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Is It Time to Rebrand the Saskatchewan Roughriders?

Published: Thursday, Mar 7th 2024, 11:03am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

I brought this up on the latest episode of The Piffles Podcast… The Saskatchewan Rush revealed their new logo and branding before this season started, the Saskatoon Berries have a great name and logo that have been marketed brilliantly so far and that has me thinking… It’s time to give the Saskatchewan Roughriders a (small) rebrand! The Riders’ ‘S’, both retro and current, are iconic in Canadian sports, but as times change, sports teams do too. In a province that typically detests change, is it time to change up the green and white somehow? 

 

 

They’ve had their current branding since 1985 (dropping the grey in the logo in 2016), but their previous logos were only used (primarily) for less than 20 years each, so that has me thinking that we are long past due for something new.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change the green and white colours, those need to stay where they are (including bringing back the black jerseys for Lights Out night) and an ‘S’ absolutely needs to be the focal point, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a fresh, new look. We’ve seen fans of the league do their own renderings of uniforms and logos over the years and I’ve seen some really interesting concepts. My colleague Greg did these ones up:

 

 

The team (and league) should be trying new and exciting ways to find new fans. Catch their eyes and draw some focus onto your brands. Whether it’s new to Canada Canadians, people that know a bit about the league, but don’t follow it so much, the casuals who only ask if the team won or lost this week, whatever. 

 

With a rebrand, there is a TON of new merchandise opportunities. You can still use the Retro ‘S’ and the current ‘S’ as your primary logo. In stadium things remain the same, jerseys remain the same (though there is said to be new jerseys coming out this year), but you’d sell a ton of new items with a new logo on it. Use the new logo everywhere when marketing the team… in ads, posters, etc., and just get it out there. If the design was nice enough (and the price was reasonable), I’d be in for some new merch, too.

 

On the flip side, though, how far do you go with a rebrand before you REALLY upset the hardcore fans? I know it’s not remotely close to the same thing, but look at Edmonton. A lot of their long-time fans are still so pissed off about the name change to Elks (ironically, they’re the ones offended by the change, yet call everyone else snowflakes) that they’ve essentially boycotted the team. Again, not on the same level, but would Rider fans react the same way to a rebrand and boycott the team? Did some back in 1966 and 1985 when the logos changed? 

 

Though, I’m sure we’d all be happy if the team just went back to the current retro style jerseys and logo full time. This is a GREAT look… 

 

 

It’s a fine line that every sports team has to think about (and yes, they’ve ALL discussed it at some point), but I think that the Riders could do something really special here and come up with a design that still resonates with long-time fans and can also attract a new audience. I’d love to see something happen in the next little bit as the team and league evolves. Count me in for a fresh, new look.

 

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