Bethlehem Little League has been a staple in the community for decades. However, in the recent past, BLL had suffered from less than successful teams in comparison with local competing little league programs. After researching the situation it became clear that this was the result of two issues. The first, was initially the league has a couple of bad seasons, this became exacerbated when there started to be an exodus of strong players to the surrounding league and school teams. Secondly, BLL started to develop the reputation as having losing teams. With the loss of their stronger players, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy and their attraction to strong players continued to decrease. The league had subsequently had new management take over and they were implementing training of baseball fundamentals and developing strong players. They wanted to stop the flow of their premier players to other teams.
With the degradation of the organizations “de facto” brand in the past few years, I recommended that the organization move away from their historical script logotype and transition to a clean, modern and forward moving typeface which would support the organization's values and goals. With this new direction, Univers was selected to be the foundation for the new logo design. This provides a modern feel (typically associated with sans-serif typefaces), as well as stability and grounding (by utilizing a heavyweight). The utilization of italicized letterforms for the Bethlehem word mark produces a subconscious perception of forwarding movement, with the addition of serifs on the letters B & E, the impression of movement is enhanced.
In addition to the new logomark, new signage, and an updated more interactive website were rolled out.
The new logo was embraced by the players, coaches, and parents. The players loved that they had a new image that was able to "break" the negativity of losing that had become associated with the old appearance. The new logo graced the hats of all the players, breaking their prior habit of purchasing NBL team hats for their Little League teams. The players quickly developed pride in the new Bethlehem Little League and this has translated to increased morale among the players, fewer developed players leaving the league, a reduction of taunting from other teams (as the BLL players no longer feel the stigma for losing teams from prior seasons) and an increase in player acquisition.
Player sign-up and enrollment was streamlined through an automated system accessible through the new website. Sponsorship advertisements were also now visible on the team website, this helped attract additional sponsors as players and their families now know which local businesses supported the team and were able to support them in return. The new website also provided teams the ability to record and track team member statistics. This was a new development for many of the teams and was well received by the players increasing excitement as well as a drive to improve their play. Older players appreciated the new feature as it allowed them to show their player statistics to high school and college teams. The new branding also created the opportunity for players, coaches, parents, and viewers to show their support through the purchase of branded merchandise, creating a new avenue of income for the organization.