Goodbye Yankees, hello Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League), as the team combines the top two vote-getters in a name-the-team contest into a single brand.
It certainly takes a bold hand to create a team identity that combines porcupines and a trolley car — with the end result a trolley-riding porcupine that sometimes dons conductors’ gear — but what the heck.
“The RailRiders brand signifies our reenergized commitment to the community, not only with a new team name and logos, but our unwavering focus to provide the best in affordable, family fun entertainment,” said Rob Crain, president and general manager of the club. “Our new identity also honors NEPA’s rich baseball history with the interlocking SWB mark. Plus, it highlights our strong partnership with the New York Yankees with navy caps and home pinstripes.”
The team name was selected after fans suggested over 2,700 different names in a month-long name-the-team contest. The RailRiders moniker pays homage to the very first trolley system in America, one created in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Electric Gold, Rich Maroon and Yankee Navy make up the club’s new official colors, paying tribute to the region’s rail heritage along with a tip of the cap to the squad’s parent club, the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees. The RailRiders are the first professional sports team to use this unique color combination.
“The Yankees are excited to welcome the RailRiders to our family,” said Lonn Trost, COO of the New York Yankees. “The Yankees organization is very proud of our relationship with our fans in the Northeast Pennsylvania region who have always shown a great enthusiasm and passion for the game. Along with the exciting new team identity, the reconstructed PNC Field will offer an entertaining baseball experience, as well as an ideal facility to develop our players.”
The redesigned navy pinstriped home uniforms showcase the team’s “RailRiders” lettering across the chest. The new navy home cap features a gold “R” logo over trolley tracks. On the road, the club will don traditional gray uniforms with “RailRiders” displayed across the chest, and Rich Maroon caps featuring a new interlocking SWB logo. The logo gives a modern look to a mark of NEPA’s baseball past a la the Red Barons of yore.
“The Mandalay family cannot be more excited about the SWB RailRiders’ new name and look,” said Art Matin, CEO of Mandalay Baseball. “The whole package says family fun while truly making this NEPA’s hometown team.”
The RailRiders’ look was brought to life at Brandiose. Partners Jason Klein and Casey White invented the first glow-in-the-dark on-field cap for the Casper Ghosts and first on-field rally cap for the Altoona Curve.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Jason and Casey in the past and their design and innovation is second to none,” said Crain. “We could not be happier with the RailRiders brand they helped us create.”
The development process began last June when Klein and White met in Scranton with fans, staff and community members to learn about the stories, history, and personality of the Scranton & Wilkes-Barre. Brandiose developed the logos, uniforms and mascot and is dreaming up enhancements for the 2013 fan experience.
“The birth of trolley and the electric rail line is one of the great stories in American history,” said White. “The RailRiders are the first professional sports team to honor the American porcupine and we couldn’t think of a grittier mascot to represent the region’s fighting spirit.”
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