Local reaction to the unveiling of the Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League) branding has been overwhelmingly negative, with many local fans speaking out against the new name and ostrich logo.
Messing with tradition is always hard, especially in a community with 46 years of Reading Phillies history. The rebranding effort, unveiled on Saturday, incorporated some of that history — using 1950s Philadelphia Phillies uniform designs and echoing the old Fightin’ Phillies logo — but then added some odd twists, like the use of an pugilist ostrich in the logo.
And those twists did not play well with fans, if this article by Mike Drago is any indication. Now, it’s important to realize that posting an objection on Facebook doesn’t mean the poster speaks for anyone but themselves, and it’s important to realize that folks who like the new logo won’t be the ones rushing to register their delight on Facebook, too. But a Web poll from the Reading Eagle (87 percent responding opposed the new branding) showed some pretty overwhelming opposition to the new name and logo, and it’s hard to ignore the flood of negative feedback.
The irony is that there was a more graceful way to update the Reading look (which, to be blunt, did need updating; the old railroad motif didn’t really work) without irritating fans: Keeping the Phillies name and implementing a new identity. There’s a lot of Fightin’ Phillies history in Philadelphia, so using the mark makes sense. Why not just use Fightin’ Phillies and update the logo? Why drop the apostrophe in a completely jarring way? Why push Fightins? And why push an ostrich as a primary mark instead of a secondary mark? We’re fans of Brandiose (disclosure time: Jason and Casey crafted the branding for our Lineup Books line, and we were very pleased with the outcome) and in general their work is simply outstanding. But this rebranding effort skidded off the rails.
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