The Bay Area Sea Lions are the newest professional football team to grace the San Francisco bay area, and they will begin to take a tradition-rich football area by storm beginning next spring.
Dane Storrusten, the Founder/Managing Partner of Soulcake Creative out of San Clemente, California, earned the honor of having his work on the Sea Lions brand chosen by the league.
“Sports brands are something I’ve always been interested in,” said Storrusten. “Getting to do this, some of my first thoughts when they set up a contest was, what is this football league? Is it another XFL? Is it a reinvention of the USFL? My approach was really to find a way to fit somewhere in between the hype of the NFL, and all those leagues.”
The Sea Lions’ colors are sunset orange, black, seal grey, sea foam silver and white. According to the Marine Mammal Center, the California Sea Lion is known for intelligence, playfulness and noisy barking.
Storrusten said he was looking for a more modern and aggressive logo for the new league.
“Steve (A11FL Vice President of Advanced Media) was really, really great to work with throughout the process,” he said. “He has a keen eye about this stuff. The Sea Lions was one of the more difficult (brands), because that’s not something you see much of out there. Going through the refinement process and playing with all the details was a great process, and I think it’s a really strong brand now.
“We did a lot of color refinement. Steve did a good job, too, of drawing attention to the other sports teams in the market. The Sea Lions is a little more literal, and fast and aggressive.”
Storrusten is looking forward to the reaction of the fans and players to the unveiling of the Sea Lions’ helmet, and, eventually, their uniforms.
“I hope it’s excitement, and I hope it drives the fact that the A11FL is a league with integrity,” he said. “I want it to scream ‘professional football.’ These brands are going to be like the bow on the package. I’m super-excited to see the uniforms get developed and see how the uniforms support these brands.”
San Francisco is the sixth-largest television market in the United States. San Francisco proper has had just one spring professional football team previously – the XFL’s Demons in 2001. Nearby Oakland had the United States Football League’s Invaders from 1983-85, and Sacramento, just a 90-minute drive from San Francisco, had the World League of American Football’s Surge in 1991-92.
BAY AREA SEA LIONS
City: San Francisco, California
2014 Nielsen United States television market ranking: 6th.
Colors: Sunset orange, black, seal grey, sea foam silver and white.
Spring professional football league history: San Francisco Demons (XFL, 2001). Note: nearby Oakland had the Invaders (USFL, 1983-85), nearby Sacramento had the Surge (WLAF, 1991-92).