BigMac12

Minor-League, Indy & Summer Collegiate Baseball Logo / Uni Changes

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15 hours ago, MBurmy said:

About as "played out" as black and gold is for Pittsburgh.

Nope, not at all. 

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2 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

"Baby Cakes" comes off like some kind of smarmy, creepy, inappropriately sexual name, like "Sweet Cheeks" or "Honey Lambs" (the latter's presence in the lyrics of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" does not redeem it).

 

Love to name sports teams after dubious terms of endearment used by low-level Sterling Draper employees.

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I don't think blame can be levied on the branding company here. The new owner put out a call for name suggestions and received thousands of submissions. They narrowed it down to 10 or 15 and then announced 3 finalists. I lay blame FULLY on the new owner for picking this junk.

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23 hours ago, conesbeans said:

Yes, but...

The owners of Stockton at the time they switched to the Mudville Nine identity later sold that Stockton team but retained ownership of the Mudville Nine identity. They then bought the Visalia Oaks and shortly thereafter changed the team name from Oaks to Rawhide. In short, the same owners are responsible for both the Mudville Nine and the Visalia Rawhide identities. Which is why one can buy Mudville Nine merchandise in the Visalia Rawhide web site store.

 

Ah, I did not know that. It's been a while since I've been to Visalia.

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Looking at all those King Cake pictures makes me really miss them. Utah definitely doesn't have them. :/ I remember a friend of mine who lived near Gulfport used to get really good ones at a place in Picayune, MS (right by the MS/LA border on the way to New Orleans). I wish I could remember what the name of it was, but dang. The nearer you got to New Orleans, the better the cake it seemed. The ones I had in Slidell were pretty good, but we just got them at Rouse's Market. There were, in retrospect, probably better places I could've gone :P 

 

Anyways, letting the identity sit another day...and I'll be honest, I still love the logos and colors (and I did buy a cap last night; the one with just the baby head and crown). I do still hate the name and think the uniforms could use a fair bit of work (that road wordmark could do without the beads hanging from it, for starters). But all in all, the logos and colors do more to salvage what it can out of the identity than the Jumbo Shrimp or Firefrogs do. Of Brandiose's projects this summer - when you take names out of the equation completely - I think New Orleans' is one of the more favorable. No, it doesn't make up for the name; only a different name can do that. But it is something positive to me out of a negative.

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1 hour ago, FinsUp1214 said:

Looking at all those King Cake pictures makes me really miss them. Utah definitely doesn't have them. :/

 

CCSLC's answer to Pete Maravich over here.

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Despite the team sporting a solid logo package, I simply can't forgive the strained, convoluted branding gymnastics that had to be undertaken in order to come up with the Baby Cakes moniker.

* The pastry is a King Cake.

* The trinket baked into the pastry is a King Cake Baby, or Cake Baby.

If playing off of the symbolism of the traditional cake and its hidden gift was the route that Brandiose and team management wanted to go, they should have dubbed the team either the New Orleans King Cakes, or the New Orleans Cake Babies. New Orleans Baby Cakes not only sounds asinine, it means absolutely nothing insofar as Greater New Orleans cultural traditions are concerned.

Still, that's typical of Brandiose at its most egregious: they make up their minds as to what they're going to name the team, then reverse engineer any and all facets of the branding package necessary to justify - no matter how awkwardly - their choice. 

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32 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

CCSLC's answer to Pete Maravich over here.

 

Haha! ? Even my sock color of choice is grey, too!

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New Orleans Baby Cakes... where to begin?

 

So much to talk about with this-- Brandiose-- the team owner-- the folks in New Orleans metro area-- and my own thoughts, worries, and plan of action.  I guess I'll begin (and end) with the owner.  For ease in reading, I  will break this up into several posts.  We begin with The Owner, (part 1):

 

The Owner (part 1)

 

Lou Schwechheimer bought the team (well, a 50% controlling interest share) almost a year ago.  This was right after the franchise and the state agreed to a new 5 year lease and supposedly $10 million worth of improvements to be done to Zephyr Field during that 5 year period.  Also, with the new lease, the state entity that runs the Superdome and the Arena would now handle stadium maintenance and management. -- not the Zephyrs, who had done so since the stadium opened in 1997.

 

His "formal announcement" as the team's owner came in April of this year, and at nearly the same time as this formal announcement, he and team general manager Cookie Rojas came out with the statement that the team name would be (not might be, but would be) changed.

 

I do need to add that according to personal experience, there has been some changes to the stadium and the organization already.  Water fountains and ceiling fans were removed from the concourses (probably to help spur concession sales) and many full-time employees were let go and replaced with unpaid or low-paid college interns.

 

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The "Name the Team Contest"

 

 

I went over a lot of this in an earlier post or two: (http://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/95576-minor-league-indy-summer-collegiate-baseball-logo-uni-changes/?page=76#comment-2620673).  In short, the so-called "contest" was a farce.

 

The requests for new names was limited to a not-quite 2 week period between April 25 and May 6.  In June, the seven "finalists" were announced.  Local newspaper reported (with Brandiose and team official quot) that some of the 'finalists" were not submitted but MADE UP by Brandiose staff:

 

"Klein and White then came up with the nicknames from those submitted.

Baby Cakes was derived from a combination of king cakes, which as we know contain a plastic baby, and area people referring to each other as “baby,” which Klein and White noted during their tour

They counted the times people would say, ‘It’s OK, baby,’ or ‘That’s right, baby,’” Rojas said. “So that was from a cultural aspect.”


This was after the Brandiose duo came to New Orleans for LESS THAN 2 DAYS to get a "flavor" for the area.

 

During the online vote on the 7 "finalists" it was made clear that the online fan vote was in fact, pointless.   As local newspaper accounts reported, even Brandiose themselves gave away the lack of 'democracy' in the process: 

 

"Klein said it’s a long process even after the fan vote. “The fan vote is an important factor, but it’s not the only factor,” he said." 

 

As was evident by the team and Brandiose never showing a results bar chart or anything of that nature during or following the process.
 

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The Unveiling of the name, logo and uniform

 

Yesterday, the name, logo and uniforms were unveiled: New Orleans Baby Cakes.  As I posted on this board, it was preceded by about two weeks' worth of teasers referencing the finalists names.

 

During the on line vote period, a description of the name was given:

 

"A tribute to the Mardi Gras king cakes where small plastic babies are sought after, the Baby Cakes celebrates a unique Louisiana tradition."  

 

As I wrote back then, the name (1) was derived, (2) does not exist as a thing in New Orleans and (3) is STUPID: "The term is "King Cake Babies" not "Baby Cakes". And they are not "sought after"; you don't want to get the baby in your piece of cake; that means you have to buy the next cake at your office or for your classroom.... "Baby Cakes" is a freakin' term of endearment, fer cryin' out loud, not a baseball team!

 

The logo, color scheme and such were as would be expected/predicted from Brandiose.  Colors of Mardi Gras purple green and gold, with navy and (white) "flesh" for the baby itself.  Primary logo of a scowling baby, coming out of a king cake, wearing a crown and swinging a bat. A few "wacky" secondary logos.  Uniforms that read "'Cakes" and or New Orleans, with Mardi Gras beads hanging off of the nameplate.  

 

Blecch.

 

The only interesting thing is the proposed use of not one, but TWO different New Orleans Pelicans throwback uniforms that look extremely authentic (I would not be surprised if they just ordered the two jerseys and caps from Ebbetts Field for the unveiling-- I doubt the whole team replica set  will look that good on the field).

 

 

The Reaction

 

The reaction has been EXTREMELY NEGATIVE on social media both nationally and more important, locally.  A local online poll is showing more than a 91% disapproval rating for the new name.

 

Many online, like myself have stated that they will not spend any money on the team -  not just merchandise, but also actual game attendance.  There have been some calls for a formal boycott of the team by fans, which could really hurt  the owners by hitting them in the pocketbook, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, they are tied into a lease for the next  4 years.  It will be interesting to see where this all pans out.  i am of the opinion that attendance will DEFINITELY go down, and while they may see SOME rise in merchandise sales initially, it will not be what it might have if they picked a better-liked name, and in the long run (over the next 4 years of the lease) I think it will be a wash as  to what it would have been if they kept the Zephyrs name.  Team officials even noted the name change was for a quick buck: "Schwechheimer said the sale of new team apparel will bring a much-needed infusion of cash."

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The Owner(Part II) - The endgame

 

So how did this happen? Why did an ownership group screw this up so badly?  On the one hand, I think that the new GM, the new owner, and Brandiose, all being from out of town, were actually clueless in their efforts, and felt that this approach and nickname would be welcomed and "successful" as it has been elsewhere, not knowing how unique and "old school" New Orleans and New Orleanians are. 

 

On the other hand, I hear some comments that this is the deliberate equivalent of tanking, sort of like the owner in the movie "Major League" -- poisoning the well, as it were.  I hadn't given it much thought, until I did a little more research into the owner.  Lou Schwechheimer is also the head of the Caribbean Baseball Initiative, which also includes a sub-group called BaseballHavana, which was formed after Obama began working to normalize relations with Cuba last year.

 

As per a recent New York Times article (A Pitch Is Framed by Diplomacy in Cuba):

 

Schwechheimer "... has secured the exclusive rights from Minor League Baseball to return professional baseball to Havana.  He has assembled this group, called the Caribbean Baseball Initiative, which includes two highly regarded former American ambassadors. He has obtained the necessary licensing from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He has raised considerable capital.

 

And, very quietly, he has built a baseball empire.

 

As of this month, the Caribbean Baseball Initiative owns controlling interests in the New Orleans Zephyrs, a Miami Marlins franchise in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, and the Charlotte Stone Crabs, a Tampa Bay Rays franchise in the Class A Florida State League."

 

The article goes further to say that, "None of these teams will be moved to Cuba, Schwechheimer said... But he also said, “We have the financial resources to acquire additional minor league teams, one of which may ultimately wind up in Havana — but only at the appropriate time.”

 

I freaking read between the lines, to four five years in the future, when relations have normalized, and all the details are worked out, and the Triple A franchise of the MIAMI MARLINS (!?) -- formerly the "New Orleans Baby Cakes", who have run off their fan base -- is moved to 90 miles from the home club to become the first minor league ball club back in Cuba. :unsure:

 

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6 hours ago, B-Rich said:

Also, a lot bigger than a doughnut-- they are, as hjwii says, more like a larger, glorified cinnamon roll in terms of consistency and taste.  You don't pick it up; you cut and eat a piece, like cake. Some-- the more traditional ones -- have a glaze with colored sugar ( #1 below); some others now have way too much thick icing and colored sprinkles (# 2 below, which I don't like).  And rarely are they round anymore; most are oblong:

IMG_7258.JPG

28702-42194-hollings-julia-mar-22-2015-3

 

Oh, so it's kind of a thick kringle with a trinket inside. 

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1 hour ago, B-Rich said:

Water fountains and ceiling fans were removed form the concourses (probably to help spur concession sales)

 

Even for the minor leagues, this crap is minor-league!

 

Oh, so it's kind of a thick kringle with a trinket inside. 

I haven't had a good Racine kringle in years.

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6 minutes ago, the admiral said:

I haven't had a good Racine kringle in years.

 

Neither have I.  Might have to rectify that over Thanksgiving.  

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On ‎11‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 10:43 AM, B-Rich said:

 

IMG_7258.JPG

 

Soooo it's basically a fluorescent chud.

 

Gotcha.

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You're not a true MiLB team unless you have a ridiculously absurd nickname.

 

Makes the Albuquerque Isotopes and Casper Ghosts seem like relics, ala the Yankees and Packers.

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