Chapter 8: All Aboard the RARE x EXPRESS!

Collaborators: Windsor Express, Gregory Edwards (Dark Roast Digital), Accurate Creations

Most Windsorites (like most Canadians) are die-hard hockey fans. I guess I am an exception to that rule. From a young age, I've always been a basketball guy. So naturally, when it was announced that they were bringing a professional basketball team to Windsor, I was game. 

In a hockey-town like Windsor, it's always been a challenge to get fans to get "on-board" the Express fan train. I've always been one to proclaim to others about the quality of basketball played by the Express (and the NBL all together). This was of course underscored by the Express winning back-to-back championships in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. 

Cut to present day. RARE is growing, the Express have commenced their 5th season and are in pursuit of their 3rd championship, and we have a wonderful opportunity to show some love for Windsor's only professional basketball team. 

The Cruise

Back in September 2016, the Windsor Express hosted a free Windsor River Cruise along the Detroit River as an appreciation to their fans. It was a gorgeous evening spent with a "boatload" of die-hard Windsor Express fans. It was on this cruise where the Express connection was made. I had an opportunity to chat to Dylan and Houssain (of the Windsor Express) about wanting to make some dope apparel to rep the team. They loved the idea and "expressed" interest (I had to do it) in branching into some more fashion-wear for the team brand for their 5th year in the league. From this point, I knew we were going to make some waves...

The Design

Now that we had the support of the Express, it was time for me to go back to the lab and get a design together. My thought process: to create a logo for a Snap Back hat that would be nice enough to wear even if you weren't really into the Windsor Express.

The result: a true tribute to the City of Windsor. In fact, the design is inspired by the crest found on the City of Windsor Flag.

Here's the flag (I don't know about you, but I'm definitely feeling patriotic right about now...)

a little closer...

With a few modifications (and consultations with my wife), I came up with a pretty clean design that I feel captures the "Spirit of Windsor". I then sent the concept over to Greg Edwards of Dark Roast Digital to create the digital image for me. Within hours this beauty was created: 

You'll notice that the year listed in the design is 2012. This represents the year that the Windsor Express joined the NBL. The rest of the design is pretty self-explanatory (especially if you read the entire blog post). 

These hats will debut at this year's Clash at the Colosseum. So stay tuned for more updates. Also be sure to get your tickets for triple-header on February 8.

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