About: “Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875.” 2013 marks the 139th edition of the Kentucky Derby.
Design by: SME.
Ed.’s Notes: This is the fifth year in a row SME designs the logo.
Relevant links: Press Release (with thorough design explanation).
As the Division I Big Sky Conference — that spans from the left-ish middle of the country to the West Coast of the U.S. — expands to eleven full-time members (and two affiliate members) this year, they’ve launched their new logo and branding campaign. In 2011 SME (who also handled the Pac-10 rebranding) was awarded the 2012 rebranding, advertising, and marketing contract by the Big Sky Conference, work that will continue into 2014 for the league’s 50th anniversary.
The Tampa Bay Lightning — nickname: Bolts — joined the National Hockey League in the 1992 – 93 season along with the Ottawa Senators as expansion teams. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in the 2004 – 05 season and in the following season, trying to defend their championship, they were eliminated by the Senators in the first round of the playoffs. I bet there is some poetic justice there for Senators fans. The Lightning have had two very crappy seasons after those glory days and now seem determined to get some thunder going behind them. Yesterday, they announced new uniforms, which will be used starting next season, and a new identity designed by SME Branding.
I have always been amazed at both the freakish passion with which Americans love their college sports and the economical, social and logistical complexity of its athletic governing body, the NCAA. Every layer of the operation matters. Which is why something as natural as a redesign can be turned into a big media crusade when one of the more than thirty conferences that make up the NCAA announces a redesign. The Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) is not just any conference, of course, it is one of the most successful, specifically in the sport that inspires the most freakazoid passion, football, counting perennial champions UCLA, Stanford and the University of Southern California among its ten teams. The Pac-10, however, has not been as successful as its East Coast counterparts in securing broadcast and sponsorship deals, in part because by the time a game starts on the West Coast, East Coasters are already watching The Daily Show. Storming New York City this month with press conferences, Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott introduced a new brand positioning crafted by New York-based SME Branding and the new identity designed by Portland, OR-based Mutt.