Following the 2019 season, a preliminary list of Minor League teams that would not be included in the new 120-team system was released. Beloit was on the list of teams that would be eliminated.
The most important factors deciding which teams would remain affiliated Minor League franchises included the quality of teams’ stadiums and their economic viability. Beloit’s longtime ballpark Pohlman Field fell short of Major League Baseball’s facility requirements and the team lacked the economic resources to fund necessary improvements to the ballpark or to build a new one. Compounding the team’s problems, the Snappers identity the team adopted in 1995 had consistently ranked near the bottom of Minor League apparel sales rankings for decades, leaving the team without an important revenue stream to make the improvements necessary to their ballpark to remain affiliated.
Unless the team could quickly come up with the funds for expensive ballpark renovations or to construct a new ballpark, 2019 likely be the final season in the franchise’s history.
Despite the uncertainty over the team’s future, Quint and Rishy Studer offered to purchase the team and immediately began working with community members to secure the team a ballpark that would meet all MLB requirements for affiliated facilities. Many across Beloit rose up together to make the team’s stadium dreams possible, with Beloit-native Diane Hendricks spearheading a group to privately fund a new downtown stadium for both the team and the community along the banks of the Rock River.
Without any guarantee that building a new stadium would save the team from being among those eliminated in the new Minor League system, the group bet on the community and began building the new stadium anyways. In just 13 months, ABC Supply Stadium was built, immediately becoming one of the finest facilities in Minor League Baseball.
To guarantee that taxpayer funds would not be used to build or maintain the stadium, Studer agreed to take on all capital costs at the ballpark for the next 20 years. To ensure funds would be available to cover the costs of two decades of stadium maintenance, the team examined all revenue streams. While the strongest Minor League brands generate over a million dollars in merchandise revenue on an annual basis, the Snappers were averaging under $50,000, and sales had been steadily declining for nearly two decades. That would need to change for the team to become economically viable, and Beloit Baseball announced it would take a new identity before the 2022 season.
With the construction of ABC Supply Stadium and the team providing a sound economic plan centered around their rebrand, Major League Baseball awarded Beloit a 10-year contract to be the High-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, saving the franchise.
To develop their new identity, Beloit Baseball enlisted the help of Brandiose, the nation’s leading brand development company for Minor League teams. The team began a public name submission process, asking the fans two questions: 1. Do you want the Snappers name to stay or the team to adopt a new name? and 2. What should that new name be? Over 1,000 fans submitted their feedback and over two-thirds of those fans preferred the team take a new name.
With a list of over 1,000 potential team names submitted by fans in hand, the team and Brandiose evaluated each name sent in by fans. Each name was checked for connection to the community, potential trademark availability, similarities to existing teams and brands, the location of the fan who submitted the name, and creative possibilities. After developing a narrowed list, Brandiose visited Beloit for an extensive multi-day survey of the community, holding numerous focus groups with hundreds of fans and community members. Following those meetings, the team emerged with five finalists that had been submitted and vetted by fans in the Stateline area and that cleared all necessary trademark hurdles.
The team then presented those five finalists -- Sky Carp, Moo, Polka Pike, Supper Clubbers, and Cheeseballs -- to the community in a fan vote to select the team’s new identity.
Thousands of fans cast their votes for their favorite name, and Sky Carp edged out Supper Clubbers as the fan’s choice with Cheeseballs placing third and Polk Pike and Moo ranking fourth and fifth, respectively.
A slang term for a goose that does not migrate in the winter, instead preferring to stay in its home city, the Sky Carp name represents the city of Beloit -- a flourishing, innovative town so vibrant and strong that no one wants to leave.
For many decades, small and mid-market towns have struggled to retain talent in their communities. After graduating high school, many students make the choice to head to big cities for college and then remain there as they begin their careers, many never bringing their talents back home. Beloit was no different.
However, in recent years, Beloit has undergone a revitalization. Investments from the Hendricks family and many others in the community have helped create a vibrant, bustling downtown and business district full of opportunity, jobs, great food, entertainment, and housing options.
The addition of ABC Supply Stadium, a year-round community events center that will host Minor League Baseball, youth and college sports, concerts, fundraisers, and more throughout the calendar year, will help continue to catalyze the growth of downtown Beloit, bringing hundreds of thousands of customers into the city’s center and to businesses surrounding the ballpark. The continued growth of Beloit will make it not just a city that residents don’t want to leave, but one that attracts top talent from across the Midwest and nation.
The mission of Beloit Baseball is not to win baseball games, but to win off the field, helping improve the quality of life for all in the Stateline region and to make Beloit the best place to live in the world. With team ownership committing that all profits generated by the team will be re-invested in the community, the team is dedicated to making Beloit a Sky Carp city, one so great that no one wants to leave - not even the geese!
Immediately after the conclusion of the fan vote, Brandiose artists went to work to bring the winning name to life, presenting a series of initial sketches of potential logo designs to the Beloit Baseball team.
From the initial sketches, the team picked a small selection of logo ideas to be colorized based on a variety of important design themes:
- Representing the Sky Carp idea of a goose that loves Beloit so much it doesn’t leave in the winter.
- Featuring Beloit’s beautiful landscapes, especially the Rock River that ABC Supply Stadium resides beside.
- Representing the hard-working blue-collar industries and workers that have built, defined, and shaped the city.
- Appealing to fans young and old.
- Incorporating famous historical figures who have represented and brought notoriety to the Stateline region including Bessica Raiche, Roy Chapman Andrews, and Arthur Warner.
The team’s first proposed color palette centered around blue-collar denim blue and a rustic light brown.
Following an intensive month of revisions, the team selected three main concepts:
- The main full goose in-flight concept representing the Sky Carp story with a winter scarf and an industrial wrench.
- The tough, confident wrench-in-mouth goose looking to continue building Beloit into the best place to live in the world.
- The underwater goose diving into the Rock River wearing aviator-style swimming goggles.
Seeking to capture the ferocity and strength of the original full goose developed by Brandiose while maintaining the thematic elements and detail incorporated in the revised in-flight goose, a more robust and fierce primary Sky Carp was developed featuring a muscled-up physique.
Each logo was tested with dozens of different possible color combinations. Throughout the process, hues of blue-collar blue were a constant while a wide variety of reds, oranges, yellows, browns, and tans were experimented with to complement the traditional black and grey colors of a goose.
Looking to ensure that the city of Beloit was represented with its own team logo, a variety of B for Beloit logo concepts were developed during the design process.
A variety of rounded logos featuring the waters of the Rock River were designed. During the process, the roundel logo was simplified to include the builder goose with the silhouette of the Rock River flowing behind encircled by the team’s name. This simplification meets industry stitch requirements to allow the logo to be embroidered onto apparel like hats and staff polos.
The Beloit Sky Carp primary logo combines the team’s ferocious in-flight goose with a signature Sky Carp wordmark.
The goose, with a winter scarf billowing in the wind to signify the Sky Carp story of a bird that loves its hometown so much it won’t leave in the winter, is depicted in-flight over the city of Beloit. As it flies, the goose carries a wrench in homage to the blue-collar workers who have built Beloit and as a nod to the team’s mission to continue to build Beloit into the best place to live in the world.
The team’s signature Sky Carp wordmark features a classic script font highlighted by the outline of a goose’s head in both the capital S and C. The upward slope of the lettering signifies the bright future of the city, and the wording’s black with grey detailing color scheme invokes the colors of a goose.
The team’s color palette combines the traditional black of a goose with iron grey and bold hues of blue and orange.
Beloit Blue was built to combine the hard-working attitude of denim blue with the waters of the Rock River.
Hunter Orange finds the halfway point between the Miami Marlins red, whose affiliation with Beloit Baseball ensured professional baseball would remain in Beloit, and the vibrant orange worn by Rock County’s many hunters.
Mirroring the Sky Carp word mark, the Hometown Script entwines a stylistic silhouette of a goose’s head into a cursive rendition of the team’s hometown.
The fierce Builder Goose exudes the tenacity and grit of the city of Beloit and its residents through its tough and triumphant glare. In its bill, the goose holds a wrench, signifying the ongoing work being done across the city to build Beloit into the greatest place to live in the world.
The wrench held by the Sky Carp in the team’s Primary and Builder logos was modeled after a vintage wrench produced by Fairbanks Morse, an industrial leader headquartered in Beloit.
Diving into the waters of the Rock River behind ABC Supply Stadium, the Underwater Sky Carp adds an aquatic twist to the team’s logo set. Paying respect to Beloit’s history, the goose’s swimming goggles were designed in the style of aviator goggles worn by Beloit’s Bessica Raiche, the first woman to fly an airplane solo in the United States.
Topped by the sleek head of a goose, the B For Beloit logo boldly represents the modernity and style of downtown Beloit. With a touch of iron grey and a border of Rock River blue, the B For Beloit logo embodies both the industrial heart of the city and the brilliant natural features of the team’s hometown.
The circular Roundel Mark features the full city and team name of the franchise surrounding the Builder Goose with the waters of the Rock River flowing in the background.
The Inaugural Season Logo highlights the first season of Sky Carp baseball in 2022 with a familiar sight for fans in Beloit: a flock of Sky Carp flying in formation over ABC Supply Stadium.
Beloit’s home white uniform features the team’s signature Sky Carp script and Beloit Blue numbers with a Miami Marlins M and the primary in-flight goose on the sleeves.
On the road, the team will wear iron grey jerseys and pants with BELOIT across the chest and Rock River blue numbers.
While most uniform sets only feature the team’s hometown on the road uniform, Beloit fans will be able to watch the team take the field in a jersey with “BELOIT” across the chest at ABC Supply Stadium thanks to the team’s Beloit Blue alternate.
The team’s goose-black alternate uniform features the primary in-flight Sky Carp logo over the heart with a Miami Marlins M and Beloit B adorning each sleeve and icy white and blue numbers.
Beloit’s suite of New Era On-Field Game Hats dynamically features each of the team’s four primary logos against bold backgrounds that allow the Sky Carp color palette to shine. Each hat is designed to be compatible with each of the squad’s four game jerseys, allowing for multiple fresh mix-and-match possibilities on the field.