This post was contributed by Ian Kennedy and originally appeared on the Chatham-Kent Sports Network.
While some nostalgic, diehard traditionalists that were upset by the new Winnipeg Jets logo, there was an equal group of fans who were thrilled by the choice of the NHL’s newest ownership group.
The old Jets logo holds memories for thousands of hockey fans from their roots in the Manitoba city dating from 1979 until 1996, and when the team packed up and moved to Phoenix in 1996, Jets fans clung to the old logo like it was the last bit of their community identity and the last thread connecting the city to a team they loved.
While the old Winnipeg Jets logo is long gone, the new logo does integrate some of the best aspects of any logo. Like the logos for Coca Cola, the Montreal Canadiens, New York Yankees, and McDonalds; it’s timeless, it’s simple, and it’s meaningful.
The new Jets logo looks classic, and honours the Canadian Military, something that is a hard theme to bash. It’s also distinctly Canadian, and plays on a compass pointing North; likely a combination of a tribute to Canada, and the owner company’s moniker, “True North.”
Most new sports logos from the last two decades have been cartoonish and overly complex, mixing out of proportion graphics, with a trendy colour scheme or design that eventually looks grotesque. This, instead of sticking with what has always worked, clean, simple, memorable lines and basic colours.
For fans who flock to the rink this winter to cheer on their new Winnipeg Jets, the old jerseys and old logos won’t look out of place considering the new colour scheme still honours the original Jets, and by keeping the team’s traditional name, the retro-sweaters still fit.
When they first announced the new Winnipeg Jets logo, I was expecting to be offended as a sports fan. Many were. Many marketers see the logo as an overly military, overly governmental, and a complete departure from the old Jets. In essence though, when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Manitoba, it marked a new era, and a new logo seems fitting. Overly military? It’s a Jet, they’re called the Jets…get it? Makes sense. Maple leaf too governmental? It’s a new Canadian NHL franchise…something Canadians have been praying about for decades…again, makes sense.
I loved the old Winnipeg Jets logo, I thought it was a staple in the NHL, but I also loved the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques logos, and they’re no longer a part of the league, and I wouldn’t expect a new franchise in these cities to revert to the original logo.
Would I be at all surprised to see the new Winnipeg Jets playing a few games in coming years wearing their nostalgic logo and sweaters? No. In fact, I think it’s inevitable.
Really, I don’t think True North made a marketing blunder by re-branding the Jets with a fresh logo. Simple colours, a tribute to the country, an obvious connection to the Jets name, and clean lines. Most importantly, the name “Jets” is still there. People will always love the Jets regardless of the logo, and that’s why this combination of new logo, and old name is genius. It will sell apparel, the name appeals to pure traditionalists, it honours a proud country, and it has the chance to interest a younger generation.
At the end of the day, when Winnipeg’s arena is filled to the brim this winter, and you look out on the crowd, what will you see? Undoubtedly, you’ll see a crowd blended with new and old Jets jerseys and logos. But more importantly, when that arena is filled, and the TV cameras are rolling, what will you hear? My bet? You’ll hear the new logo, and old logo fans, screaming in unison…Go Jets Go!
Should Chatham-Kent sports teams use social networking websites for marketing and recruiting purposes? Ian Kennedy, local sports columnist for the Chatham-Kent Daily Post, is a big believer. Kennedy was kind enough to provide CIK Marketing with the following post. If you’re involved with local sports, listen up!
How Chatham Sports Teams Can Use Social Media
Over the last few months, you may have seen some bad press about social media in sports. For the pros, misusing sites such as Twitter and Facebook is easy. One verbal slip up or misread post can go viral. For amateur sports teams, including those in Chatham-Kent, social networking shouldn’t be seen as a liability, rather, social media should be viewed as a budding opportunity.
With the ever-growing presence of teens and parents on social networking sites, social media resources including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Ning, and blogs can be beneficial for young athletes, organizations, parents, and fans. How you ask? It’s simple really. Social networking in sports is common place, and it’s time for organizations in Chatham-Kent to get onboard. Here are some ideas for how local sports teams can utilize popular social networking sites.
As the largest social networking site in Chatham-Kent and worldwide, Facebook has several uses for amateur sports teams. Organizations such as the Wallaceburg Red Devils and Chatham Maroons could benefit from promoting Facebook Fan Pages. Teams can post news, events, scores, and more for their fans. As well, Event Pages can be created to invite hundreds or even thousands of Chatham and Wallaceburg residents to games. If even 1% of those invited attend the game, the Event Page would be a huge success. Social networking in sports isn’t just for large organizations. Small club teams throughout Chatham-Kent can utilize Facebook groups to keep athletes and parents up to date and connected.
Twitter is one of the fastest growing Chatham-Kent social networking opportunities. Picture yourself as a soccer mom or a dad taking his son to football practice with the Chatham-Kent Cougars. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive up to the second messages regarding schedule changes, cancellations, or even have someone Tweet to set up a carpool? If you own a Blackberry or iPhone, Twitter updates are at your fingertips. If you can’t attend your child’s game, you could be receiving instant Tweets updating the score of the game. Starting a team profile is easy and would allow messages to reach large groups simultaneously.
Is your team looking to draw in fans, recruit athletes, advertise an event, or showcase athletes? If you answered yes to any of these, YouTube needs to be a part of your Chatham-Kent social networking campaign. YouTube is now being used for marketing anything from major corporations to tiny sporting clubs. Creating a YouTube channel is easy; all you need is a digital camera, video camera, or even a quality cell phone, and your computer. Uploading top plays by athletes on your team allows instant access by millions of viewers and will promote your players, draw in fans, and build your program.
One way to connect your Chatham social networking efforts is to run a blog. Blogging has become a vital component of social media in sports and business. Blogs are readily available and can help keep fans connected to news, events, scores, and even give personal looks at players. A blog is a great way to keep fans connected and help link them to your other social networking profiles. On your blog, you can include photos, registration or ticket information, schedules, and statistics.
Social networking in Chatham-Kent is beginning to take off. Whether you’re involved in hockey, football, tennis, figure skating, soccer, or archery, utilizing the power of social media in sports will help your team connect to players, parents, and coaches, and to grow and communicate with your community fan base.