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About Thaumatrope

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    Colorado Avalanche, Idaho Steelheads, Portland Pirates (RIP)
  1. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    While I disagree about Seattle, I do agree that at some point a “big four” team is going to roll the dice on this strategy. But I don’t think it will be a new organization that will be the first. Rather, I suspect the first team to attempt a “City Club” brand will be an established team with a deeply tarnished brand. As rediculous as it may sound, a team like the Cleveland Indians or Washington Redskins are ideal candidates. They have so much history with their current brands that any attempt to rebrand would feel forced and inauthentic...why not own it (and give a middle finger to contemporary sports branding in general) and be the DCFC or Cleveland Baseball (or just ballsy would that be?). Obviously we’re talking about a pretty unlikely series of events, but I feel like that’s a far more likely scenario than Seattle HC...or any new franchise giving up an opportunity to launch a new brand in favor of a generic “City Club” style brand.
  2. Well that explains a lot. Can't say it improves my opinion of the brand (or the circumstances surrounding it).
  3. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    I think you may be overstating the willingness of a generation/mindset to buck least when it comes to professional sports naming conventions. While I would not consider myself young, I am a millennial (barely), live in the PNW (kinda), and am about as progressive as they get. However the prospect of a non-mascot brand (ie Seattle HC or similar) feels like both lazy branding and an attempt to cash in on the popularity of another sport...neither of which is a good impression. This isn't to say that Seattle couldn't attempt something unconventional. The inclusion of names like Emeralds, Evergreens, Rainiers, and Totems speaks to the organization's apparent willingness to deviate from the trend of overtly aggressive, fast, violent, etc. names. Honestly I think this represents a more significant (and likely) challenge to convention that would be in line with Seattle's reputation as a young, progressive market...and I am 100% on board.
  4. What's funny is the OKC Dodgers identity is only about two years old, and for most of it's existence the franchise was known as the Redhawks. I seem to recall there was a lot of head scratching when the team announced the change, as the execution was pretty lackluster and there is no historical tie between the two organizations or markets. I can only speak for myself, but I hope that branding one-offs like the Cielo Azul will help the organization to see that the OKC Dodgers rebrand was a mistake...and I think they could do much worse than the OKC Blue Skies. As for Pawtucket...the team has a lot of history as the Paw Sox, and the Red Sox affiliation is something that carries an immense amount of weight in the market. While I personally prefer having farm teams with unique names, I completely understand why the organization has been the Pawtucket Red Sox since day one, and likely will continue to be so until the team inevitably relocates to a municipality that's willing to shell out $$$ for a new stadium.
  5. That’s a fair point. Its worh noting that Eugene and Everett are in roughly similar positions (the Sasquatch-Emerlads being the weakest of the three brands IMHO). However, as a counterpoint, I would argue that any brand that can be undone by events like these wasn’t a strong enough brand to start with. Case in point: Oklahoma City. The Cielo Azule is heads and shoulders better than their regular Dodgers identity. I doubt that they would ever make the switch permanent, but if it outsells their other gear...maybe it will get them to re-evaluate.
  6. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    I agree with your interpretation. The Houston 1886 debacle seemed to be a key turning point with MLS. Up to that point the league had flirted with traditional European-style naming conventions (FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake) but still had teams that tried to straddle the line (the Chicago Fire being the best example). After Houston opted to appropriate the Dynamos name, it's been one long succession of FC, SC, Union, Sporting, etc. The lone exceptions being those teams that came into the league with established NA-style names (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Montreal). The fact that Atlanta opted to discard the very popular and historically significant Silverbacks nickname speaks volumes on the strength of the conventions that MLS has established...for better or worse. All of which is to say that a single league's decision to adopt a non-conventional naming convention (for Norther American sports) due to cultural and historical factors does not mean that other organizations (in other sports) will follow suit. It's worth noting that NHL teams have dabbled in this area in the past (Minnesota's "NHL Hockey" secondary patches are the first thing to come to mind...but there've got to be more out there I'm blanking on), but it's always been as a secondary or tertiary branding element. I could easily see a Seattle team doing something similar, perhaps even as part of a primary logo or wordmark...but when even the Sounders are still...the Sounders...I suspect we'll be seeing some kind of nickname officially associated with the team.
  7. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    I can't help but suspect that the current MLS naming conventions are a reaction to the league's initial crop of teams which featured such timeless classics as the Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wiz, San Jose Clash, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and New York/New Jersey Metrostars. Given how incredibly dated and poorly received these names were, it makes perfect sense that the league would swing so far in the other direction and effectively co-opt European football branding (regardless of whether it actually made any sense to do so...see: Real Salt Lake) in an effort to create a sense of history and professionalism. What's interesting to note is that Seattle is one of a handful of teams to enter the league that chose to use a conventional North American style name, in large part due to the history that name had in the market (which coincidentally goes back to the mid 90s). Coincidentally Portland and Vancouver made similar branding decisions for the same reason (both having histories going back to the 70s and 80s). The irony being that while the PNW has a strong soccer culture and could represent an interesting crossover opportunity with hockey...none of the MLS teams operating in the region adhere to the Market Sport Club convention.
  8. I find I'm much more open to the Copa de la Diversión rebrands than the various food-related one offs. At their best, they're a an excellent opportunity to expand and strengthen an existing brand by embracing a part of the local community (see: Charlotte, Durham, Hartford, Kannapolis, Memphis, and Pawtucket). At their worst they're a transparent attempt to sell some merch and generate some buzz (see: Brooklyn, Corpus Christi, Lehigh Valley, Round Rock, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Bernardino). I definitely agree that this latter group could be accused of cheapening their brand...but I'd argue that some of these organizations (I'm looking at you Brooklyn and Lehigh Valley) have already demonstrated a willingness to indulge in branding stunts and if it wasn't Copa de la Diversión it would be something else. Then there are the rebrands that don't appear to be related to the core identity, but are still very compelling brands in their own right (see: Eugene, Oklahoma City, Stockton, and Winston-Salem). I honestly don't know where they fall on the spectrum, but ultimately I subscribe to the idea that good branding is good branding regardless of its origins. If that means having to stomach the likes of the Lehigh Valley be it.
  9. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    I'm a big fan of the name, and I would love to see double green...but that logo needs to be cleaned up and modernized pretty significantly. It's not bad as part of a large, glossy concept render...but at any distance or any size smaller than the front of a's going to be a hot mess.
  10. Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

    That is a real shame about the Mallards. They're one of those minor league identities that is bigger than any one franchise and is really synonymous with their community. While there was a lot wrong with how the AHL team was run, the decision to go with Flames over Mallards was very emblematic of just how out of touch that group was. Sadly,the AHL seems to be moving more in a G-League direction with teams being owned by NHL clubs and closer(ish) to their parent organizations. This is what ultimately did in the Ice Caps, who are just the most recent team to succumb to the trend (see Worcester, Manchester, Norfolk, and Portland). Meanwhile the ECHL, especially in the west, has seen a major loss of markets due to the AHL restructuring as well. The Colorado Eagles will be displaced by Colorado's AHL franchise (although I believe the move is being presented as a "promotion" with the Eagles organization continuing to play a major role with the new AHL team), and there have been serious rumblings about Kansas City (currently home to the Missouri Mavericks) becoming the new home of a St. Louis affiliated AHL team. With an NHL team in Seattle all but guaranteed, I can easily see Utah or Idaho being targeted for an AHL affiliate as well. Ironically, with the AHL and ECHL effectively trading markets, the ECHL could go back to calling itself the East Coast Hockey League.
  11. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    I know right?!? I think the black adds an interesting element as well. It could be really beautiful, and (to the best of my knowledge) completely unique in NA pro sports.
  12. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    My apologies. I admit I'm not well versed on the tribal groups of the PNW. However, based on some quick research, the Haida and Salish cultures share very similar design aesthetics: Salish: Haida: Obviously these are both contemporary pieces taken from the internet, so I'd be hard pressed to make any claims that either image is definitively Salish or Haida, however I would argue that there are enough similarities between the two that the lay person would be hard pressed to distinguish one from another. Obviously if the Seattle organization decides to adopt indigenous design elements it would be in their best interest to recognize local tribal groups first and foremost, regardless of the exact geographic origins of the design.
  13. Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

    Red would make a lot of sense for Totems as well since a lot of Haida designs are red, black, and white (although I've seen some examples of red, black, and turquoise that would be both unique and stunning. As far as the incorporation of Haida design elements into the striping...absolutely. I was a big fan of the Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms and I think a subtle incorporation of Haida elements into a more traditional striping pattern (perhaps even into the numbers?) could be fantastic. That being said, we're 20+ years out from 1995, and I have to wonder if we are still in an age when a professional sports team can just co-opt iconography from indigenous cultures anymore. Honestly, I think that may be the single biggest obstacle to the Totems identity (which is honestly my favorite name among those being seriously discussed). I'm not saying its impossible, but it would likely require buy-in from local tribal groups. After the debacle with Vegas I can't imagine the league wants to see any controversy surrounding Seattle's brand. Honestly something as simple as a charity program for native athletes would go a very long way to circumvent any potential backlash, and could establish a precedent for a professional sports team supporting indigenous culture rather than simply profiting off it.
  14. NHL 2017-18

    That and the fact that there’s a big red “C” in the middle and it reads “Chicago Fire”. Maybe that’s cheating but it gets the point across...albeit bluntly.
  15. NHL 2017-18

    I fail to see how I've lost anything at this point. A generic representation of a native person is not an effective (or arguably appropriate) stand in for a specific individual of that race, especially when there are a number of historic representations of said individual (1, 2, 3, 4). What's more, even the 86th Infantry Division (which is ultimately sited as the inspiration for the name) doesn't use an "indian head" insignia either. I'd be willing to accept the argument if the logo in question was for the Cleveland Indians, but from a purely visual standpoint there is no readily apparent connection between the Blackhawks logo and the Black Hawk. Really good observation. As I mentioned in my fugue-screed, sports branding is an anomaly in that it predates the very concept of branding. Chicago's history of professional sports goes all the way back to 1870, 20 years before Coca-Cola was founded and set us on the path to brands as we know them. Even the Bulls, Chicago's youngest "established" sports team was founded in 1966 at a time when sports branding was only beginning to take shape. As @CRichardson points out, the Chicago Fire (founded in 1997) are the only major professional sports team to actively brand itself in connection with the city of Chicago. In many ways this illustrates your point better than I ever could. Sometime between 1966 and 1997 professional sports became a heavily branded industry, and this very forum is evidence of just how powerful and extensive that branding has become.