ASHEVILLE-The next full moon is not scheduled to brighten the mountain skies until November 21, but that event had no effect on the lunar activities of the Asheville Tourists. After undertaking a creative overhaul that required more than five months to complete, the South Atlantic League team revealed its new identity program today at the Hickory Tavern by introducing its sunglasses-wearing "Mr. Moon" character to Western North Carolina and the baseball world.
Mr. Moon and the other pieces that comprise the Tourists' new identity were created via a collaborative process with Plan B Branding and the team's front office. The concept pays tribute to countless moon-lit nights at McCormick Field, during which the Tourists have become part of the summer fabric for families throughout the Land of the Sky.
"We're extremely excited to introduce our new identity program," said Brian DeWine, president of the Tourists and DeWine Seeds Silver Dollar Baseball. "During the 2010 season, we formed a working relationship with Plan B Branding and proceeded to meet with fans and other members of the community to try to incorporate a true local feel to what we were trying to accomplish. Plan B did a great job of putting everything together and developing the unique concept."
The Tourists are believed to be the first professional baseball team to incorporate a moon in their identity program. The closest may have occurred 100 years ago, when the Asheville team in the Class D Southeastern League (1910) and the Appalachian League (1911-12) was known as the Moonshiners. The color schemes, meanwhile, pay tribute to the city's hallmarks, including Midnight Navy, Blue Ridge Blue and Biltmore Jade. A new typeface, which will be used for both "Asheville" and "Tourists" as well as the "A" on caps, was rendered in the area's craftsman style.
The new caps, which were unveiled at the press conference, consist of four different styles. The new dark navy home cap features the Mr. Moon logo that will glow in the dark. The road caps are indigo blue with a snow-white A. The alternate caps, which will be worn for home games on Thursdays, Saturdays and special days, have an indigo crown, a dark navy bill and an A with the stars and mountains logo. The batting practice cap is Midnight Navy with a full-body version of Mr. Moon swinging a hobo briefcase.
"Our number one goal was to create an exciting new look for our fans and the community that they will be proud to wear," DeWine said. "While we'll introduce our uniforms in the spring, we couldn't wait that long to get our caps in the hands of our fans so that they too can share in the excitement that we feel for our new identity."
The team's new primary logo features a home run ball sailing over the Blue Ridge Mountains above the refreshed "Tourists" script. The team also unveiled a new McCormick Field logo, which is shaped like home plate and includes the ballpark's arched entrance along with the moon, stars and its first year-1924.
Plan B Branding is a creative ideas company specializing in storytelling and branding ideas. Partners Casey White and Jason Klein have created numerous concepts for numerous teams in both the major and minor leagues, resulting in many of their clients establishing franchise merchandising records.
The new caps and T-shirts are available at team's souvenir store at McCormick Field and online at www.theashevilletourists.com. Season tickets for the 2011 baseball campaign are also on sale at the Tourists' front offices. For more information, contact the Tourists at (828) 258-0428.