A team logo is much more than an image. It is the foundation and personality of the entire organisation, and this includes the management, coaches, trainers, back room staff, players and of course the fans. A teams logo should be a source of great pride, and in many cases you will find that often the logo can come to represent the style in which a team plays. All players understand the importance of the badge, and you will often see them kiss the crest as a mark of their love for the team, they will proudly wear clothing adorned with the logo during media appearances, touch the logo in the tunnel before a match or perhaps at the centre of the field of play. Seeing as these logos are so deeply engrained in the organisation, it means that these logos usually stay the same, but occasionally they will be modified and enhanced over time to keep them fresh.
In all sports there are hundreds of classic, well designed logos which the entire organization can take great pride in. There are also many logos which are not, and in fact are straight up ugly. It could look like it was drawn by a child, have horrible text, feature terrible color schemes, and be incredibly dull or just lacking any kind of heart or inspiration. These logos are crying out to be redesigned, but due to how traditional and historic franchises are, it is rare that they get the upgrade they sorely need. There are also some franchises that have previously had a fantastic looking logo, but then made the huge mistake of rebranding the team and now have an awful, modernized design which the fans are understandably devastated about.
Here are the 15 worst current logos in pro sports.
15 Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets underwent a huge rebrand in 2003, and have gone from one of the boldest and most polarizing logos (cartoon rocket), to one of the most boring and dull logos in the NBA. There is no clear nod to their team name or history, and instead it is a dull red R with a hoop around the bottom. It is now time for Houston to change their logo and kit, as the shiny red and silver color scheme lacks personality and they would instead be better off returning to their classic red and mustard color scheme.
14 Washington Capitals
Whilst the Capitals have a strong, patriotic color scheme and good team name, the logo is a little underwhelming. It features Washington in small red text with 3 red stars above it, and then Capitals in large blue text with the T taking the shape of a hockey stick (with a red puck next to it). The Capitals have previously incorporated the Washington Capitol and an eagle in their logo, and these are much more creative and inspirational than the current design, which is in fact very similar to the initial logo they used between 1974 and 1994.
13 Brooklyn Nets
The team name of Nets makes it challenging to come up with an effective logo, and it appears they didn’t give it too much thought when they came up with this design. The black and white color scheme works for the Nets, but the logo of a black shield with Nets in white text and a white basketball with the letter B on is particularly dull. It is not a particularly motivating or interesting logo to look at, but that is what happens when you pick a bland and boring team name such as the Nets.
12 New York Giants
Not many teams can get away with using just the two letters to create a logo, and the Giants are not one of these teams. The New York Yankees are on of these teams of course, as their iconic logo is simple, stylish and incredibly effective. The Giants' lowercase N and Y with a red outline is simple but it lacks style, and a team name such as Giants has the potential to create an interesting and stylish logo. They have previously experimented with a “giant” player throwing a pass against the New York skyline, and whilst it isn’t the greatest logo it is much more inventive than the current one.
11 Los Angeles Clippers
If any franchise could do with a new personality, then it is the L.A. Clippers. They are now the best team in their city, and they will be looking to win a title in the next few years. This means that they should shed their current logo, as this is a franchise that for many years has been the butt of many jokes. The ugly business with former owner Donald Sterling also means that now is the perfect time for a fresh new image to go along with their new, entertaining owner Steve Balmer.
The current logo looks like it was designed in five minutes, and is little more than a basketball with red lines and the text Los Angeles Clippers in blue. Unlike the team, it is boring and dull and it is time for them to upgrade to reflect their new success and a new era.
10 New York Islanders
The Islanders logo has a very busy, crammed feel to it and it also looks as if it were put together in five minutes. The orange and blue color scheme works well and is in tune with the Knicks, but the logo could be much improved. In a blue circle with an orange outline there is a map of Long Island in the middle, with NY in large white font above this (the Y is also a hockey stick and has a white and orange puck next to it). Islanders in orange text is curled around the bottom half of the circle, but as it is a long word, it feels crammed and part of the I goes over the top of Long Island, which means they have had to change the colour of this part of the letter. Overall, there is too much going on inside the circle and this gives it a crammed feel. Perhaps the team's imminent move to Brooklyn will soon coincide with a modified logo.
9 Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have caught a lot of heat about their Chief Wahoo logo in the past, with many stating that it was racist. In 2014 they decided that it was time to change this (although Chief Wahoo is still used on caps and jersey sleeves), but they really didn’t put much effort into their new design which now has no style, passion or personality at all (although it is similar to their first ever logo). The current logo is nothing more than the letter C in red, and this is the image they had previously used as an alternative logo. Although it is wise that they changed their logo, it is hard for anyone involved in the organization to get particularly excited or motivated each time they see this uninspired design.
8 Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondback color scheme of red, black and sand is a strong look and fits with the team name, but this is still a very dull logo as it is nothing more than an A. When they made an alteration to get rid of the text “Arizona Diamondbacks” in 2011, they removed the smartest part of the logo which is how the A and K letters formed the shape of snake fangs. Whilst not a terrible logo, it is a little dull and does not have much personality.
7 Detroit Pistons
A logo is a great chance to create some identity and to be creative, but those that designed the Pistons logo clearly had better things to do that day. The logo is little more than a red basketball, with the text Detroit Pistons in white with a blue outline on top of the ball. Their bold and patriotic color scheme of red, white and blue is a strong look, but ultimately it is a dull design and more could be done to suit their team name and the city of Detroit. Their former logo was more fitting and interesting, featuring a flaming horse head, complete with two flaming exhausts at the bottom of the S’s in the word Pistons.
6 Anaheim Ducks
When your team name is an animal, it almost seems criminal to use a logo that does not contain an image of that animal. This is particularly true when it is the Ducks, as this has incredible potential to be a logo that the fans could really get behind (much like the Bulls and Hornets). The Ducks logo has the tiniest of nods to their team name in that the D is supposed to be a webbed foot of a duck, but this is not entirely clear. The gold D is all there is, with white, black and orange accents. This was taken from their previous logo which had this image along with the rest of the team name. The Mighty Ducks former logo was better suited, and it is now frustrating to see them move away from this style.
5 Chicago Bears
A team with a name like the Bears should really have a better logo than this, but Chicago have stuck with the blue and orange wishbone C for over 40 years. Whilst sticking with a logo is admirable and helps to build a brand and develop a heritage, it is far from an inspirational logo and it is a shame because they could have a much, much better logo than this one. Their alternative logo is a bear’s face which is a much better logo and one that should be featured more prominently on their uniforms.
4 Pittsburgh Pirates
Another team with a great name that the logo fails to capitalize on, the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone back to the logo style they had throughout much of their history. Unfortunately this is incredibly boring and dull, as the logo is nothing more than a golden P. The Pirates have previously used an image of a pirate before, and they easily could have built on this character and developed a logo that had style, personality and one that would galvanize the team and intimidate the opponent.
3 Cleveland Browns
Inspiration must have been running pretty low when they came up with the Cleveland Browns logo. The logo is simply an orange helmet with a brown facemask, with a brown and white stripe running along the top. There is no style, character or identity to this logo, and it could well be the plainest and most boring logo in all of sports. There was some excitement in 2015 as the Browns stated they were about to unveil a new logo, and they then unveiled the exact same logo with a different shade of orange and a brown facemask instead of a grey one. The brown facemask is supposed to represent the “strength and toughness of Cleveland”, but how this can be achieved through the image of a helmet is beyond me.
2 Oklahoma City Thunder
With a team name like Thunder, there are all kinds of ways you can depict this and create a classic, intimidating logo. The Thunder are a relatively new team after moving from Seattle, but already their logo needs to be updated. It features Thunder in large blue text at the top, there is then a shield in the middle which features a basketball with white OKC text on it. There are blue and orange streaks going through the shield. This is not good enough for an NBA franchise, and particularly for one with a name that has so many possibilities.
1 Miami Marlins
The Marlins updated their logo in 2012, and it understandably did not get a particularly favourable reaction. The logo features a large, block letter M that features a poor color scheme of orange, black, blue and yellow, making it quite an eyesore. There is then something that is supposed to be the shape of a marlin leaping over the M in a blue, white and orange color scheme. Aside from the color scheme, this logo lacks any character or personality (unlike their old logo) and is actually painful to look at for too long.