By: Dawson Wright
On Tuesday the Fresno Grizzlies revealed their new colors, logos, uniforms, and attitude to a crowd at Maya Cinemas. One thing that was very prevalent was the new attitude the Grizzlies have (along with the new red home uniform pants).
As Grizzlies President Derek Franks mentioned, the Grizzlies always felt like the wannabe LA or San Francisco. Fresno is a relatively big city, without all the glamor. However, with the new changes coming to not only the “Growlifornia brand”, but Chuckansi Park as well, the Grizzlies are starting to embrace who they are.
Right before the logo/uniform reveal started, the Grizzlies played a video which showed different people from all walks of life that now live in the central valley. This along with Derek Franks’ comments shows that the Grizzlies no longer want to be seen as the AAA team of whatever club they are with that year. They want to be seen as Fresno’s team.
Truly, their message does bring across a great point. MiLB teams have been seen as the B, C, D, and sometimes E versions of their Major League partner, rather than their own franchises.
Sometimes the MiLB teams are owned by the Major League Teams and then promptly force their branding upon that minor league franchise (ex. Oklahoma City Dodgers). Then on the other side of the spectrum, there are teams like the Fresno Grizzlies. The owners are not associated with a Major League Franchise, and the team is now finding its own identity.
The Grizzlies have been at the forefront of marketing when it comes to Minor League Baseball. Ever since the Giants left and Fresno Tacos craze a few years back, the Grizzlies have started their connection with their city, rather than one a few hundred miles away. As the Grizzlies start to expand their connection and loyalty to their city, more minor league teams will do the same. The same Major League Baseball team may not always be there, but as long as there is a roster on the field, and fans in the stands, Grizzlies baseball will be.