The Spring League, a developmental football league that serves as a showcase for NFL scouts, kicked off its fifth season this afternoon at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Though somewhat confusing based on the name, the league opted to play this fall after the coronavirus pandemic cut short its spring season in early March. Six teams will participate in a four-week regular season, with a championship game to be held on Nov. 23.
Select games will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1, giving former college football stars like LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett an opportunity to show they still can play football at a high level.
The league partnered this offseason with Joe Bosack & Co – a Pennsylvania-based branding company whose past clients include Boise State, Georgia, James Madison, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, North Dakota State, UNLV and Xavier, as well as numerous professional teams, college conferences and the NCAA – to create several of new identities, including the Alphas, Blues, Conquerors and Jousters.
“It happened really quickly,” Bosack told SportsLogos.net in a phone interview earlier this month. “We developed all four identities over the course of four weeks. They were set on the team names, but everything else was wide open.
“I’ve been doing this a really long time, and you just don’t get that many opportunities to do multiple teams in a league or an entire league. It was a great opportunity to flex some creative muscle and develop looks for multiple teams in a single league. I always welcome those challenges because they’re few and far between.”
From the beginning of the design process, the Alphas and Blues were always going to center around a wolf and shark, respectively. But the Conquerors nickname could have gone several different directions.
“We ultimately pitched this idea of a Roman soldier,” Bosack said. “When you think about Ancient Rome and how the Roman Empire was largely gained through conquering other peoples. And then Jousters is kind of right on the nose. That’s pretty straightforward.”
Beyond the Blues, which use two shades of blue and gray, Bosack & Co chose the colors for each team. The Alphas are two shades of green with gray, the Conquerors are two shades of red with gold and the Jousters are purple and gray.
“I think that smart team branding is best done when colors are limited,” Bosack said. “When you look at the work I’ve done over the years, that’s how a lot of it fleshes out, with a dominant color, a secondary color and some sort of accent that just shows up in places.”
The Aviators and Generals, meanwhile, were designed by NFL creative director Dane Storrusten. The former appeared in the abbreviated 2020 spring season as the Las Vegas Hughes, a nod to famed recluse Howard Hughes, while the latter returns to action after playing the 2019 campaign as the Austin Generals.
The league did not have a uniform unveiling prior to today’s slate of games, though it did have a photoshoot with each team’s helmet being placed in various spots around downtown San Antonio, as seen below.
That said, tonight’s game between the Conquerors and Generals will offer our first look at their respective designs. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. on FS1.
Photos courtesy of The Spring League and Joe Bosack & Co.