SBD/Issue 148/Franchises

Lions Unveil New Logo, Uniforms, Lettering In Rebranding Effort

Lions Unveil New Uniforms
As Part Of Rebranding Effort
The Lions yesterday unveiled a new comprehensive brand for the team that includes a new logo and uniforms, as well as new lettering. The new home jerseys are the traditional Honolulu Blue, while the road jerseys are white with blue numerals trimmed in silver and black. The helmet features the new logo on each side. The rebranding announcement was held at Dunham's Sports in Madison Heights, Michigan (Lions). In Detroit, Nicholas Cotsonika writes the "old circus letters have given way to a new type-face that seems to suggest paw marks." The uniforms "don't look too much different, but the block numbers have been replaced with more curvy ones, also suggesting paw marks" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/21). In Detroit, John Niyo writes the Lions are "projecting a simpler, more streamlined brand." There "will be changes to the game-day atmosphere at Ford Field as well, though you can forget about cheerleaders for next season." Lions President Tom Lewand said that there are "no plans currently to change that tradition" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/21). Lewand said of the rebranding, "It's not just about a transformed Lion, it's not just about a similar outline with a new eye and some new teeth and a new [mane] and some claws. This is about transforming our brand -- the graphic representation that we put out there that represents what we are as an organization and what we are as a football team" (MLIVE.com, 4/20). 

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION:  In Michigan, Brian VanOchten writes it is the "same leaping lion logo, for the most part, but with minor artistic enhancements that give it a bit of a tougher stance." Overall, "it's about as original as New Coke" (GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, 4/21). In Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote the Lions "failed once again." Sharp: If you're going to change the logo, then change it. Don't simply alter it in an attempt to spur stagnant merchandising sales" (FREEP.com, 4/20). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “I see a money grab by the Lions so they can sell some new jerseys. There’s no difference. I hope somebody in marketing or advertising (created this). I hope this was in-house … (and you didn’t) out-source this and spend six figures to pay some lame ad agency.” Wilbon: “The Lions … should be wearing those throwback uniforms they wear on Thanksgiving Day sometimes” (“PTI,” ESPN, 4/20).

CHANGING THE CULTURE: The DETROIT FREE PRESS' Sharp writes the "fury suggested in the Lions' emblem is nothing compared to the rancor swelling in a fan base that made its sentiments known during the logo and jersey introduction" yesterday. Fans in attendance at the announcement "repeatedly chanted" NFL Draft prospect LB Aaron Curry's name during Lewand's opening comments, and some fans shouted "Don't Draft Stafford," referring to prospect QB Matthew Stafford. With the Lions holding the No. 1 pick in this weekend's NFL Draft, Sharp writes the "easiest draft decision Saturday would be bowing to fan impulsiveness," but it "would defeat the institutional change the Lions are seeking" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/21). Also in Detroit, Terry Foster writes, the Lions "talked about their logo being a sign of change," but if they "really want to change, they must change their mind-set" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/21). PROFOOTBALLTALK.com's Mike Florio wrote, "Changing the look of the team won't mean a thing if the stuff inside the uniforms doesn't perform better" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/20).

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