Sugar Land Space Cowboys: Rating the Houston Astros Triple-A Affiliate Rebrand

On January 18, 2022, the Twitter account previously belonging to the Sugar Land Skeeters tweeted a simple message. “A new era of baseball is on its way to Sugar Land.”

The account invited fans to a brand launch party a little more than a week later. Fans of the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate began to speculate what the new name could be. 

Would it be the Shooting Stars? The Martians? The Cadets? Would it be something else?

The front office wanted a name that would tie together two major elements of Houston’s identity. Firstly, Houston is home to the NASA Johnson Space Center. Secondly, the city was prominently featured in pop culture as western expansion and cowboys became increasingly popular. 

And thus, the new name was born. The Sugar Land Space Cowboys. 

I had a chance to preview the brand kit before its release and write a review of the new elements that make up the Space Cowboys.

Colors: Light blue, navy, orange, gray and black. There is nothing I love more than when a brand is cohesive and that is exactly what Sugar Land has done here. The navy and orange pay homage to its major league affiliate while also creating a unique identity with the light blue. The brand kit notes that the theme’s colors were inspired by the shot of Earth’s horizon from space. Ranking: 9.5/10 

Primary Logo: With a name like the Space Cowboys, you can imagine a logo being pretty self-explanatory. It features a cowboy—bandana, hat and all—with a blast shield over his face. The faceless cowboy is slightly robotic-looking, but it gets points for staying very on-brand. Ranking: 8/10

Mission Patch: This was a very cool idea and very well executed. The Mission Patch included on all three uniforms and a hat showcase a rocket ready for launch with elements of the Texas flag behind it in a diamond shape. Ranking: 100/10

Uniforms: In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of a rebrand. If fans are on the fence about the name, a cool uniform can push them over the edge (in either direction. 

Uniform #1: The light blue color stands out and makes a good base. The gradient on the shoulders is a great way to incorporate each color in the brand kit without overwhelming the jersey. The numbers are dark blue with a starburst, which is a fun addition. However, it features the faceless cowboy, so it’s not my favorite of the three uniforms. Ranking: 7/10

Uniform #2: Now, these are cool. The gray base with Sugar Land spelled out with the starburst font is aesthetically pleasing. The orange, thin piping down the side next to the dark blue subtle star sleeves, is a great contrast. Ranking: 8.5/10

Uniform #3: The final uniform is all white with the text I mentioned before, this time spelling out Space Cowboys. Down the side of the jersey, the color gradient adds some fun to the otherwise more subtle look. If I had to choose, this would be my favorite jersey of the three. Ranking: 10/10

Mascot: The team also introduced a new mascot, Orion. The thought was that every Space Cowboy needs a trusty sidekick, this one of the “Canis Cosmicus” species. The fluffy bright blue space dog looks loosely related to Orbit, the Astros mascot. Orion gets bonus points because he is wearing the white uniform mentioned above. However, mascots give me the creeps. (Nothing against you, Orion). Ranking: 4/10

The Space Cowboys will debut their new threads on March 28 and 29 during a two-game exhibition series against the Astros. The first of the two games will take place at Constellation Field and move over to Minute Maid Park for the second matchup.

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