CLT royalty: Knights unveil updated logos
Celebrating their past while looking toward the future, the Charlotte Knights unveiled a new set of logos and uniforms on Tuesday evening. The Knights' updated look -- promoted with the tagline "It's All Charlotte" -- comes in advance of a milestone campaign as 2023 marks the White Sox affiliate's 30th
Celebrating their past while looking toward the future, the Charlotte Knights unveiled a new set of logos and uniforms on Tuesday evening.
The Knights' updated look -- promoted with the tagline "It's All Charlotte" -- comes in advance of a milestone campaign as 2023 marks the White Sox affiliate's 30th year in the Triple-A International League and 10th season at its home of Truist Field in uptown Charlotte. The franchise debuted in 1976 in the Double-A Southern League, with the Knights' moniker a reference to Charlotte's "Queen City" nickname. This marks the first time the team has changed its look since 2014. That season, the Knights moved to Truist Field after spending the previous two-and-a-half decades playing across the state line in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
"We love the name, so never thought to change that," said Knights general manager Rob Egan. "We thought it was time to refresh the brand and started the process last fall."
The Knight in Charlotte's primary logo, an armored defender of the Queen City, has done an about-face and shifted his side profile gaze from left to right. The biggest change, however, is the prominent addition of "Knights Blue" to the color scheme, complementing the silver and gold shades that signify the Knights' royal status. Egan said this color choice strengthens the team's connection to the city of Charlotte and its robust professional sports landscape.
"When we were talking about different ways we wanted to go, one of our staff members mentioned liking what Pittsburgh and Seattle have, where all the professional teams have the same or similar colorways," said Egan. "We liked the concept of that, where you can wear your Knights cap to Panthers games, Hornets games, Charlotte FC games and our games, and it would match. It all looks like it belongs in the city of Charlotte."
In addition to being featured prominently in the primary logo, Knights Blue is on the bills of the team's road caps and serves as the base for one of the alternate jerseys. It also harkens back to previous eras of Knights' history, as blue was part of the color scheme through 2013. The home uniforms -- white with black pinstripes -- emphasize the Knights' long-running White Sox affiliation. That relationship began in 1999, with prominent alumni including Tim Anderson and Chris Sale.
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The Knights developed their updated look in conjunction with David Ruckman, who served as the team's vice president of entertainment before starting his own creative content company in 2020. At Tuesday's unveiling event, an MLB postseason party attended by season ticket holders and team partners, 2022 Knights pitchers Mike Wright and Jason Bilous were on hand to model the new uniforms.
Egan said the event is a preview of things to come. The team will continue to emphasize its connection to Charlotte while celebrating previous eras of team history. A reunion of players from the 1993 championship squad is in the works, featuring retro jerseys, while the team will continue to wear alternate jerseys inspired by the 1980s White Sox that feature Charlotte's "CLT" airport code.
"We started focusing on that in 2018, when we were still tagged 'CHA' in our stats and scores," said Egan. "We asked MLB if they wouldn't mind changing us to 'CLT,' as that's the brand we’re using as a city. Now this is the next piece in making us more Charlotte."
The Knights' new look will make its on-field debut March 31, 2023, when they open their anniversary season in Charlotte against the Memphis Redbirds.
Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.