PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The newest addition to the look and feel of the Pensacola area was unveiled Friday at Gallery Night as the Blue Wahoos unveiled their logos and began selling souvenir merchandise.
In front of a packed Palafox Place gathering, team owners Quint and Rishy Studer, Blue Wahoos president Bruce Baldwin and Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward rolled out the logos on 10-foot banners from the balcony of Elebash Jewelry Co. as staff members sold T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to excited fans.
A tenacious, diving Blue Wahoo is the centerpiece of the logo, shown breaking away from a fisherman's line. The cap logo features a Blue Wahoo circling a baseball bat forming the shape of a "P" for Pensacola. The team's alternate cap features a fishing hook also in the shape of a "P." Other alternate logos will be unveiled over the next several months.
Neon red, Gulf Coast royal, Blue Angel navy and Tin Roof tin make up the club's official colors, celebrating the textures and colors of the Emerald Coast. The Blue Wahoos are the first sports team to adopt Neon red, a tribute to the neon signs that illuminate Pensacola's beachfront establishments. The process of developing the team logo began in January when the design team met in Pensacola with fans, staff and community members to learn about the stories, history and personality of the region.
Baldwin said the logo was unique from others in sports, featuring colors and imagery not commonly used in other sports identities.
"This is not going to be your typical baseball team and we're not going to give our fans a typical experience," he said. "It's going to be extraordinary -- from a beautiful stadium on the water to a fantastic downtown for fans to enjoy before and after the games and great community events, but it starts with the look and feel of the team.
"I think the logo really captures the spirit of Pensacola, and I'm excited about the fans getting to see another aspect of what is going to be a fantastic experience."
Hayward echoed Baldwin's comments.
"I think the logo really fits the team name well," the mayor said. "It's catchy, people will instantly recognize it based on the bright colors and images and it's going to be a fun part of being in Pensacola. We have a great city with a tremendous story to tell -- from being America's first European settlement to our maritime history as a waterfront city, to being a new and improved part of a global economy. This is yet another great chapter in the ongoing story of Pensacola, and I think this is going to get people even more excited about living, working and playing in Pensacola."
The Studers expressed their appreciation to the community for supporting the team and the waterfront stadium.
"This has been a long labor of love for Rishy and me," Quint Studer said. "It hasn't always been easy, but we have always believed -- and had friends to support us in that belief -- that if this community came together, great things could happen. Tonight we unveiled a fantastic logo for the Blue Wahoos, but I think this also helped to create, in some small way, a picture of what Pensacola's future can be.
"We've got some great things happening in this community, and Rishy and I are just happy to be a part of this great event and we're very appreciative of everyone who has helped make this a reality -- from the mayor and City Council to the CMPA to the fans and construction team. We're going to be playing baseball in Pensacola on Opening Day. It's going to be awesome."
In addition to merchandise sales at Gallery Night, the Blue Wahoos will have a souvenir kiosk inside Cordova Mall starting Saturday. A new website featuring an online store will be unveiled later this month and the organization plans to roll out additional logos, including the team mascot, before opening day on April 5, 2012.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.