COLUMBIA, SC - The list of awards continues to grow for the Columbia Fireflies in its inaugural year as a franchise. Ballpark Digest honored the Fireflies with its 2016 Best New Logo and Branding Award on Monday. Columbia's design was selected as the most creative among all other Minor League Baseball teams that featured new or altered logos and color schemes in 2016.
"At a time when outrageous team names and logos are part of the pro baseball experience, it's refreshing to see a name like the Columbia Fireflies be a success and stand out in the crowd," said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. "That team name is carried out brilliantly in Spirit Communications Park, adding a subtle bit of nostalgia to the fan experience."
In October of 2014, Minor League Baseball granted the necessary approvals for Hardball Capital to bring professional baseball back to Columbia, South Carolina. The following August, the Fireflies name and sky blue, gray, neon yellow and neon green color scheme was selected to represent the new team.
"Our goal in selecting a name for Columbia's team was that it be local, unique and fun," said Fireflies Team President John Katz. "We researched ourselves, worked with our brand team from sky design and solicited input from the community. The process from start to finish took almost a year. We fell in love with the concept of the Fireflies brand and the great colors. Our team from sky design captured the glowing nature of our iconic firefly with a combination of subtle hues, neon and even glow-in-the-dark components. The product is something that we are all extremely proud of."
Ballpark Digest praised the Fireflies logo and design for its balance of "innovation and community connection." The primary Fireflies logo includes a crescent moon and palmetto tree that's featured on the South Carolina state flag. The secondary logo joins the letters "C" and "F" to create a flame - an homage to the city's "Famously Hot" slogan.
"We had a lot of ideas for the branding in Columbia that we were excited about," said sky design Vice President/Principal Todd Vaught. "As the Fireflies idea gained traction, we really started to fall in love with how the brand connected with the 'famously hot' city, unique color scheme, the glow in the dark elements and the whole idea of connecting the rebirth of professional baseball in Columbia with the bygone days of capturing fireflies in a jar on a warm summer night."
This isn't the first time the franchise has been honored in 2016. In July, Ballpark Digest named Spirit Communications Park its 2016 Ballpark of the Year. A month later, the South Atlantic League awarded the Fireflies, the city of Columbia and the park the 2017 All-Star Game. Additionally, the Fireflies' Purple Game, Purple Game night on June 9 - a tribute to the legendary Grammy-award winning "Prince" Rogers Nelson - is in the running for the Promotion of the Year MiLBY Award.
"The response to the Fireflies brand has been extremely positive and the popularity of our logos has resulted in orders for hats and apparel from across the U.S.," said Katz. "It's wonderful to see Spirit Communications Park blanketed in our gear, but it's even more exciting to see folks wearing Fireflies hats and shirts away from the ballpark. There's a huge sense of pride in our community for this team, and we even have fans posting pictures of themselves representing the Columbia Fireflies in different cities, states and even countries."
2017 season tickets are on sale, and can be purchased by visiting FirefliesTickets.com or calling the Fireflies Box Office at (803) 776-4487.
About the Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. The Fireflies play games across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including against in-state rivals in Charleston and Greenville. The team has partnered with the City of Columbia and Hughes Development to construct Spirit Communications Park, a multi-use outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the BullStreet development. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. For more information, visit www.ColumbiaFireflies.com, or follow the Fireflies on Twitter (@ColaFireflies), Facebook (facebook.com/columbiafireflies) and all popular social media platforms.
About the Ballpark Digest Awards
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Team officials and readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go through the submissions (numbering some 400 pages of documentation in 2015), consulting with industry leaders before a final decision. This is the seventh season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards. The award winners will be honored at a Baseball Winter Meetings reception.
About Ballpark Digest / August Publications
The leading Website covering the culture and business of baseball since its inception in 2002, Ballpark Digest (www.ballparkdigest.com) has been called an "indispensable" guide to baseball and ballparks by The New York Times; it's been used as a source by publications and Websites ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Epicurious.com. August Publications is a publisher based in Middleton, Wis. Besides Ballpark Digest, August Publications websites include SpringTrainingOnline.com, ArenaDigest.com, SoccerStadiumDigest.com and FootballStadiumDigest.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.