In 1997, one of Florida’s NFL teams made a dramatic shift in logo and uniform design, ditching pastel creamsicle duds and the flamboyant Zorro helmet sticker for a stunning pewter and red combination.
Come 2013, another Florida team could be making a change, but not as dramatic.
Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post reports that the Dolphins are “well into discussions” with the league office on a “fresh new look” for 2013. The NFL and the Dolphins have been “trading emails for several weeks,” swapping mock-ups of possible changes to the cartoon Dolphins wearing a white helmet with an orange “M” on the side, in front of an outline of the sun.
It’s not a certainty that change is coming, team CEO Mike Dee told Volin. The goal, however, is to consider a desire from fans to see the team “freshen up” its look.
“We’re not talking about changing colors or taking the sun off the helmet. It’s not going to be like when Tampa Bay changed from orange to pewter gray,” Dee said. “It’s definitely keeping one eye on what’s traditional in the logo intact, while keeping one eye on a 21st century version of that.”
Volin writes that the new logo would feature changes to the dolphin, likely with the facial expression gone and the aquatic mammal looking like the dolphin from the now-defunct Dolphin Stadium logo.
Coincidentally, the Dolphins last tweaked their logo in 1997, the same year the Buccaneers made a change so major that few likely noticed the adjustment of the Dolphins’ original 1966 look.
One word not appearing anywhere in the article, but undoubtedly looming over the process is “Nike.” Surely, the league’s new apparel provider is flywire-deep in the discussions, with the mockups to the logo undoubtedly tied to potential changes to the overall uniform.
The Dolphins have until November to submit a final logo for 2013. And then the new logo would be debuted at a time calculated to generate the highest number of orders of merchandise bearing the new design.
For now, the message is this: Don’t buy anything containing the current Dolphins logo, unless you want to own obsolete gear in fewer than 12 months.