The Down East Wood Ducks were given their name months ago, but on Wednesday it was finally time to unveil the logos for their uniforms and apparel.
In a ceremony held at the team’s home of Grainger Stadium, team president Joe Januszewski was accompanied by a pair of local high school marching band members who provided a drum roll as the curtain was drawn back on the team’s new artwork.
As expected, the four logos prominently feature the colorful, crested head of a male wood duck.
“We had to stay true to the name. When you announce that you’re the Wood Ducks, it’s got to be a colorful logo,” Wood Ducks general manager Wade Howell said. “We didn’t hold back. We wanted it to be as true of a representation as possible . . . And when it comes to (the yet-to-be-unveiled) uniforms, that means we have a lot of options. Orange, camo, red, green—a lot of different colors.”
Brandiose co-president Jason Klein said on Wednesday that he and his team wanted to incorporate as much of the Kinston culture as possible when coming up with the Wood Ducks’ logos.
“Wood ducks and hunting culture are such a big part of the Down East region in North Carolina,” Klein said. “We spent time there meeting with fans, community leaders and focused so much on the rich, outdoor activity.”
One of the logos features lettering akin to a neon sign normally associated with restaurants and diners, and that’s no mistake. Klein said that element was chosen to highlight Kinston’s “foodie” culture, particularly as it pertained to local chef Vivian Howard. Howard and her restaurant, Chef and the Farmer, are featured on the PBS show “A Chef’s Life.”
“Kinston in particular is a very foodie town,” Klein said. “There’s so much emphasis on food and the culinary side. Obviously there’s the famous reality show that’s based there, just so much emphasis on food and outdoors and hunting that the Wood Ducks just made sense.”
Another version of the logo features a wood duck swinging a log like a baseball bat.
“That duck out in the wild, he wants to play baseball,” Howell said. “We have a very resourceful duck who wants to play so badly he made his own bat.”
The Wood Ducks are the fifth minor league team to use Brandiose this season in a rebranding effort. They join the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Florida Fire Frogs and New Orleans Baby Cakes. The Staten Island Yankees were slated to do the same, but their suggested list of names drew the ire of local officials and led to them keeping their original name.
The Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders also called on Brandiose for their name and logos in their initial season as a collegiate summer team in the Northwoods League.
The Wood Ducks are one of two new teams in the Carolina League this season after the long-expected realignment shifted two teams out of the California League. The Wood Ducks open their season on April 6 at Salem and play their first home game on April 10 against Winston-Salem.