Ted Leonsis really likes the color red. As part of his "101 signs of visible change," Leonsis has hinted at how the color would be integrated into his newly acquired properties, the Washington Wizards and Mystics. Today, Phase I on Leonsis' plan went into effect, as the new colors of the Mystics were unveiled to season ticket holders.
The results, to say the least, are truly horrifying.
Rather than go through a total re-branding of the team, red has simply been added to the logo scheme, making an already overly complex design look more minor league in the process. The Mystics, who sported a simple yet snazzy blue and white ensemble last season, will now take the court looking like they were attacked by PETA demonstrators. It is one thing to repaint the stairs of the Verizon Center to include more red, it another matter entirely to palette swap a teams colors in the name of change without doing anything to improve it. I could have achieved the same results by spending a couple of hours in Photoshop
More disappointing, still, is what this type of change might mean for next year's Washington Wizards. Fans of the team were excited not only by prospect of moving away from the dreadful teal and blue nightmare that the Wizards currently wear, but also a possible name change that make the team appear less like a Division III softball team. If the Wizards follow the same path as the Mystics, fans can look forward to seeing the same awful magician logo and mid-1990s lettering. It is the definition of lazy design.
I thought that nothing could upset me more than the lame redesign of the Nationals uniforms this winter. That team at least made a strong branding statement, even though I strongly disagree with the decision to not use "D.C." on the new uniforms. But at least the Nationals put the time into thinking about what they wanted to achieve with their new uniforms. Ted Leonsis is a great owner and a smart businessman, but I hope he realizes that this type of half-baked unveiling is only going to move his basketball franchises further to the periphery of the DMV's sports consciousness.