The Amarillo Sod Poodles (Class AA; Texas League) will take the field beginning in 2019, as branding for Amarillo’s new club was announced on Tuesday.
“This has been an amazing journey that we have taken with the community here in Amarillo,” said Tony Ensor, Sod Poodles President and General Manager. “Our goal from the beginning was to create an iconic identity that appeals to kids and families and is unlike any other in the country. The Sod Poodle proudly symbolizes a brand that cannot be ignored and is Authentically Amarillo!”
The team name was selected after fans suggested more than 3,000 different names in a month-long name-the-team contest. The Sod Poodles, a pioneer’s nickname for the “Prairie Dogs”, was chosen due to its Texas pioneer ties, appeal to kids, marketability, and representing the fun of Minor League Baseball.
The primary logo features a coterie of Texas Sod Poodles defending their hometown turf. The cap logo features a Sod Poodle in the white hero’s hat biting down on a stalk of prairie grass, a nod to the community’s agricultural heritage. The leaning Sod Poodle is tipping his cap, representing Amarillo’s welcoming hospitality. The quick-draw Sod Poodle represents the community’s tenacity and tough of mind spirit. Finally, the Texas Pride mark represents the Sod Poodles’ home, the great state of Texas.
Amarillo Yellow, Texas Red and Blue, and Route 66 Retro Blue make up the club’s new official colors. The Sod Poodles are the first professional sports team to use this color combination.
The Sod Poodles look was brought to life at Brandiose in San Diego. Partners Jason and Casey invented the first glow-in-the-dark on-field cap for the Casper Ghosts (Rookie; Pioneer League) and first on-field rally cap for the Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League). They dreamed up top-selling logos for the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast Leagaue), Rocket City Trash Pandas (Class AA; Southern League) and America’s oldest baseball club, the Cincinnati Reds.
“Jason and Casey have been incredible partners to work with throughout this process,” added Ensor. “Together, we developed a vision of what we wanted to see and knew we had something special when they brought that vision to life.”
The development process began in April when Jason and Casey along with team staff met in Amarillo with fans and community members to learn about the stories, history, and personality of Amarillo. Brandiose developed the logos, uniforms, and mascot, and is dreaming up many parts of the 2019 fan experience.
“Amarillo citizens describe themselves a welcoming, genuine, and tough of mind community with a pioneer spirit,” said Brandiose’s Jason Klein. “They are self-sufficient, independent and family-oriented. We couldn’t think of a better local animal that represents these values than a prairie dog.”
The Sod Poodles will unveil their new uniforms for the 2019 season at a later date.
The Sod Poodles inaugural season will be played at their brand-new, state-of-the-art ballpark. Brandiose will help implement several other Prairie Dog-themed elements centered around the Sod Poodle brand story.
The arrival of Minor League Baseball to Amarillo is the result of a move of the former Class AA San Antonio Missions. The Missions name and brand remains in San Antonio, as the former Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will begin play there next season. This is all part of a series of franchise shifts by the Elmore Sports Group, which has also moved the former Helena Brewers (Rookie; Pioneer League) to Colorado Springs to take the place of the Sky Sox.
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