Walla Walla Sweets Unveil Logo II

Walla Walla Sweets  LogoPRESS RELEASE  – The “Walla Walla Sweet” is known to the world as the most flavorful onion on the planet; now Sweets will sweep the West Coast League as the newest franchise in the top summer collegiate baseball league in the region.

Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC managing partner John Stanton joined partners Peter Van Oppen, Jeff Cirillo, Greg Shaw, and general manager Zachary Fraser in launching the team name, brand, and website at a news conference held in Walla Walla. The event was held at historic Sharpstein Elementary School, one of the oldest elementary schools in the state of Washington. More than 500 Sharpstein students, administrators, and staff cheered as the brands were unveiled in the school gymnasium.

IMG_8289In another ‘sweet’ tip of the cap to Walla Walla, the franchise named J.C. Biagi as the team’s inaugural skipper. JC, a native of the city and a product of the baseball powerhouse at DeSales High School, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Walla Walla Community College after finishing his playing career at Centenary College in Shreveport, LA. While a nation-wide search took place for the managerial position, it was hometown values and baseball knowledge that made JC the right choice to lead this franchise.

“We were impressed with J.C.’s maturity, philosophy and experience with collegiate wood bat competition at this level,” said former Major League All-Star and co-owner Jeff Cirillo. “That speaks to how well JC interviewed. He is a local product who knows how to teach the game, and has already helped energize the local baseball community in support of the club.”

“This is a really great opportunity for me, and I am excited to be trusted as the first manager of the Walla Walla Sweets,” said Biagi. “We are putting together a talented roster that will compete right away, and will be good citizens and participants in the community. This will be a fantastic brand to help promote.” 

After inviting the community to share their thoughts on team names, colors, and promotions, more than 600 community members shared their opinions, and Sweets was a favorite among these participants.

IMG_8321_resized“I was blown away by the amount of community participation,” said GM Zachary Fraser. “This is definitely a baseball market.”

Fraser noted that while Sweets was the most popular name in community feedback with over 64% of those participating clamoring for the name, the club also saw a lot of support for the Padres, hearkening back to the time when Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Tony Gwynn were major-league prospects launching their careers in Walla Walla. While the team could not use that name because there is not an affiliation with the big league club in San Diego, Fraser felt that this was an exciting indication that the city will really get behind this club.

The team collaborated with Louisville, KY-based Studio Simon, one of the sports industry’s leading brand identity development firms, to bring the Sweets name to life. Principal Dan Simon has worked with Fraser in the past, creating the Orem Owlz brand that became one of the most popular in all of professional baseball. Simon is recognized for his ability to truly capture the purpose of the brand and the event.

“As soon as I was brought on board, I called Dan,” said Fraser. “He is the best in the business and this community deserves the best.”

“We loved the team’s vision: creating a fun brand identity, with traditional baseball sensibilities, around the famous Walla Walla Sweet,” said Simon. “Our goal was to take that vision and present it in a manner that would capture the true flavor of Walla Walla and resonate with the community, baseball fans and visitors alike.”

In addition to the classic baseball treatment of the Sweets script, another unique feature of the brand is the cap treatment. Challenged with how to address the fact that there were already a number of “W” hat treatments in Walla Walla, Studio Simon raised “W” to the second power. This accomplishes WW to represent “Walla Walla”, but in a stylistically interesting fashion that makes it special and different from other recent treatments.

The Sweets have launched www.wallawallasweets.com, the official team website. This site will be the place for fans to gather for everything about Walla Walla Sweets baseball, and to visit the Sweets Shoppe for team merchandise. A select number of Sweets caps are available now, with a wider variety of Sweets gear arriving soon, in time for holiday gift options. The site was built by Infinity Pro Sports, a leader in building dynamic web sites for professional sports teams.

About the West Coast League

The West Coast League is quickly developing into one of the best collegiate wood-bat leagues in the country, as the nation’s top collegiate baseball players are drawn to the beauty and strong communities of the Pacific Northwest. Collegiate wood-bat leagues allow college players develop their skills in professional settings and stadiums without sacrificing their college athletic eligibility. Players such as Jacoby Ellsbury (centerfielder for the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox) and Jeff Francis (pitcher for the 2007 National League Champion Colorado Rockies) began their careers in the West Coast League. For more information, please visit www.westcoastleague.com.

About the Walla Walla Sweets

Walla Walla Sweets is a professionally operated baseball club in the West Coast League. It is led by a group of civic-minded individuals with strong ties to the Walla Walla region and to the game of baseball. The Walla Walla Sweets will strive to provide their fans, sponsors, business partners, and investors with the very best in competitive baseball and entertainment, including atmosphere, comfort, food & beverage, safety, competition, fun and value. For more information, please visit www.wallawallasweets.com

About Studio Simon

As one of the leaders in sports brand identity development, Studio Simon has teamed with over 100 professional, collegiate and amateur sports teams, leagues and businesses on numerous projects to help build and support their brands. Their extensive, international list of clients encompasses virtually the entire sports landscape, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, horse racing, cycling, track & field and more, and they have worked directly with leagues and teams to brand the sporting world’s biggest events and finest venues.

The comprehensive identity systems they have developed include those for several dozen affiliated and independent franchises in minor league baseball, where there is a premium placed on unique and community-relevant team brand identities. The Studio Simon body of work also includes the official marks for two Super Bowls and two NFL Pro Bowls, as well as the venue graphics for Dodger Stadium, the venue mark for Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and the event identities for the 2003-2009 Baseball Winter Meetings.

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