Within 48 hours of unveiling their logo late last week, the brand-new Savannah Bananas of the collegiate summer Coastal Plain League had sold merchandise to fans internationally and in 44 of the 50 United States. According to the logo’s creator, Dan Simon of Louisville-based Studio Simon, the identity was trending on Twitter, and it was featured on CBS Sports, The New York Daily News, The Washington Times, The Sporting News, MLB’s Cut4, and SB Nation, among other media outlets.
It’s safe to say that fans were going some sort of fruit-based euphemism for crazy. Even Simon himself was taken aback by the reaction.
“I have done a lot of sports branding work, some of which has received a fair amount of attention from fans and in the media,” he said, “but I’m not necessarily sure that I have seen a project in which I have been involved receive quite the level of immediate buzz that this Bananas identity has generated.”
For a new identity to generate a lot of conversation is not unusual, but this one comes from a pretty obscure corner of the sports branding world.
“What’s amazing about it is that not only is it not a major league sports identity, it’s not even a minor league identity,” Simon said. “We’re talking about a collegiate summer league team here!”
The name was chosen from more than 1,000 entries in a name-the-team contest, beating out two other finalists, Anchors and Ports. The winner of the contest, Lynn Moses, received team merchandise and an all-you-can-eat season membership (which sounds like it might be the greatest thing in the world).
While it’s a quirky, funny name, Simon’s role as a designer was to take the project as seriously as possible.
“My job, as so often happens in the unique world of minor league (and, by extension, collegiate summer league) baseball was to take a name which, on its own, may not be what one expects for a sports team, and then create an identity around it that is not just palatable, but is one that makes people who might otherwise have viewed the name with scorn instead want to embrace the idea and perhaps even buy a cap.”
The Bananas, whose season starts May 31, will feature an alternate version of their logo on this yellow cap. We can only hope that the team’s gift shop will be called The Banana Stand, because it’s a well-known fact, there’s always money in The Banana Stand.
The Bananas replace Savannah’s previous baseball team, the Single-A Sand Gnats, who left Georgia to become the Columbia Fireflies this offseason.