When will the madness end?
Over the weekend, Russell Wilson debuted his new personal logo on Twitter, exacerbating a problem that continues to plague professional sports.
Nike, we need to have an intervention. Because in a world where the lines between marketing, branding, and athletics are increasingly blurred, the only explanation behind the boom of awful and unnecessary personal logos—like Wilson's above—is the brands themselves are drunk.
We have no idea who green lit Wilson’s logo but whoever okayed the final product—presumably Wilson himself—really should have work-shopped it a little more because when your personal logo is harder to decipher than a Magic Eye puzzle, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Wilson, of course, is just that latest player to show off his own logo in a sports landscape where you're as much a brand as you are an actual athlete. But before the public is subjected to another laughable logo, I really just want to know what criteria is used to determine an athlete's worthiness of their own logo since it doesn't seem to take much. Who is the graphic designer Oprah throwing them out like “you get a logo, you get a logo, you get a logo…”
until the day brands decide they need to slow their roll, prepare yourself to be inundated with lamer, cornier, and cringe-worthier personal logos.
Can we please lay down some rules for who deserves and who most definitely doesn’t deserve a personal logo going forward? For starters, you should have to be a certified legend in the making to warrant your own logo. How about you actually accomplish something historic or change the game or influence the streets before a graphic designer in Portland sketches out some hot garbage that will be forgotten quicker than it took to create?
Wilson has some credentials, for sure. He helped lead the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowls and won one, albeit thanks to a legendary defense. He’s risen from a third-round afterthought to perennial Pro Bowler. But after four years in the league and about six above average seasons away from even sniffing Hall of Fame consideration, someone thought he deserved a personal logo? Come on, son. ESPN recently created personal logos for several players, including The Legion of Boom. Wilson was not one of them.
Of course, on-the-field accolades aren't the only reason one is gifted a personal logo. Wilson has the good-guy persona and is dating Ciara, despite the fact he’s been known to dress like this and is mocked for being corny on social media.
But Wilson's logo is just the latest in a sad trend—if we can even call it that—showing no signs of stopping since they have been around for decades. Personal logos have been a staple of the NBA, and generally better produced than their football counterparts. M.J.'s is iconic. Penny's sticks out. Shaq's is unmistakable. Today's crop of players like LeBron, Carmelo, KD, and DWade all have their own logos and all are certified legends. But have you seen Blake Griffin's? Or Kawhi Leonard's? Or Kyrie Irving's? It's even worse with the guys on the gridiron. J.J. Watt just debuted a truly underwhelming one—and that's putting it politely—and you know adidas would love to have a do-over with RG3.
But until the day brands decide they need to slow their roll, prepare yourself to be inundated with lamer, cornier, and cringe-worthier personal logos. Brands can't help themselves and the athletes are never going to say no (if Leonard didn't, nobody will). Can't knock the hustle, I guess.