Ozzie has gotten a makeover.
The Kane County Cougars revealed new logos, colors and uniforms Tuesday, showing off a modernized look that steps away from the club's familiar green color scheme.
"It was time to update our logo," said Curtis Haug, the Cougars' vice president and general manager. "In looking at some other logos in Minor League Baseball and pro sports in general, we thought it would be a great opportunity. Now that our 25th-anniversary season is over, it's time to start the next 25 with a fresh new look."
Kane County, the D-backs' Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, went with a blue and tan look while working in hints of lime green in their primary logo and alternate home jersey. The new main look features what Haug described as a more "menacing" version of the team's mascot, Ozzie.
"We're really excited about the whole new look, new colors and a new identity for Kane County," he said. "These are pretty exciting times for ownership and staff and I'm sure when the community sees it, our fans will be thrilled to see the new look. There was some debate among the staff members involved in developing the logo, but what we came up with is a menacing fierce-looking cougar."
Kane County worked with Studio Simon on the rebranding. Haug said the club had about six or seven meetings to brainstorm and refine the look.
"This gives the whole organization a new identity, a fresh new look, and we think that our fans and our community will be excited," said Haug. "Players are excited about wearing new jerseys and new uniforms, and I'm sure the merchandise sales will be great. This just dresses up our organization as a whole, updates us to the current times, and we think it really turned out well."
The Cougars have used a relatively simple, straightforward logo of a cougar's head over a baseball since 1991. A more stylized version of the cougar head was introduced as a cap logo in 2007, but Tuesday's reveal goes in a different direction entirely, with the more imposing mascot now holding a bat. In a notable change, the team is switching from a "KC" cap logo to simply a "C.".
"We felt like going with the "C" as opposed to "KC" -- with the KC Royals out there, it didn't make a whole lot of sense, so we decided to go with the 'C'," said Haug. "We all agreed upon it, it gave us fresh new look, because we've never had that on a cap.
Haug said the primary logo, which has a bit of a wooden park sign vibe to it, is a nod to the team's location in the Forest Preserve District of Kane County in Geneva, Illinois.
"We're located within the Kane County forest preserve, so the tees, the rugged look -- the badge we came up with as a group, [and] you do see the badge now and again with some professional sports teams, even European soccer leagues, but we felt it was a unique look," he said. "It was something that came together well with the colors involved and the fierceness of a cougar. We think we got a great look and that there is a lot of opportunity with this brand and this logo. We're going to make an impact in the community."
Haug said the team will wear an all-green jersey 8-10 times next season on Sundays. And of course, their mascot, Ozzie, is getting an update as well.
"Ozzie will have a makeover, a new look Ozzie, but that's something we're still putting together -- that's something we're working on right now," he said. "Hopefully we'll have that ready sometime in January. These are exciting times for the Cougars -- to have a whole new identity after 25 years with the same logo and same colors. It's gonna be a whole new look, a whole new Ozzie, but it's still gonna be Ozzie T. Cougar -- we're not gonna change the name."
Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. Additional reporting by Benjamin Hill, who writes Ben's Biz Blog.