As a senior design major at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, we were required to complete a case study (capstone) project that was then exhibited prior to graduation. So I turned my focus to creating the Rockland Claws, a ficticious Class A baseball team. Inspired by the annual lobster festival held in Rockland, Maine, the Claws became an obsession of mine that contributed to my current position, first as graphic designer, and now as the Creative Services Manager for the Chicago Wolves hockey team. 

Design encompasses both elements of passion and drive. Accordingly, I’ve chosen to create my own baseball team to capture these emotions within the athletic environment. Through my design, I demonstrate this captivating athletic atmosphere in which passion and competition are the driving forces.

The thunder of a crowd’s roar is an indescribable sensation for bystanders and players alike. Thousands of screaming fans are unified by the passion they feel in seeing their team’s logo; a symbol that exudes fan loyalty. Team logos are as compelling and powerful as the use and interpretation of religious symbols throughout the world, which bring about an instant connection (good, bad or otherwise) between two strangers, or unite thousands. Regardless, these logos create a sense of harmony during the heat of competition and elicit qualities of strength, aggression, and passion.

Recently, major and minor affiliates have begun to extend a team’s logo into a brand that is seen beyond uniforms. For instance, the newly established Lake Erie Monsters hockey franchise located in Cleveland, Ohio, or the Casper Ghosts minor league baseball team in Casper, Wyoming, both have taken advantage of the legends that coincide with the town the team inhabits. Aside from connecting a city to an athletic team, franchises are extending their identities to create an atmosphere within the playing arena for spectators. Raymond James stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, features Buccaneer Cove complete with a pirate ship extravaganza in which stadium concessions are built into the façade. This merging of a town’s environment to that of a team is also applicable to the fictitious Rockland Claws baseball franchise situated in Rockland, Maine, home of the annual lobster festival.

What I challenge in this realm of competition is to continue to extend the athletic atmosphere into a branding experience of its own. The team logo and franchise already create a sense of unity found few and far between in the modern word. I have expanded the commercialization of athletics to embody an entire environment beginning with the logo and team uniforms, and extending into the stadium structure and appearance of concessions. The complete package will not only generate a stronger brand, but it will invite the community to become involved by connecting people from all walks of life. Consequently, in my presentation, the casual spectator, as well as the loyal fanatic, has the opportunity to experience a complete atmosphere that enhances the environment so athletes and fans may share their passions collectively.