Dinger, The Much-Maligned Mascot, Just Wants Colorado’s Love — And A Rockies Win

Aug 10, 2017
Dinger, The Much-Maligned Mascot, Just Wants Colorado’s Love — And A Rockies Win

By Vic Vela

The longest-running debate around Coors Field has nothing to do with whether the Colorado Rockies should have traded for a starting pitcher, or who is the team’s greatest player of all time.

Rather, some of the most passionate debates center around the Rockies’ portly and cuddly mascot, the purple triceratops known only as Dinger.

More eyes are on the Rockies as they make a push for their first playoff appearance since 2009. By extension, that means more eyes on their rotund spokes-dino.

“I just think he’s kind of a dweeb,” says Dan Olds of Denver. “The other teams like, Miles for the Broncos is kind of intimidating; Rocky for the Nuggets is fun and goofy and messes around with fans. Dinger kind of just bounces around like Barney.”

Dan’s not the first to connect baseball’s purple dinosaur with the purple dinosaur of kids’ TV fame. Former Denver Post sports columnist Ben Hochman once put it in writing that Dinger looks like “Barney after a meth binge.”

Denver’s poor little guy is the Rodney Dangerfield of baseball mascots. No respect.

The Dinger-bashing has gone national with a Men’s Journal article simply titled “Baseball’s Most Hated Mascots.” Whose smiling face greets you when you open the page? You guessed it — Dinger.

The dugout dino does have his own loyal, vocal backers, like Tyler Pruitt. He was born the year the Rockies unveiled Dinger, April 16 1994 — “hatched” from a giant egg at old Mile High Stadium, where the Rockies played before Coors Field was built.

“I like Dinger, I grew up with Dinger,” Pruitt says. “When I was a kid, I would come to games and I would get to mess around with Dinger. And the fact that they made him a dinosaur because they found dinosaur bones when they were building coors field, I think it’s cool.”

Brady O’Neill, the Rockies’ supervisor of promotions and special events notes the “area is known for its dinosaur bones.” He also maintains Dinger’s schedule. The mascot is a big enough deal to have his own personal assistant it seems.

”The first ever triceratops that was found anywhere in the world was actually found where Auraria campus is,” O’Neill says. “So we are a hotbed of dinosaur activity. We are a dinosaur graveyard, the state of Colorado and the area around us.”

Denverite Daniel Combs gets the prehistoric connection but, “Dinger seems a bit too cartoonish, I guess,” he says.

So what would be his ideal Rockies mascot?

“You know those YouTube videos with the big dinosaurs jumping on trampolines, getting hit by balls, stuff like that? Make that a mascot, rather than Dinger.”

The criticisms aren’t so much that Dinger’s a dinosaur. It’s mainly that he’s not a particularly ferocious one. Both as a triceratops and with his game face.

He doesn’t do a lot of crazy antics, like when Philadelphia’s famous Philly Phanatic messes around with fans, or the Nuggets’ Rocky flings basketballs toward the net from half court. Dinger will try to distract opposing pitchers from behind home plate late in games, but for the most part he keeps a relatively low profile at the ballpark, compared to other mascots who are more irascible.

But that’s OK, says Dan Price, principle president of Adrenalin, a Denver-based company that does branding for sports organizations. Price played a role in bringing Rocky to the Nuggets a couple decades back, but he says Dinger is a different animal — pardon the pun — with a different personality.

“They just wanted to go down a different path and come up with something unique and they did that very well.”

It’s unfair to compare Dinger to more active basketball mascots like Rocky or the Phoenix Suns’ gorilla, Price says, given the limitations involved in entertaining people at the ballpark.

“If you’re in basketball arena, there’s some given things you can use as part of your stunts,” he points out. “Obviously the hoop – and a big part about what Rocky does are the dunks. I don’t imagine you’d get a mascot at a baseball game to start popping home runs. So it’s the environment.”

Price says Dinger also plays a big role in promoting the Rockies brand in the community, like outreach to schools around the state through the team’s “Make an Impact” program.

“When you have that type of association with a fan base or a potential fan base, where you can send out a mascot, and he entertains and forms that connection for the team, that’s a pretty powerful positioning attribute that these guys can bring in,” Price says.

The Rockies’ O’Neill candidly swats away criticism from Dinger haters. He’s heard it all before.

“If you’re a single male, aged 25-40 you’re here to watch baseball. You're gonna have a beer, you're gonna eat a hot dog, you're gonna watch the game. Dinger isn’t here for you – no matter what.”

On the other hand, he explains, if you’re a single guy who meets a girl and falls in love and you bring a little baseball fan into this world?

“Well now, you’re gonna wait in Dinger’s autograph line, which is ungodly long,” he says. “And the whole time you’re going to be mad because, ‘I thought no one liked him,’ because the line’s really long and all you want is your crying 2-year-old to see Dinger.”

Just consider that the little guy’s revenge. Love him or hate him, the debate over Dinger the dinosaur is in no danger of going extinct, especially if the Rockies roar into the playoffs.


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Rosemont’s new baseball team gets a tasty name: Chicago Dogs

Jul 28, 2017
Rosemont’s new baseball team gets a tasty name: Chicago Dogs

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UNLV Introduces Spirit Mark Refresh for Athletics

Jun 28, 2017
UNLV Introduces Spirit Mark Refresh for Athletics

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USA Climbing is Rebranding!

Mar 16, 2015


USA Climbing is Rebranding!

Boulder, Colorado – March 12, 2015


USA Climbing, the United States National Governing Body for the sport of competition climbing, announced today that it is releasing its new branding look and feel over the coming months. Working in conjunction with Adrenalin, a branding agency in Denver, CO, the organization will be formally retiring the use of many of it’s discipline titles and acronyms (American Bouldering Series and ABS, Sport Climbing Series and SCS) at the end of the 2015 season and moving forward with a much more modern look and feel in addition to a very basic descriptive verbiage and logo usage plan.

“Over the years, we’ve come to realize that our logo and branding is dated and that it sorely needed some refreshment and direction.” Said USA Climbing CEO Kynan Waggoner. “By designing an updated icon and logo plan, we hope to eliminate some of the confusion that the new participant experiences when participating in our events and also give our organization and it’s promotional materials a fresh and modern look and feel. I cannot stress enough how collaborative the team at Adrenalin has been throughout this process and I couldn’t be happier with the finished products.”

“USA Climbing came to Adrenalin with a powerful vision for advancement and asked that we develop a brand toolbox to position them for future success and growth.” Said Daniel Price, Principal/President at Adrenalin, Inc. “Working with Chief Executive Officer Kynan Waggoner, we explored the core strengths of climbing, identified their key attributes and produced visuals that support their current and future position.”


About USA Climbing

USA Climbing is the United States National Governing Body for the sport of competition climbing. The organization manages the disciplines of Bouldering, Lead and Speed Climbing as well as Adaptive and Collegiate programming, along with hosting National Championships for each of the above listed groups. It also hosts and manages the IFSC Vail Bouldering World Cup and selects athletes to participate in the IFSC’s World Cup circuit and the World Climbing and Paraclimbing Championships.

For More Information Contact:

USA Climbing
4909 Pearl East Circle, Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301 303.499.0715


About Adrenalin, Inc.

Founded in 1997, Adrenalin is a full-service branding, marketing and design agency that focuses on brand expansion through developing narratives, behaviors and visual components for organizations around the world. Adrenalin develops, expands and differentiates brands with a single goal—to build awareness and drive revenue for organizations. For more information about Adrenalin, visit goadrenalin.com.

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CGA Unveils Sleek New Logo

Feb 16, 2015

by Gary Baines

The CGA will take a sleek new look into its second century of existence.

The association has replaced its “pine bow” logo — which dates back to 1978 — with an updated, clean logo to coincide with the centennial-year anniversary of its founding in 1915.

The new look emphasizes Colorado imagery and the CGA’s prominent position in golf with a hunter green “C” encompassing navy blue mountains with a flagstick in the foreground and a white background. Below it — or to the side — is the association name and the year it came into being.

“It turned out great, a clean representation of golf in Colorado and what the CGA represents,” said Bill Pierson, chairman of the association’s marketing committee and a longtime CEO and principal at Clarke Advertising and Public Relations.

“The thought is that we wanted to be fresh and forward-looking,” added Buddy Noel, chairman of the CGA’s public relations committee and the secretary of the association. “The 100-year anniversary is a good time to reconsider what we look like and where we’re going. It’s one thing to celebrate 100 years of history and accomplishments for the organization, but at the same time it’s a wonderful opportunity to say we’re now ready to look forward to the next 100 years.”

Noel and Pierson serve on the board of directors for the volunteer-run non-profit CGA and they helped shepherd the logo selection and rebranding process.

The unveiling of the new logo is being done in conjunction with the launching of separate websites for the CGA and the CWGA. After previously sharing one site, the CGA’s new website will be coloradogolf.org, while the CWGA will host coloradowomensgolf.org. The separate, rebranded sites will make it easier for members of each organization, as well as other visitors, to more easily navigate and access material specifically oriented to them.

The new CGA logo was designed by Adrenalin Inc., a branding, marketing and design agency based in Denver. Adrenalin has also done logos and other services for the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL and the University of Denver.

The idea behind the new look was to better communicate and symbolize the CGA’s role in golf in Colorado. The association now owns — or co-owns — CommonGround Golf Course, the CJGA, the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy (left) at CommonGround, the Hale Irwin Elite Player Program and a variety of community and wellness outreach programs, with a particular emphasis on youth development.

“The important thing is, what does the new brand mean? In other words, what we do for golf in Colorado,” said Ed Mate, executive director of the CGA. “It’s a fresh opportunity to tell that story. We’re more than just your father’s CGA that just runs championships and does handicapping.

“The CGA has changed a lot — a LOT — in the last 15 years and particularly the last five years with CommonGround (which opened in 2009). The pine bow logo represents the old CGA. Now we have so much more to offer and our mission is so much deeper, and with our centennial the time was right to unveil a new logo. And the reaction we’re getting is exactly what we’re looking for — it’s modern, clean, simple, updated and it says Colorado.”

The new logo supplants a kelly green and white one designed in 1978 by Ronn Spargur, the former executive director of the Colorado Open.

The CJGA, which is overseen and administered by the CGA, also is unveiling a new logo, using the same color scheme and same foundation as the CGA logo.

The CGA will display the new logos to the general public at the Denver Golf Expo, set for Feb. 20-22 at the Denver Mart.

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Aurora aims to re-brand itself to outsiders

Jan 14, 2015

By RACHEL SAPIN, Staff Writer

AURORA | “Aurora is worth discovering” is one slogan residents may soon see around the metro region. That’s along with a more illustrative, fun and modern feel to the city’s marketing materials.

Looking to attract more out-of-towners and dissuade people that look at Aurora as Denver’s red-headed stepchild, Aurora city officials have hired the Denver-based consultant Adrenalin to re-brand Colorado’s third-largest city.

Following months of research on what Aurora could do to brand itself as an attractive place for Millenials and developers, Adrenalin President Dan Price presented an 80-page branding guide called the “A Book” to Aurora City Council members at a study session Monday.

“Words are powerful,” he said. “Used properly they can improve perceptions. Used improperly, they can tear down a city.”

Price said Aurora’s new advertising campaign would focus on promoting the city as having low crime, being comfortable to live in, improving, and having good schools.

In October, Price presented research to council that showed people who did not live in Aurora or frequently visit it perceived the city as having high crime and bad schools.

“Can we move up the residents on the roster of targets?” asked Councilwoman Molly Markert about the marketing strategy.

“We discovered people who live here, they don’t have the misperceptions,” Price said.

Another slogan Price introduced: “Think you know Aurora? Bet you don’t.”


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Stan Kroenke proposes 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, Calif.—Denver Post

Jan 06, 2015

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Nov 11, 2014

After having the pleasure of talking with Terry Smith, the designer of the San Jose Sharks logo, I jumped at the chance to talk to Daniel Price, designer of not one but two NHL logos currently being used, the Colorado Avalanche (which I ranked 29th) and the Phoenix Coyotes (which I ranked 9th), which I hoped would even me out in his eyes. As it turns out, he was great to talk to and didn’t harbour any ill-will towards me at all…I think. We had a great conversation, specifically about the huge difference between the development process between these two logos he created.

As some background, when he created the Avalanche logo, he was actually working with the Avalanche organization. When he created the Coyotes logo, he was running his own design company, Adrenalin, based out of Colorado, and was hired by the Coyotes organization.

And now, here’s our conversation…

HbD: What can you tell me about the logo-making process in general for sports teams?

Dan Price: It depends on the league really. There are some teams who will put the brand of their team last. They’ll go out and figure out everything they need from building locations to coaches, etc. They’ll start thinking about everything but their logo, and then at the last minute, they decide they need one. At that point, it’s usually last minute and there’s not enough time to do the necessary research, not a large enough budget, and it goes on and on. But, that is typically a challenge when you’re working on a logo like that because you’re often dealing with someone who doesn’t always understand what goes into a logo and a lot of times, the importance of it.

HbD: I honestly find that a bit surprising, as I’ve always thought that the main way a team is going to connect with their fan base is through their logo and through their brand.

DP: Brands last forever, players don’t. You can build your brand around your players or you can build your brand and determine who your players are going to be. That is a lot of what goes into a sports logo. You need to ask the organization that if you’re going to define the personality of their company, you need to know what type of players they’re going to go after. Are they the type of team that’s going to win at all costs? In other words, you they bring in a guy who they know is going to end up on the wrong side of the news half the time, but they don’t care because he can score fifty goals. Or are they the type of team that is more concerned with the quality of the personnel building a brand in their town, not going to cut corners, not going to bring in thugs and going to do all the things right. If you can really get into that type of conversation with somebody, then you can give a lot more thought to developing the logo. There are people that will say to you when building a brand that they don’t actually want it to look too expensive. They want it to look home-grown. If that’s the objective, and that’s what you get in the end, then it’s a good logo.

HbD: And did any of all this come into play in relation to your experience with your design of the Avalanche logo? For example, I remember reading an article where it was mentioned that there was a severe time constraint in the design of the logo. Was this more from an issue of ownership not being interested in the logo as much, or because of the move from Quebec City?

DP: The time constraint came from when we bought the team. We bought the team in May, and there were legalities to be worked though, but from the moment we bought the team, it was full steam ahead with selling tickets and designing the logo. There was a very short timeframe, but the logo and brand was definitely a priority.

HbD: And were there influences from the ownership or management team regarding the styling of the logo, like more home-grown, or based on the personality of the players, as you mentioned earlier?

DP: No, there was some conversation about it, but it wasn’t to the level that it could be because of the time frame. With the Avalanche, the earliest challenge was figuring out what the team name was going to be. They wanted to do a fan-based “name-the-team” contest, which needed a whole media campaign. So, we couldn’t start on the logo until we had a name, and we didn’t have a name until we went through that process. There was a very detailed, intricate planning with the logo, but of course we had to wait for the results. We were up against our own deadlines based on the way we wanted to do it. We could have just decided the name ahead of time and got a headstart on the logo development, but we made the decision to involve the public.

HbD: I understand that for the Avalanche, there was a name being played with at first, the Rocky Mountain Extreme?

DP: There was an idea for that name, and there were some people within the organization who wanted to play off the popularity of the X-Games and that genre to try and go after the younger and more aggressive demographic. Part of that may have been there was a concern that hockey hadn’t survived previously in Denver. But, once we reviewed it a bit, we decided not to go in that direction and do something a little more traditional.

HbD: So, with such a tight timeline, what did you want to focus on with the Avalanche logo?

DP: One of the focus points though was to ensure that it was something very regional. That was key. I love teams like the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints. For example, theNew Orleans Jazz and Minneapolis Lakers made a lot of sense, but the Utah Jazz and LA Lakers makes no sense. In terms of the Avalanche, nobody else is going to pick that up aside from teams that may be located close to the Rockies, so it gave us a unique identity.

HbD: Looking back on the process of the Avalanche logo, are you happy with how it went considering the short timeframe?

DP: I judge logos by how they look on the ice and how they look in a quick photo and I think the Avalanche logo is very vibrant and easy to see. There’s other ones that you need to study a bit to determine which team is playing, so in that sense, I think the logo is still one of the top in the league. I would put the Coyotes logo in that same range.

HbD: And both the Avalanche and the Coyotes have very unique colour schemes compared to other teams in the league. I’m assuming that was a very conscious decision then?

DP: Yes, the colouring on both was a very conscious decision. One of the big decisions when you’re working on a logo at a national level like that, you want to make sure that your colours are unique. You don’t want to come out of the gate with yellow and black, like the Penguinsand the Bruins, for example. When you do a logo on that scale, you look at all of your competition because you don’t want to be on the ice wearing the same colours as your competition. That was a major consideration for the development of the Avalanche.

For the Coyotes, we did the research to find out what people liked about the original logo and making sure that was reflected in the new logo. One of the things that the research found was that they really like the colours because it was regional to the desert, but they felt the old logo had way too many colours, so some needed to be eliminated. So, did we choose burgundy solely because it would look good on the ice? No. Did we choose burgundy because we knew a lot of teams weren’t using it and it would look good on the ice? Yes. There was a lot of conversation that went into the colours on both logos, but they were different types of conversations.

HbD: Were there any issues from suppliers and vendors for using somewhat unconventional colours for the logos and uniforms?

DP: Well, there’s always going to be small variations in colours between the suppliers. If the t-shirt vendor, for example, says that they have red and they have burgundy, you go with what they have. You absolutely take that into consideration in the logo development, but you can only control it so much. You could walk into an arena and see a burgundy vinyl, a burgundy embroider, a burgundy silkscreen, a burgundy cotton and burgundy on TV, and they’re never going to be same.

Hbd: Seeing how little time you have with the Avalanche logo, in contrast, how much time did you dedicate to the Coyotes logo?

DP: We spent just shy of 18 months on the Coyotes. I would love that amount of time for all logos, but the Coyotes went through an ownership and president change which probably tacked on a few months. But that also included gloves, jerseys, helmets, the works. The logo itself would be about 12-13 months of the 18 months. During that time, we approached about 12 rounds of revisions of the logo from original concept to finished product. Some of them were very minor, maybe a colour tweak, though.

HbD: With the revisions then, did you have a similar style throughout the process, or did it vary widely between the first version to the final one?

DP: When we went into the Coyotes pitch, they asked that we come in with a couple concepts, which included the whole visual brand (including secondary logo, jerseys, etc), but when we talked to them, we said that we didn’t know how we could do what they asked because we didn’t know what people liked or disliked about their original logo. There was a group of people in management there that wanted to change the logo, but nobody had talked to their fans to see if they wanted to change it. I wanted to determine if there was a need to change the logo before we changed it, and the organization, in the end, agreed with that. But, did the final logo end up being close to what was originally pitched? Yes, it was very close, but it was proven, studied and researched, and that’s why it was successful. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go into the meeting with the original concept, them liking it, and end of story. But because of the research we did, when we launched the logo, I knew it would be successful. When you relaunch a logo as opposed to launching a new one, people will make comparisons. When we did the Avalanche logo, there was no other Avalanche logo we were being compared to. With the Coyotes logo, we had to consider whether people would like the new logo more than the old one. And the general public loved it because we did what they asked.

HbD: Any other important aspects of the development of either the Avalanche of Coyotes logos you would like to share?

DP: One thing is, for the Avalanche logo, we had a lot more input from the league. They were very much working with us on it. I was working with the team at that point, and we were always talking with the league. For the Coyotes, that wasn’t the case. I was with Adrenalin at point, so the Coyotes might have been talking with the league, but I wasn’t. The key thing to all these logos is understanding what your story is behind them and launching them with a purpose. If you’re going to spend the money to do a logo and you know it’s going to be around for a long time, you better consider the shelf-life, the merchandise and implementations and the revenue side of it as being huge. If you take everything into consideration and do the proper research, the launch and the logo will be successful.

HbD: Finally, in the spirit of the blog, what would you consider to be the best logo in the league?

DP: Well, I’m biased. I like the Coyotes logo the best. You have to give the Blackhawks credit for its longevity and its been very successful, but I would never do a logo like that. I think Minnesota did a great job, and I also like the Canadiens logo. But, if I were to rank the top 4 or 5, I’d say Boston, Calgary, the Avalanche, the Coyotes and the Devils.

Much thanks to Dan for doing this interview and giving insight into the process behind the logos of the Avalanche and the Coyotes. You can go check out his website at Adrenalin at www.goadrenalin.com.


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WAC Develops New Branding Initiatives

Jul 11, 2014

Courtesy: WAC | Release: 07/11/2014

DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference begins the 2014-15 season with a refined brand including a color change to its widely recognized logo, foundational positioning components, a new slogan and graphic elements.

As a visual representation of the WAC, the logo has evolved over the years, but remains extremely identifiable to many in the collegiate landscape. The color renovation from silver to warm gray gives the logo a fresh appearance.

“The WAC is excited to implement several new branding initiatives,” said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “In addition to various new components of the campaign, our recognizable logo remains the most important element as the WAC continues its evolution.”

The new slogan – Learn • Compete • Inspire – highlights the growth student-athletes experience while attending one of the WAC’s eight institutions and their impact on future generations through inspired leadership long after graduation.

A new style guide has been created and implemented which outlines the conference’s position, gives guidance to its member universities and provides rules on proper use of the graphic elements and slogan. Included in the rules is a complete guide to logo positioning and sizing on uniforms, playing fields and courts, publications and other marketing and promotional materials.

The WAC partnered with Adrenalin, Inc., a sports marketing agency based in Denver, to develop these new initiatives.

“Adrenalin is a recognized branding and marketing industry leader,” Hurd said. “It has provided invaluable guidance and assistance to further enhance a WAC brand that has been built from more than a half-century of success at the NCAA Division I level.”

“Recognizing the WAC’s rich history and their familiarity amongst college sports fans was critical in developing their brand foundation for the future,” said Adrenalin President Dan Price. “Adrenalin, along with key personnel from the WAC, conducted thorough research that provided insights that were used to craft compelling narratives to strengthen the WAC’s position as a leader amongst other conferences.”

Access full article: http://www.wacsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10100&ATCLID=209575690

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