DirecTV Sports will change the moniker for its three regional sports networks come spring.
Three years after assuming control of the three RSNs bearing the names FSN Northwest, FSN Rocky Mountain (plus sub-region FSN Utah) and FSN Pittsburgh, DirecTV will change their brand identity to Root Sports.
The Root Sports logo will be gradually introduced in to the Northwest, Pittsburgh and Rocky Mountain markets through off-channel and promotional efforts, effective immediately. The on-air transition will take place at the start of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.
With the completion of the split-off transaction from Liberty Media Corp. combining DirecTV Group and Liberty Entertainment, Inc., Liberty Sports was rebranded to DirecTV Sports Networks last year. That followed News Corp.'s swap of its 38.4% interest in DirecTV, $550 million in cash and the RSNs for Liberty's 19% voting interest in News Corp.
The Root Sports brand, according to DirecTV Sports, has been in research and development for more than a year and represents the company's mission to serve its regional sports fans and team partners above and beyond that of a TV provider.
"This rebrand effort is an incredible opportunity for our company to establish a clear, consistent and exciting brand identity for our key stakeholders and viewers," said Mark Shuken, president and CEO of DirecTV Sports Networks, in a statement. "This process has been thorough and thoughtful and the Root Sports brand truly and accurately reflects the way we approach our business. We are passionate fans, supporting our teams from beginning to end, and that mindset is what sets us apart from any other sports content provider."
Shuken added, "It has been nearly three years since our businesses were under ownership of News Corp.'s Fox umbrella, so we feel it's time to move in a new direction and support a brand that is entirely our own."
Noted Geoff Walker, vice president of marketing for DirecTV Sports Networks: "The unique distinction of each of the three regional sports networks is that they can speak with the voice of the fan from a local, insider perspective and provide the opportunity to be part of something bigger. This approach creates an authentic product that is rooted and connected in the community, invested in its people and committed to providing the highest quality shared experience for its teams and their fans. This is the personality and attitude of Root Sports."
According to DirecTV Sports, the Root logo will take on the challenge of that personality in the way it moves, sounds and embodies the spirit of the player and the soul of the fan. The "pennant notches" in the "R" and the "T" provide a symbolic reference to the sports fan and a unique mark for the brand that will be reflected throughout future materials. The color of the logo was chosen to represent the passion of the fan and the excitement of the shared experience sports provides.