Buffalo, NY is a city that has had its fair share of ups and downs in the ultimate scene. Their time spent in the semi-professional league, the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League), lasted only one season in 2012 until the team was moved to Rochester, NY. In terms of club Ultimate, no team has yet developed enough traction to last more than a couple years. Though, with a group of committed players and a vision to put Buffalo Ultimate on the map, Lake Effect hopes to bring continued success to their beloved city!
By pulling plenty of talent from local colleges around the Buffalo and Rochester area, this team has managed to grasp onto a group of very talented and determined Men and Women. This team holds a lot of pride in what they have accomplished and shoot to accomplish more in the future. Their performance at Regionals this past year exemplifies this thought. They were able to break seed and trade points against some stiff competition.
This Buffalo mixed team wanted a uniform that could effectively represent that spirit of their team as well as their hometown pride. We contacted three of the leaders from Lake Effect, Dave Schneggenburger (President), Mike Kanaby (Captain), and Megan Macneill (Designer), to ask about the process they went through and what went into the incredible design that they landed on.
Megan was at the head of the design process. She managed to effectively take the ideas of her teammates and create a design they were all proud of. While talking with Megan, she expressed the basis of their team name which includes such things as the history of their team as well as the region they are from:
“The 'Lake Effect' name, and team, was established almost a decade ago before fizzling out after a couple successful seasons. The three of us (Megan, Dave, and Mike) have been revitalizing the team and will be entering our third consecutive season as of 2017. The name and design comes from the infamous "Lake Effect" snow storms that plague the Buffalo area due to cold air coming down from Canada and mixing with the warmer air radiating off of an unfrozen Lake Erie. This consequently dumps feet of snow on the city over the course of the winter.”
This concept of “Lake Effect” snow is very clear in the design that they landed on. We can see the classic Buffalo design speckled in snowflakes; a perfect representation of the city. The most important part of this design is the way in which it begins to reshape their identity as a team and as a community:
“We're trying to do more than just establish a club team; we're looking to use Lake Effect to create an ultimate identity and community for the Buffalo area. Outside of the club team, we have winter and summer leagues, but most of the participants are limited to club and local college players. We want to use the club name and it's members to bring in as many new players to the leagues as possible so as to put ourselves on the map for ultimate communities. Our mission statement as a team is "growth" and we're all very committed to that. We want to continue to grow as a team, but also as a community.”
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Based off this idea, we were able to get into what exactly went into the design. For those who have ever designed a Jersey, this can be a long process. It was no surprise that this team had a similar, yet clearly enjoyable experience:
“As for the design, lots of beers went into it. Our team and name 'Lake Effect' was conceived several years ago. They wanted to play off of the theme of our awful winters and buffalo(s). Originally we had a crest-like design with a buffalo, but it didn't quite work. As I did more jersey research (the different types of printing, etc.) the option of sublimating our jerseys allowed us to be a bit more creative with the design. Because we were getting a full-sub jersey for the darks, we decided on the larger snowflake in the background.”
“Early on I was a huge fan of a new team name "The Buffalo Sharks" but was quickly shot down. Because I'm vindictive, I hid a shark snowflake on the buffalo, as well as another inappropriate part of the male form. So several of the snowflakes are created from other things such as airplanes, mouse heads, sharks, and stuff.”
This Buffalo team clearly had a good time designing their jerseys. The design as a whole is well thought out and meaningful. They found a face that could be put to a team that has been brought back from the dead and continues to grow every season. We love to be apart of the growth of a team culture and identity. It’s one of our core values here at Taiga.
So good luck to our friends at Lake Effect and their continued success in putting Buffalo back on the map. You all look good doing it.
PS: You would like to share your story? Let us know!
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