Some people find moving to another place a great event, while others have the opposite feeling. Kings’ team experienced the only successful period in its history in the original place of residence – in Rochester’s town in the west of New York.
Sacramento Kings is one of the oldest basketball teams. It was founded as a semi-professional team in the early 1920s in Rochester, New York. In 1945, Rochester Royals club declared to the NLB, and three years later, it moved to the BAA, due to the merger of the BAA and the NBL. The name Royals was chosen because it won the competition for the team’s name, conducted by a local newspaper. A 15-year-old Richard Peat suggested the name for the team. In 1949, the Rochester Royals club became the part of the NBA. The colors immediately were changed to royal blue and white.
In Rochester, the club won the league championship twice (first the NBL, then the NBA), but by 1957 it had outgrown its modest homeland and left for a larger city – Cincinnati. The name wasn’t changed (and even was written on the emblem twice), and the colors initially remained blue-white, until red was added to them. A version with a vertical inscription was also tested. But in the early 70s, it was replaced with a more familiar copy.
Then, the team was forced to move again. The point is that things didn’t go well in Cincinnati, and the Royals decided to move to another place. But the team couldn’t decide where to go, so they went to two cities simultaneously. For three seasons, from 1972 to 1975, the team played home games in two cities of the Great Plains – Kansas City and Omaha. The name had to be changed at the same time because there was already a baseball club called Royals in Kansas City, even though it was a quarter-century younger. But baseball in America was a real king, and basketball players meekly transformed into a synonym – Kansas City-Omaha Kings. The form remained the same (nevertheless, it was until 1975, when the Kings settled in Kansas City, which name was added to T-shirts for some time).
Finally, in 1985, the club moved to California, the city of Sacramento. It is based there now. The name, of course, was changed to Sacramento Kings. The name Kings the team received while moving to Kansas City. The fact is that Kansas City Royals baseball club was already based in Kansas City, so a similar name was chosen – Kings. The only change in the club’s image was the change from blue to cyan (even though blue remained in the home form). Also, there was a crown instead of a dot above the letter i. In the early 90s, there was another throwback to basics, but big changes were made – black and purple colors joined the emblem.
The first attempt was predictably awful, and the alternative version didn’t fix the situation (there is an assumption that the clothes of the royal jesters inspired designers). In the early 2000s, the purple color took the lead, and the crown point returned to the home T-shirt. The alternative golden form, introduced in 2005, was so strongly rejected by the fans that it immediately disappeared.
Sacramento Kings’ mascot is Slamson the Lion.
Meaning and History
The Sacramento Kings team has changed logos several times due to numerous relocations. At the same time, she never once turned to her talisman as a source of inspiration: in most emblems, the artists played on the name of the club, tying a crown and a basketball together. The latest version appeared in 1985. In style, it is no different from what it was before, but the designers have significantly worked on the details, giving the drawing modernity.
1946 – 1957
When the team was in Rochester and dubbed the Royals, they used a triangular shield logo with two inverted arcs at the top. The main space inside the heraldic element was blue, and the wide frame was white and blue. In the middle was a white ribbon with the words ROYALS written on it. The word “ROCHESTER” was directly above it.
1958 – 1971
Moving to Cincinnati, the club ditched the old emblem and adopted a new one: a basketball with a face, crown, and the words “CINCINNATI ROYALS.” Words are depicted in large three-dimensional letters. The first is curved in the form of an arch and is at the top, and the second is written in a straight line at the bottom. The team name is also duplicated on the crown.
The painting style is cartoonish but very simple: the artists used blue to outline the elements while leaving the interior white.
In 1972, a logo appeared that would become an iconic one in the future. The red and orange crown (top) and half of the blue basketball (bottom) form a solid figure, similar to a heraldic shield with a round base. The word “CINCINNATI” is written above them, and inside the royal attribute – “ROYALS.”
1973 – 1975
After moving to Kansas City and changing the name to Kansas City-Omaha Kings, the club has modified the logo, removing the old inscriptions. The lower part of the crown is the word “KINGS,” and under the ball is the curved word combination “KANSAS CITY-OMAHA.”
1976 – 1985
The next redesign is due to the team simplifying the moniker to Kansas City Kings. The developers have removed the word “OMAHA” and moved the city name up, positioning it above the graphic composition.
1986 – 1994
Another move of the club to another city led to the fact that the inscription “KANSAS CITY” disappeared from the logo, and the word “SACRAMENTO” took its place. At the same time, the designers changed the palette, giving the red crown a dark pink hue.
1995 – 2016
On the eve of 1995, the Sacramento Kings adopted a new emblem with a radical redesign. Nothing remained of the classic style: the developers combined a crown, two intersecting spears, a basketball, a ribbon with the inscription “SACRAMENTO” and a large sign with the word “KINGS.” The palette includes white, black, silver, and purple.
2016 – present
In the 2016-2017 season, the club returned to the classic style. Specialists created the logo from the branding agency Hattiesburg, Miss., Designer Rodney Richardson from RARE Design, and representatives of Sacramento Kings. At first, they wanted to create something completely new, so they sketched thousands of sketches with crowns, shields, swords, lions, and the abbreviations “SK.” But everything returned to the “crowned” basketball that was already in use. So an attempt to develop a design from scratch led to the modernization of the old symbol.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The updated logo reflects the franchise’s historical past and brings its legacy to life. In a simple sign, the phrase “kings of basketball” is encrypted, which corresponds to the team’s ideology. Rodney Richardson, who spearheaded the rebranding process, has retained the classic elements: the crown, the half-cut ball, and the ‘SACRAMENTO KINGS’ lettering. He only changed the colors and shapes, leaving the combination of silver and purple and expanding the white lines.
The developers used a transformed font: an original block typeface with a lot of corners. As conceived by the authors, it symbolizes the strength and courage of basketball players.
The palette has also changed: the designers made the top of the emblem purple and the bottom dark gray. The purple-violet hue is not only the Sacramento Kings identifier but also the color of most royal families. The slate gray is inspired by the granite found in the mountains nearby Sacramento.