As previously reported and explored by Sport Change, the Northwest League’s Yakima Bears have relocated to Hillsboro, Oregon. The team just announced their new moniker and unveiled a new logo. The Hillsboro Hops. Brilliant!
Denizens of Hillsboro, denizens of Portand, denizens of Oregon, and denizens of the whole damn U S of A should be pleased that a good brand was achieved. Let’s dissect it:
MONIKER: Spectacular. If you’re still scratching your head, this is a reference to hops (humulus lupulus) the medicinal herb used that gives beer it’s distinct floral bitterness. This is a great name for several reasons:
1.) Food/drink related MiLB brands are terrific. The Hops share the table with the Modesto Nuts, Montgomery Biscuits, Cedar Rapids Kernels, and Jamestown Jammers.
2.) It’s alliterative!
3.) It’s regionally relevant. Nearly all the hops grown in America come from the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the Portland area is renowned for microbreweries.
4.) Opens up MiLB to a whole new demographic: hipsters! If they’ll shell out for designer skinny jeans and fancy hoops for their earlobes, watch them fork over for Hops hats.
5.) It’s fun and goofy. Nothing like getting small children excited about beer. Alright, so there’s maybe one drawback.
LOGO: Sublime. That little hop cone is instantly lovable. He reminds me of the Lansing Lugnut and the Modesto walnut. I love how the ears are little leaves. It would be great if their cap logo is just the hop cone guy and nothing else.
COLORS: Perfect. I used to live in the PNW, and always thought that the theme colors of the area are bright green (mossy forests), blue (ocean and sounds), and grey (sky). Without even knowing where Hillsboro is, you could probably guess that the Hops play in the Pacific Northwest.
Good for Hillsboro! I was very concerned a few months ago that they would hold a name-the-team contest and choose a crappy nickname. In that post, I analyzed all the names that were suggested by the Hillsboro online newspaper. Hops wasn’t listed, but if it were I would’ve likely ranked it second. I still like Hedgehogs better, but am very pleasantly surprised by the Hops.
I am so stoked that Minor League baseball added such a terrific new brand. The Hops are easily in the top fifty best brands in all the minors, and may be even in the top 20. Hats off! When the Moniker Monitor casts it’s gaze toward ranking all monikers in MiLB, it will be fun to see where the Hops land. Until then, I’ll probably be ignoring Minor League Baseball. Until Scranton/Wilkes-Barre decides on a name, that is….
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