Turning Darlings into a Crew

Recently I was tasked with the rebranding of UC Irvine Baseball’s fan/marketing group, the Diamond Darlings. The Diamond Darlings, traditionally comprised of baseball players’ girlfriends, would make the team pregame goodies and attend every home game – sometimes being the only real support the team had at games.

Over the years, the group expanded its role from watching and cheering the team, to support the in-game marketing efforts of UC Irvine Athletics at baseball games. The girls found themselves going from making pre-game treats to running on-field promotions.

As the in-game promotional roles of the group increased, it’s number of members did the exact opposite. The group struggled in recent years to recruit members – mainly due to the new responsibilities and its traditional positioning as players’ girlfriends.

This led the current members to want to 1. Expand its member base, 2. Open up the opportunity for a co-ed squad, and 3. Turn the Diamond Darlings into a more professional, resume building experience for its members (due to the new, increasing marketing roles).

When the group brought this idea to the marketing director for UC Irvine’s baseball program, the director came to me and asked for help to reposition and rebrand the Diamond Darlings. She wanted a name and logo concept that was more inclusive and allowed for a co-ed opportunity, along with creating a sense of professionalism to help with member’s resume.

Thus being said, my first mission was to develop a new logo. After playing around with multiple ideas (you can see the original concepting by following this thread), this is what I came up with:

Diamond Crew Logo

I settled on using a traditional baseball diamond, allowing the group to keep the “Diamond” portion of the group’s name – in hopes of keeping recognizability. The goal behind the “Crew” portion of the name was designed to make the group sound more gender inclusive. The logo as a whole was made to stick to a centralized baseball theme.

I knew the font had to be attractive to guys, but also to girls since the group was still mainly female heavy. I used the font “Agency FB” since it has an adventurous flavor, mixed with a vibe of athleticism, and is appealing to both sexes. By bending the font upward and downward for its relative placing, I gave the logo a sneakily circular shape, making it easily transferable onto baseball traditional items such as sleeve patches and hats.

The next task was to reshape the social media appearance. Using the logo above, we had to first revamp the group’s Facebook page. Our main mission, was to make the Diamond Crew’s new online appearance seem more professionally built, and establish resume building credibility to the organization.

We first took advantage of the long off-season of college baseball and slowly eliminated old images with text on them (anything that looked like it had been done by a fan page). Eliminating such traces of the group’s non-professional looking past was a key role for establishing future credibility of the group. Below are the final results:

Diamon Crew

DC

Shortly after the rebranding period, baseball season was less than a week away. This gave the Diamond Crew a very tight recruiting deadline. After a one campus email blast, the Diamond Crew had immediate interest. What was most noticeable about this instant interest, most of its applicants were males, yet there was still a decent amount of females who had applied.

The Diamond Crew considered this a large success for its organization and looks forward to seeing its growth play out this season, along with building members’ resumes in a legitimate manner – especially since it is no longer going to be categorized as “baseball players’ girlfriends.”

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