Friday, February 14, 2014

Wranglers begin new era of spring pro football in ‘Big D’

The Dallas Wranglers will be the first-ever spring outdoor professional football league team for the fifth-largest television market in the United States.

With that, the A11 Professional Football League’s Texas entry is going into uncharted territory. And it is doing so with a brand that fits right in with some of the most iconic sports brands in history – such as the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, who have had the same primary logo since 1964, and the Texas Longhorns, down the road a bit in Austin, who have had the same primary logo since 1961.

“When you look at all those brands, they all are very iconic, very classic,” said Dane Storrusten, the Founder/Managing Partner of Soulcake Creative out of San Clemente, California. “We don’t want to insult that market’s intelligence. The idea is to fit it right into the middle of the Cowboys and the Longhorns, and feel like it was born there.”

The Wranglers brand is somewhat of a modernization of the United States Football League’s Arizona Wranglers (1983-84).

“I struggled with the Wranglers a little bit,” said Storrusten. “I had done some other concept brands around it. If you group together all these different themes (Wranglers, Cowboys, Stallions, etc.), at the end of the day, you ended up with a human logo, or some association. Sometimes, you might see a horn or a horse.

“I started looking at the old Wranglers logo. The way Steve (Humphries, A11FL Co-Founder/Vice President of Advanced Media) delivered it really made me change my mind. I liked the idea of a branding iron and keeping that ‘W.’ I envisioned it etched into steel. To me, that was something more classic and foundational than a trendy one.”

Eventually, however, the process went away from the old-school branding iron and to a belt buckle-type logo.

“We really stuck with the branding iron concept, and worked through that. It started to get a little bit complicated,” Storrusten said. “It had a cool kind of feel to it, but it was a little too literal. It started to look almost like a belt buckle. Once we saw that kind of happen, I just got on board with it and saw it was more like a brass buckle than a branding iron.

“It allows us to keep it real simple. It’s really strong, symmetrical.”

The Dallas Wranglers’ colors are Prairie green, bronze and white – different than the original Wranglers’ color schemes of flag blue, yellow, red, copper and white (1983) and red, copper, yellow, flag blue and white (1984).

“The color is interesting,” Storrusten said. “We wanted some kind of bronze, and a green color, and either a grey or a white. I really had to crank the contrast up a lot, and darken the green outlines. It’s almost closer to black than green. If you just try to put the bronze ‘W’ on the regular green, it’s not quite as strong. We tried to make the bronze more of a true bronze.”

City: Dallas, Texas
2014 Nielsen United States television market ranking: 5th.
Colors: Prairie green, bronze and white.
Spring professional football league history: None. Note: The World League of American Football had a league-wide taxi squad in 1991 and 1992 called “Team Dallas,” based in the city.

Dusty Sloan is the A11 Professional Football League’s Senior Editor/Vice President of Editorial Content.

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