The original Tampa Bay Bandits were the United States Football League’s first Florida entry, and they featured a high-octane offensive style nicknamed “Bandit Ball,” a first-time Head Coach named Steve Spurrier and a minority owner named Burt Reynolds.
Those Bandits won 35 games in three seasons (1983-85), and never averaged less than 39,896 fans per home game in any season.
Now fast-forward three decades. The iconic Bandits are back in the A11 Professional Football League, are ready to re-take the Tampa market by storm and have a high-quality re-brand already in the fold.
Brandon Williams, an up-and-coming graphic artist from Orlando, Florida, had the winning submission for the Bandits re-brand.
“I was blown away due to the competition I was up against. I am truly honored to be a part of the A11FL,” Williams said. “I definitely wanted to pay homage to the original logo, but amp it up to a more modern 2014 look. It’s more of a moving-forward stride, (rather) than hovering in the sky. Refining the logo is what Dane (Storrusten) and James (Kuty) and Steven (Humphries) really helped me out with. We wanted all the logos to look like they came from one brand. That was really fun, too.”
Humphries, the A11FL’s Co-Founder and Vice President of Advanced Media. “Modernizing the Bandits logo was no easy task, and Brandon probably had the hardest logo of all. What’s amazing is Brandon won the competition with a silhouette design, but during the perfecting process, it changed another 200 percent into the masterpiece we see today.”
The Bandits’ colors - black, red, white and silver - will remain as they were in the 1980s. And Williams is excited for the opportunity to give the football fans just 90 minutes across the state the chance to relive those glory days – and extend them.
“I’m really at a loss for words to be able to be a part of this monumental part of history,” he said. “I was looking at some videos about the Tampa Bay Bandits. I was really blown away at how the fans still are reacting to the Tampa Bay Bandits. I hope I delivered on a great logo design that will keep them happy with the brand.”
As for how he will feel once fans are wearing new Bandits shirts, hats, etc., and once players and coaches have the logo splashed everywhere during practice and games, Williams didn’t mince words.
“(It will be) very emotional,” he said. “Being in on this project has been phenomenal for me. I haven’t been in the sports branding world very long. Dane and Steven and James have really given me great feedback. I’ve always been an artist since I was a little kid, but I am just proud of how far I’ve come along in a short period of time.”
TAMPA BAY BANDITS
City: Tampa, Florida
2014 Nielsen United States television market ranking: 14th.
Colors: Black, red, white and silver.
Spring professional football league history: Tampa Bay Bandits (USFL, 1983-85).