UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

The battle of athletic rebranding

The Los Angeles Rams announce a new logo as they make their move to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, this year.

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The Los Angeles Rams have started to settle into their new home after moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2015. Along with the change in location, the Rams have created a new identity by switching up their logo.

After years of trying to regain a hometown fanbase, the Rams have decided to turn the page and start fresh with a new logo. This gave the city of Inglewood, California, a reason to cheer for its team because of the dedication the organization is showing the city.

All seemed to be well for this franchise as the 2020-21 National Football League off-season approached; however, after the release of its new team logo, it seemed to receive more scrutiny than excitement.

“The new logo could be for anything and I don’t think [it] looks too much like a ram,” Kaylan Walker, a freshman digital film major from Meridian, Idaho, said. “I do not think the rebranding was as successful as it could have been.”

The Rams’ previous logo was a graphic of a ram. Since the new logo has been released, there are former Rams wishing this wasn’t what the new logo really looks like.

Dixie State University went through similar adaptations with rebranding as the announcement to change the mascot and logo to the Trailblazers took place in April 2016.

“Trailblazers is the perfect fit for DSU,” Athletic Director Jason Boothe said. “It truly exemplifies who we are.”

Boothe said after a lot of focus groups, discussions and vetting, the decision to become the Trailblazers in 2016 was finally made. The final option for DSU’s new mascot was between the Sun Warriors, Trailblazers and Raptors. Since St. George has a background that not many other cities do, the Trailblazers were the best fit, said Jordon Sharp, vice president of marketing and communication.

“[DSU] and St. George have a strong pioneer heritage; we have blazed trails in many ways and will continue to do so,” Sharp said. “The Trailblazer identity received nearly 60% of the vote, making the decision easy.”

Sharp said the decision was made by pooling more than 5,000 survey participants, 25 focus groups, and 350 student opinions.

The logo was created by Love Communication and the finishing touches were added on by the DSU Marketing and Communications team.

“I think it’s important to understand that most athletic rebrands are a challenge and don’t go over very well at first,” Sharp said. “They say athletic rebranding is the kiss of death for many marketing professionals.”

As the Rams find themselves playing in their new stadium in preparation for the NFL season, Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer, is dealing with the negativity surrounding the logo by having a sense of humor about the rebranding process.

“The secret with a rebranding is you are not discovering a new brand, you are reminding yourself who you really are,” Sharp said.