Louisville Slugger Debuts Seamless Decals
Whether vinyl decal sticker or laser engraving, Louisville Slugger wanted to find a fresh way to place brand logos on the brand’s highest-end wood bats. On April 2, they debuted Seamless Decals, a completely new process that places markings below the final top coat on a wood bat for a clean, durable and, of course, seamless finish.
Wilson-owned Louisville Slugger will slowly roll out the new process, starting with all 16 MLB Prime bats first, then to its custom site in early May and eventually to the MLB fields.
“We wanted to do something we haven’t seen out there yet and something we think will make a good impact,” said Mike Butler, associate product line manager. “We’ve been working on this quite a while and we wanted to give these bats a pristine look, especially for our consumers paying the price to get this type of product.”
In the past, a vinyl decal had the potential to fade or even fall off in heavy use. Laser engraving applies extra pressure into the wood.
“We wanted to take that all out and have a seamless integration that would have no impact on the wood or quality of the wood," Butler said.
Using a transfer system that applies the brand logo to the bat before the final coating gets applied allows for a completely seamless feel without the threat of changing the value of the wood or a sticker falling off.
Added benefits include less waste and more versatility, Butler says. No longer will Louisville Slugger need to toss out bats if the application of the branding marks gets messed up in the first pass. The new process allows for the wiping off of the decal and saving the brand wood.
Working with any finish, Louisville Slugger can now offer new colors, patterns and designs for all the various locations of the branding.
“The capabilities are even more endless this year,” Butler says. “Some of our center brands this year have just an outline of our logo. In the past, that would have come off as a sticker decal. This allows us to do some cool things.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.