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New for 2021: Danville Otterbots

We are certainly in uncharted waters regarding gimmicky team names, as the new Danville team in the revamped Appalachian League represents a robotic otter: the Danville Otterbots.

Yeah, we know these logos will be the delight of Twitter, but for the 95 percent of fans who aren’t active on Twitter, the name may be a little absurd. Still, the whole point of outrageous branding is to attract attention and move merch, and on that basis this name and logo will succeed.

And it does arrive with a decent backstory. I mean, who doesn’t love otters? And who can oppose STEM education? Combine the merits of STEM-based robotics and the unbearable cuteness of otters–perfectly made for plush toys, mascots, and infinitely adaptable headgear–and undoubtedly this branding will be a winner.

“When we got to Danville in January, the first thing we did was speak with members of City Council, local business owners and operators, leaders of civic organizations and nonprofits, and long-time fans of Danville Baseball. Those conversations made it very clear to us: the range of ideas for a new team identity was as wide as the Dan River and as far-reaching as the Appalachians,” said General Manager Austin Scher via press statement “From there we started a two-week name the team community submission contest, during which we received over 600 name suggestions. From traditional, to modern, to outright wild and wacky–we saw the full spectrum of human imagination in those name submissions. Rather than choosing just one of those suggested names, we instead pulled several common themes and concepts to build an identity completely unique to Danville and the Southside.”

According to the team, the Otterbots’ primary blue is designed to honor the Dan River and highlight the role it played in building the tobacco and textile industries that defined Danville for generations. The team’s secondary orange, featured in the otter’s eyes, is closely aligned with the color of the HOME sign, formerly above Dan River Fabrics, currently adorned in the River District on Main Street.

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