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How the guitar became Cleveland's go-to logo

Posted: 2:43 PM, Jul 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 17:52:20-04
MLB All Star Game Logo

CLEVELAND — Last year when the Cleveland Indians revealed the logo for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the video slowly built up to the reveal that it would be in the shape of a guitar. The bigger reveal would have been surprising if it had been anything else.

Ever since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened on Cleveland's lakefront in 1995, the guitar has ended up in logos for such big events as the NBA All-Star Game, the NCAA Women's Final Four and the Republican National Convention, to name a few.

For years Cleveland Rocks was the marketing pitch of the city to the rest of the world, but in 2014 research done by Destination Cleveland surprisingly showed that while Cleveland Rocks was a slogan known nationwide, it did nothing to move the needle when it came to changing people's perceptions of the city or making them want to visit.

The decision was made to ditch Cleveland Rocks as a slogan -- but not altogether. Much like the kid in school who walks around telling everyone he is the coolest but probably isn't, Cleveland realized there was a need to not say Cleveland Rocks but to show Cleveland Rocks. As a result, a new campaign was launched branding the city as one that shows it as bold, proud and unapologetic while celebrating that which makes us unique.

That didn't mean a departure from our Rock and Roll roots, though, and that's why we see the guitar for it is a large part of our outside identity, a point of connection for people coming to the city, many for the first time.

It's like Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell, which pops up in a lot of their logos, it's not a slight but a celebration.

And remember back to the pre-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame days when Cleveland at one point had a marketing slogan, "New York's the Big Apple but Cleveland's the Plum."

So if there's a Rock theme in the logos for the upcoming NFL Draft, NBA All-Star Game or Women's Final Four, that's fine. We know there's much more to this city, and when they leave, so too will they.

Programming Updates

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MLB All-Star Week Schedule

Click here for a detailed schedule with links for information.

Friday, July 5

10 a.m.: Play Ball Park opens. The interactive baseball theme park will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day of All-Star Week

6 p.m.: Gates open for the All-Star Concert Series featuring Twenty One Pilots

8 p.m.: Twenty One Pilots concert begins

Saturday, July 6

6 p.m.: Gates open for the All-Star Concert Series featuring The Killers

8 p.m.: The Killers concert begins

Sunday, July 7

8 a.m.: The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K begins – time subject to change.

3 p.m. Gates open for the MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game and All-Star Futures Game doubleheader at Progressive Field. Double-header will feature performances by Welshly Arms and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Following the games is the All-Star Rock 'n' Blast, a fireworks and multimedia show.

Monday, July 8

All-Star Workout Day

8 p.m. The T-Mobile Home Run Derby begins.

Tuesday, July 9

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. The All-Star Parade begins.

7:30 p.m. The 90th annual Midsummer Classic MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard begins at Progressive Field.

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All-Star Game visitor's guide

Everything you need to know about the 2019 MLB All-Star Game