The AAA-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Memphis Redbirds, announced on Wednesday a complete overhaul of their logo, mascot, and uniforms.
I live in Memphis and, as many of you know, cover the Memphis Redbirds here for Redbird Rants. I love the AAA-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoy going to mini-Busch Stadium (also known as AutoZone Park). So, naturally, I was very excited by the news released on Wednesday out of the Redbirds’ front office.
The news was this: the Memphis Redbirds were unveiling a comprehensive overhaul of their branding. This meant new logos for the Ms that adorn the hats, an entirely new Rocky (the Redbird mascot), and new uniforms. The idea behind the overhaul was to reflect the vibe and feeling of the home city of Memphis.
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The Ms that adorn the Redbirds’ hats were once just a simple M but are now an M designed to reflect music notes as well as reflecting neon signage. Memphis is well-known for Belle Street which is the home of blues clubs with shining neon signs. The new M will well represent this iconic street.
Rocky, the Redbirds’ mascot, was once a cartoon caricature of the Cardinals. Unlike FredBird (the mascot for the St. Louis Cardinals), Rocky maintained a juvenile appearance. Both FredBird and Rocky were created to appeal to families and their cartoon-like creations were perfect for this.
The new Rocky is tough and ready to rumble. He is often pictured as a pitcher with squinted eyes and a pitch ready to be thrown. Either appearing on the mound or with the bat slung over his shoulder, the new Rocky (at least the logo version of him) seems less inclined to families and more inclined to intimidation.
I love the new Rocky and think he greatly embodies the grit and grind that Memphis is owning. The Memphis Grizzlies- the local NBA team- has solidified that “grit and grind” brand and the new Rocky will help to assist in this as well. For those who might be put off by Rocky’s tougher demeanor, let me assuage your worries by using Grizz (the Grizzlies’ mascot) as an example of how the dichotomy can and does work.
The new uniforms unveiled on Wednesday have “Memphis” sprayed across the chest in similar fashion to the old uniforms but utilizing the new neon-light logos. In addition, the Memphis front office unveiled new baby blue uniforms yesterday to mimic those worn by the St. Louis Cardinals when they do throw-back uniforms. These look great as they have the new Rocky posted on the chest.
I love the new uniforms and look forward to getting several iterations myself. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the fact that this re-branding comes in large part due to the new ownership of Peter Freund and his team in Memphis. I would likewise be remiss if I failed to thank the Redbirds for being in Memphis.