Much like every other aspect of The Wiffle®Ball Championship, the tournament's branding has grown considerably since 2005. In the beginning, having an official Championship logo was an afterthought. Now it is an integral part of the planning process for each year's event.
Here's a history of the logos used at The Championship and the Hometown Cup Finals from 2005 to the present.
The inaugural tournament didn't have much of a logo at all. A quick clip art search for wiffle bats and a crudely drawn ball in MS Paint resulted in a logo that we wouldn't even want to use as a throwback.
The use of the logo was limited to the bi-fold brochures that doubled as the tournament's entry form. It was recreated and appeared on the Hometown Cup Finals tickets to celebrate the 10th annual Championship in 2014.
Fortunately for everyone, the logos have improved dramatically over the years.
As you can tell by the pixelation, the second logo used at The Championship was another gem from MS Paint and Word.
This logo was used for the three years Hometown Days donated the proceeds of the tournament to Hannah & Friends, a non-profit organization founded by then Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis.
And yes, we originally were terrified of being sued and spelled it "whiffle ball." Now, The Championship is a sanctioned Wiffle® Tournament
By 2009, The Championship grew to 23 teams and the logo game began to improve. Renamed the "City Championship," the logo mirrored the new logo of the New Carlisle Newts, the tournament's host team, that was also introduced that year.
Inspired by the Mets logo, the mark featured the New Carlisle skyline, with the Old Republic as the focal point in the center. Also depicted were the Winnie Watson house, the Town Hall, and the I/N Kote tower. The text of the logo matched the original Newts logo (used from 2007-08), with a monogram "NC" in Algerian font and the script underneath.
The logo lasted for three years until annual logos were introduced in 2012.
Coinciding with the Hometown Days festival theme of "All-American Hometown," the 2012 logo was the first departure from the green color scheme The Championship employed through its first 7 years.
The skyline continued to be the focus of the mark, as well as the script "City Championship," and the Algerian "NC" monogram.
The 2013 logo was very similar to its predecessor, however returned to the green and golden yellow color scheme. Inspired in part by the Big East tournament logo, the mark also gave off a retro Seattle SuperSonics vibe.
Played at historic Migley Field since 2006, the final four at Hometown Days has become the goal of every team that enters The Championship. In 2013, the semifinals and title game were named the Hometown Cup Finals, and a new logo was introduced.
The overall shape of the logo was a home plate and featured four stars representing the last four teams standing. The logo also reintroduced the Algerian "NC" monogram.
Arguably the best of the logos designed in-house, the 2014 mark celebrated the 10th annual Hometown Days with the New Carlisle skyline set against a large number 10. The number font was drawn from the Chicago Cubs jerseys and was a nod to Hall of Famer Ron Santo.
The logo made no direct mention of wiffleball and was actually utilized as the symbol for the entire festival that year.
Inspired by the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, 2015 was the last logo to be created completely in-house. The Yankee pinstripes on the green background unintentionally evoked a football field. Coupled with the Championship's traditional color scheme, the logo unfortunately screamed Green Bay Packers.
On the positive side, the logo was the first to feature the decorative cornice, a recognizable architectural feature of many of New Carlisle's historic buildings.
The Championship underwent its most significant re-brand in 2016. The name of the tournament became simply The Wiffle®Ball Championship, while the marketing efforts centered on the grand prize, the Hometown Cup.
The Hometown Cup logo was introduced in 2016 as the year-to-year symbol of The Championship. It was the primary mark of the 2016 tournament and continues to be used in an alternate role annually, as well as the logo for the Hometown Cup Finals.
The logo features a home plate shape (representing "Home"), the decorative cornice of many downtown buildings (representing "town"), and of course, it is topped with the Cup.
The 2017 logo featured two icons of downtown New Carlisle, the red brick facade of the Village Shoppes and the town clock. The clock face was replaced with an image of a wiffleball, making it the first time a ball appeared in The Championship's logo since 2013.
After a prolonged closure in 2017 which crippled local small businesses, the re-opened viaduct on the east end of New Carlisle was the focal point of the 2018 logo. The logo shows a South Shore train zooming past downtown New Carlisle on its way to Chicago.
The colors reverted to the tournament's roots with a green and orange scheme.
With 2019 marking 20 years from the 1990s, The Championship adopted a 90s theme for this year's tournament. A radical change from anything we've ever done, the teal, pink and yellow colors represent a decade of outrageous styles. We know one thing for sure, it looks great on a fanny pack.