The Miami Dolphins have had one of the least-altered logos in the NFL, but that could change next season. The team has communicated with the NFL evaluating and mock-ups of potential new logos for the past few weeks.
The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is working directly with the league office, hoping to unveil new uniforms in time for the 2013 season.
Team president Mike Dee told the Post that "it’s not 100 percent that we’re going to make a change," but it is clear the team is leaning that way. Dee said the Dolphins decided to explore ways to "freshen up" its logo after receiving feedback from fans.
The proposed changes have yet to leak, but Ben Volin of the Post has seen some of the work being considered, and compared a suggested helmet logo to the team's current logo, but with a dolphin that looks like that used on an old Dolphin Stadium logo.
The new Dolphin would still be jumping through a sun, but without a helmet. Every other logo in team history has had some version of a Dolphin jumping through a sun while wearing a white helmet with an orange 'M' on the side.
"We're not talking about changing colors or taking the sun off the helmet," Dee told the Post. "It's not going to be like when Tampa Bay changed from orange to pewter gray."
"It's definitely keeping one eye on what's traditional in the logo intact, while keeping one eye on a 21st century version of that."
From Volin's description, it seems the Dolphins are taking a scaled-down approach to its uniforms compared to the Miami Marlins. That team made significant color scheme changes in addition to a sleeker new logo, while also dropping "Florida" in favor of "Miami."
The Dolphins have a much deeper history than the Marlins, though, so it probably does not best serve the team's brand to make too drastic a logo change. Besides, the Dolphins have lost enough games in the past decade to realize that a logo change can only do so much to strengthen its brand.
Too big a change can always backfire, as The Gap learned in 2010. Instead, the Dolphins will retain some link to the past, since it is the only thing they have to market, besides hope.