In October, Richmond's fledgling Eastern League franchise announced it would go by the name of "Flying Squirrels." As of Tuesday, fans have an image to go with the name.
The logo, designed by San Diego-based ideas company Plan B Branding, features what the team describes as a "sleek, angular flying squirrel in mid-flight." This logo utilizes the team's color scheme, which consists of black, "radiant red" and a previously unquantifiable hue now known as "squirrels silver".
Additionally, the team revealed a secondary acorn logo (featuring a puffy tail-augmented "R") as well as a set of word marks for both "Richmond" and "Flying Squirrels."
"We feel real good about what we came up with," said Flying Squirrels vice president Todd Parnell. "It's kid-friendly, but has a little bit of an edge to it. Today was important because it gave us an identity. A team without a logo is like a blind date, where you know the person's name going in but don't know what they look like."
Now, the relationship is ready to move to the next level.
"The reaction today has been unbelievable and I think that's an indication of how the entire fan base is going to respond," said Parnell.
If this is the case, it will signal a rapid shift in public opinion. The announcement of the "Flying Squirrels" moniker for San Francisco's Double-A affiliate in October marked the culmination of a turbulent "Name the Team" contest, in which the franchise was criticized for choosing finalists that lacked both local connection and seriousness.
"I think the fans are getting used to us and what we're like," said Parnell, a veteran executive with a well-established reputation for promotional irreverence. "We're not just a place to go watch baseball; we look at the ballpark as the fun center for the whole community. We may have been a shock to some people in the beginning, but now the community is starting to hug us pretty tight and there are still some wonderful things to come."
The next "wonderful thing" will be the selection of a team mascot. The Flying Squirrels announced a "Name the Mascot" contest at Tuesday's press conference, an initiative punctuated by Parnell's sudden appearance in a squirrel mask and unitard.
"We just want to show people that we're having a good time, and aren't afraid to laugh at ourselves," said Parnell. "But I would like to deliver a message to everyone in the baseball industry: Wearing a unitard is not very fun."