The Open Branding Project: The Windup and The Pitch

Written By:  •  Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Well here we are, week two of documenting this little experiment of ours. If you read Brandon’s original article last week, you’ll recall that we posted this idea on Twitter that we were looking for a partner to do a rebrand all in the public eye. It didn’t take long for us to get a bite from a couple of places, but the one that stuck was with Baseball New Zealand.

We shared with you the What, the Why, and the Who last week, and this week we’re diving into the details of how we’ve gotten to now.

After sliding into our DMs on Twitter, Brandon and I set up an initial Skype video call with Ryan Flynn, CEO of Baseball New Zealand, and Ian McDonald, Communications/Operations Adviser. Over that first call, we discussed the big picture ideas — why they wanted to rebrand, what exactly they needed, what their timeframe was, and if they were interested, really interested, in the Open Branding Project.

Very much to our surprise, they were not only interested, they thought the idea was fantastic, and saw it as a way to bring about much-needed awareness to their brand and the organization as a whole.

Brandon and I followed up that call with a chat of our own to discuss scope of work and pricing, after which we had another video call with Baseball NZ to discuss. As Brandon discussed in last week’s article, he was so excited, he couldn’t contain himself and got to sketching right away.

Those sketches, including the ones that are, *ahem*, questionable, are shown here:

click for larger image

Needless to say, we were ready and raring to go. We’d had a great conversation with Baseball New Zealand and were feeling confident. Here’s where things got shaky though, even if it was just for a brief time.

Ryan and Ian both liked us, liked what we had to say, and what we had to offer. We came up with a wide range of designs we wanted to do for Baseball NZ, much more than just a logo and a wordmark. Ryan and Ian understood the value of those added items, but were nervous about the cost.

While they’re a national governing body, Baseball New Zealand doesn’t exactly have the resources, the reach, or the funding of say the US Soccer Federation. That put the onus back on Brandon and myself to come up with a way to either 1) slash the budget or 2) get creative with billing.

We opted for the latter, figuring that doing something unconventional there could help ease the financial burden on the client, while preserving the ability for us to be creative and provide all the assets we feel are necessary to make this rebrand a success both now and into the future.

Ryan then asked us to put together a formal visual presentation that he could then take to the Board of Directors for Baseball NZ, and so Brandon and I set to work designing that in a way that would be engaging, easy to understand, and present our case for justifying the amount of work and cost that we were proposing.

And just to prove that we mean what we say that this is a 100% open process, here is that proposal. We’ve removed the financial and billing information to be sensitive to Baseball NZ’s privacy, but that’s the only thing we’re holding back.

Shown here are some select pages from the proposal, but you can also read the full presentation here as well

Open Branding Project: Proposal Book

After seeing our proposal, and talking at length about the ways we could get creative on the billing side of things, it was Ryan’s turn to pitch the idea to the board. Fast forward a couple of months, and a world-wide tour for Ryan, and we got the green light from the organization to proceed!

We put together a contract, ran that past Baseball NZ’s legal team (it only came back with one requested change), got that contract signed, and here we are Dear Readers. You’ve officially caught up to us in this whole process, and from here on out you’ll be discovering this project, and this process, in real time with us.

Check out the entire proposal book sent to Baseball New Zealand here. Follow along with the series here.

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Be sure to submit your questions for next week’s Question and Answer post! Don’t be shy, leave your questions in the comments or Tweet them @sportslogosnet using the hashtag #OpenBaseballNZ.

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Brian Gundell