In 1999, when Mario Lemieux took over the Penguins, the team wanted to change logos but was uncertain which one would be best received by fans. Through two focus groups—one with season ticket holders and one with single ticket buyers—Dr. Corder tested a number of new logo designs to understand which ones fans liked and would be willing to wear as clothing. Most of the new logos tested poorly, except one that was included as a control group. It showed a skating, steroid looking bird that had a miniature head. It would have never been used as a final logo.
Ironically, the control group logo tested the best. When asked why, participants said that it reminded them of a logo the Penguins used years ago as a skating Penguin. The team was one of the first to go “retro” with their logo, which has been wildly successful since its adoption because adults remember it from their childhood and like the familiarity of it.