Minor league baseball teams don’t get the attention that their big league counterparts do — that’s a given, and it’s with good reason. And while that comes with drawbacks like low attendance and revenue, it also has its benefits. Like a poorly supervised high school class, these teams are freer to find creative ways to draw attention to themselves, with goofy promotional stunts and truly upsetting concession stand food. And of course, there are the names.
Major sports teams by and large have boring names, because the self-seriousness of ownership and public relations means that their names have to be tied to amorphous concepts like “pride” and “prestige.” Minor league teams can get a little silly, as the Miami Marlins’ AA affiliate the Jacksonville Suns decided to embrace on Wednesday with their rebranding. They are now the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp!
Here’s how they explained their new name and design concepts in a press release:
The new Jumbo Shrimp name celebrates Jacksonville as a big small town – Florida’s largest city, yet in many ways a richly connected and close-knit community. Embodying the city’s determination and resilience, the centerpiece of the new identity is a tenacious Jumbo Shrimp in the shape of a “J” amid the water that is the natural geography of the River City on the First Coast. A Jumbo Shrimp holding the state of Florida is a secondary mark. A third logo is the Shrimp Boil mark celebrating affordable family fun with the resilient Jumbo Shrimp fighting his way out of a ca[u]ldron.
Oh yeah, those shrimp will not be boiled so easily. Check out that sweet alternate logo:
Get a look at some of their cool jerseys, too.
From farther away, you really get the effect of the shrimp forming the letter “J.” As far as that third alternate, the “Bold City” nickname is a great one that I hadn’t heard. Leaning into it is a good move. But the title is still the star, and now the Jumbo Shrimp join the Mud Hens, Lugnuts and Biscuits as one of the best-named teams in America.