This morning, Owner Jason Freier and General Manager Mike Nutter introduced the Fort Wayne Wizards new name – the Fort Wayne TinCaps.  Note – officially it is one word, TinCaps, not Tin Caps, although in one of their press releases, they separated the two words once.  The team will play it’s first game at the new Parkview Field on April 16th 2008 at 7:00 pm.  

So, what’s the big deal about picking out a name you ask?  Well, apparently, the process was quite involved.  Implications beyond the immediately apparent need to be considered.  For instance, Freier talked about a couple of names referencing General Electric.  The names were skipped over when an announcement was made earlier this year that the remaining GE unit in town would probably be sold off.  It’s obvious that if a GE oriented name had been chosen and GE were to eventually leave, it might create a backlash against all things GE in Fort Wayne and our region.

One of the other names that was seriously considered in this instance, was the Octanes, partially in reference to the gas pumps that were invented in Fort Wayne.  They also considered several other fuel-oriented names, but decided it would be another opportunity for backlash if fuel prices were to rocket or go even higher.  Also, interestingly enough, when they looked at some of the colors that would be used in a fuel-oriented logo, the colors – oranges, reds, blacks – would not blend with the “park setting” they are trying to create with Parkview Field.

One of the media asked if Freier was taken with the name right away, or if he had to “get his mind wrapped around it.” Freier responded that it did take some and he went on to talk about the thought/hope that one of the names would jump off the page and say I’m the one when the first batch of solicited names was examined.  He went on to say that it didn’t happen that way.  

I would suggest you view the video of the press conference.  Much interesting behind-the-scenes perspective and information.  Hats off to the Jason Freier and Mike Nutter for an excellent, well organized presentation.
 

View the above playlist, which will play the videos one after another in order, or pick one at random to view:

  1. Mike Nutter Presentation
  2. Mike Nutter Presentation 2
  3. Jason Freier Unveils TinCaps
  4. Questions
  5. Questions 2
  6. Questions 3

 

Press Release from the TinCaps:

Fort Wayne TinCaps!
 Professional Baseball has a New Name in Fort Wayne, Indiana!

When Parkview Field opens next season, Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities in Northeast Indiana, Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan will be cheering on the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Hardball Capital CEO Jason Freier, and team general manager Mike Nutter, unveiled the team’s new identity and logo at a press conference at the Grand Wayne Center this morning.

The “TinCaps” moniker is a reference to the beloved pioneer Johnny Appleseed, who was known for wearing his tin cooking pot upon his head. The primary logo will be an apple wearing Johnny’s trademark “Tin Cap.” Two alternate logos will incorporate the City’s initials, “FW” with each a “Tin Cap” and an apple stem and leaf. The team’s primary color scheme will consist of organic colors — green, red and brown. This color scheme is consistent with both the Johnny Appleseed theme and the project goal of creating Parkview Field as a true park and gathering place within the center of downtown Fort Wayne.

“In Minor League Baseball you have the opportunity to create a brand that with a true regional flavor,” stated General Manager, Mike Nutter. “Johnny Appleseed, while known nationally, is a regional pioneer and folk hero. His story, and the history of this area, gives us an identity that is distinctively Fort Wayne. Johnny was a pioneer of the Midwest frontier in a time with seemingly endless opportunity. We feel a part of a new frontier in Fort Wayne’s growing downtown with the continued development of the Harrison Square project.”

Although the name and identity were arrived at (and were working their way through Minor League Baseball’s processes) prior to the time that the agreement was reached with Parkview Health to be the naming rights partner at Parkview Field, the confluence of the apple theme’s classic symbol of health and well-being, and the partnership with Parkview is viewed by both the team and Parkview as fortuitous.

The creation of a new identity for the team began with a community-wide “Re-Name the Team” contest that drew over 2,500 suggestions over the course of the two week entry period. Further input was collected from the community regarding some of the more prevalent categories identified as a result of the contest entries. At the close of the process all of the suggestions and input were considered by local and national marketing experts along with the team’s staff and ownership. The team sought a new identity that had its roots in the Fort Wayne community, would appeal to a wide audience and was unique in the crowded national sports landscape.

The TinCaps will begin play at Parkview Field on Thursday, April 16th at 7:00pm when they take on the Dayton Dragons on Opening Day of the new ballpark.

For more information on TinCaps season tickets, group outings or corporate partnerships for the 2009 season at Parkview Field contact the team at (260) 482-6400.

TinCaps Logo

TinCaps Logo

TinCaps Logo

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] who reported the name well before the announcement. Props to Stephen at AroundFortWayne who has posted video and photos along with his […]

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