937,374

Montgomery ½ = 291,780 (shared with Pensacola)

Tupelo ½ = 230,884 (shared with Memphis)

Jackson, MS ¼ = 213,186 (shared with Memphis, Shreveport, and Pensacola)

Meridian ½ = 86,293 (shared with Pensacola)

Hudson Valley Market = 2,960,449

Albany = 1,293,543

Burlington = 781,562

Binghamton = 321,005

Utica = 245,955

Holyoke ½ = 318,384 (shared with Connecticut)

Shreveport Market = 2,942,054

Shreveport = 944,670

Little Rock ½ = 672,859

Longview = 669,431

Monroe = 434,154

Alexandria = 220,940

Jackson, MS ¼ = 213,186

Salt Lake = 2,826,515

Pensacola Market = 2,820,355

Pensacola = 1,303,860

Panama City = 336,966

Biloxi = 310,586

Montgomery ½ = 291,780

Hattiesburg = 277,684

Jackson, MS ¼ = 213,186

Meridian ½ = 86,293

Iowa Market = 2,582,023

Cedar Rapids = 817,513

Des Moines ⅔ = 686,528

Davenport = 732,776

Mason City = 345,206

Connecticut Market = 2,960,449

Hartford = 2,472,114

Holyoke ½ = 318,384 (shared with Hudson Valley)

Omaha Market = 2,209,706

Omaha = 1,006,693

Lincoln = 669,431

Des Moines = ⅓ 343,264

Sioux City = ½ 190,318

Las Vegas Market = 2,230,526

Las Vegas = 1,889,396

Reno ½ = 341,130

Wichita Market = 1,928,249

Wichita = 1,118,832

Topeka = 428,909

Joplin = 380,508

Albuquerque = 1,746,794

Dakota Market = 1,743,906

Sioux Falls = 627,405

Fargo = 552,627

Rapid City = 237,016

Sioux City ½ = 190,318

Bismarck = 136,540

Spokane Market = 1,606,069

Spokane = 1,030,644

Yakima ½ = 304,314

Missoula = 271,111

Treasure Valley Market = 1,196,850

Boise = 683,173

Idaho Falls = 344,784

Twin Falls = 168,893

Tucson = 1,142,859

Note: If you're going to quote this post, please refrain from re-posting the list in its entirety.

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Wow. The amount of research you have done on this series is mind boggling. Not only that, but the concepts you have already posted are top-notch. I will definitely continue to follow this series!

Thanks, that really means a lot. To be honest, I didn't really intend for this thread to contain any concepts at all, I wanted to get some more suggestions from the board first. But since the thread was moved to the Concepts section, I figured it wasn't fair to tease. I have a few more vector graphics already finished, but I'm trying to get my last undecided concepts scanned before I get back to posting more vector art. Likely, the next couple submissions will be hand-drawn ideas while I play around and get my team concepts nailed down.

Pensacola market numbers should include Mobile's. Right beside each other.

Mobile is indeed included. Pensacola and Mobile are, for purposes of the Nielsen Company, the same market. If you look on the map, you'll see that both Mobile and Baldwin Counties (the two counties in Alabama that actually have a coastline) are indeed in the deeper purple of the Pensacola market.

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Las Vegas- the vampire forms a V , didn't know if you did that on purpose, but I think youve got a good element to the word mark there. ;)

Also, I live in the Charelston area and have a few ideas:

Patriots wouldn't be bad for a revolutionary war theme, if you wanted to do something sort of like minor league baseball teams (Omaha Royals, Gwinette Braves, etc,) .

Palmettos? If you could make it work

Blues: the state flag and could be considered as the states color

Kings: named after King Charels I

Wrens: state bird

Rebels: First state to break away from the union before the civil war.

88ers: This ones a long shot, but 1788 is when SC became a state.

Remember, these names are in edition to the ones you currently have; I like the ones you already have. I just tried to give you a few quick, origianal ideas...

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Thanks, I really appreciate the suggestions. Trying to stay away from borrowing other team identities, so that kinda smacks the Patriots and Kings. I like Rebels in its own sense, but I don't really think celebrating the Confederacy with a team logo would be a good way to avoid controversy. I'm not opposed to Wrens, though. I'll see what I can work out.

Yes, I did do the V shape on purpose, but my earlier attempts to make a pronounced V ended up distorting the bat face too much. Vegas is one of the few concepts to actually have a secondary logo on paper, but I haven't done a vector trace yet. I'll put it up later.

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Just to see if bumping this thread again gets me any more suggestions, I have a few concept updates.

Dakota Kestrels (Sioux Falls) - Kestrels are a type of falcon that are very common in the northern Midwest.

Adirondack Demons (Albany) - I might still go with an Albany title, as Albany is not technically part of the Adirondacks. However, Albany is the largest city in that region and both Utica, NY, and Burlington, VT, are in the mountain area, so Adirondack does have a greater appeal to the area, even if it isn't completely geographically accurate.

Harrisburg Hazards - I have an idea for a logo homage to Three Mile Island.

Pensacola Pythons

Louisiana Snappers (Shreveport) - Pythons would have worked here as well, but I really wanted to make a turtle logo.

Sacramento Templars - Thinking of a Knight of the Cross logo.

Iowa Threshers - Not the shark, the farming machine.

Wichita Cheetahs

I still am blank for Spokane, Raleigh, and Oklahoma. I have an idea for the Spokane Splitters with lumberjack logo, but I'm not sold on it at all (I considered Spokane Steelhead) but there are the Idaho Steelhead (a developmental hockey affiliate of the Dallas Stars), so I opted against it. I do have a decent idea for the Oklahoma Cyclones, but the Iowa State Cyclones make that a last resort concept if I can't find something better. And I'm considering the Raleigh Lasers or Catalysts as an homage to the high-tech industry in the Triangle, but it seems a bit cheesy.

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I like Cyclones for Oklahoma. All your current ideas are good, except Harrisburg and Sacramento. Sacramento because I like the knight idea, but I don't think enough people know what a templar is. I think Knights alone would suffice. Also, I feel like if this were an actual league they wouldn't want to pay homage to a thing as bad as Three Mile Island, although there isn't much else for Harrisburg unfortunately. Final thing, Albany is not Adirondack, but I think Albany Demons sounds just as good as Adirondack Demons so I would use that. Hope this helps!

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The thread hasn't been that active the last day or two, so I figured some new images might help generate some responses. For right now, in the interest of getting images up faster and saving myself some work on revisions, I'm going to be posting hand-drawn concepts so I can get some feedback prior to vector tracing these. I'm open to color schemes, so let me hear your ideas. These are all off my cell phone, but they're taken in different lighting, so some of them skew yellow or lose contrast, but the image quality should be sufficient for comments.

Treasure Valley Trikes

FDLsketch_TreasureValley.jpg

Louisville Villains

FDLsketch_Louisville.jpg

Louisiana Snappers

FDLsketch_Louisiana.jpg

Dakota Kestrels

FDLsketch_Dakota.jpg

Connecticut Tritons

FDLsketch_Connecticut.jpg

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