Is there a better way to start a new era in Cyclones hockey than by getting a modern logo, redesigned uniforms and an overall new look?
The minor league affiliate of the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators announced Friday details of a branding campaign that has literally changed the face of the organization. It's part of the Cyclones' overall “Winds of Change” initiative.
“We pride ourselves in bringing the best multi-dimensional value in Cincinnati, featuring championship-level hockey surrounded by an ever-changing variety of engaging activities,” said team general manager Kristin Ropp.
Marketing agency LPK spearheaded the image overhaul and partnered with team management to create a sleek, contemporary look. What the Cincinnati-based firm came up with is a top-down transformation for the organization to showcase across U.S. Bank Arena during the 2014-15 season and beyond.
“We’re extremely excited to unveil this new campaign,” Ropp said. “Our new logo, along with the countless other assets that make up the brand, have helped us take a major step forward in the sports and entertainment landscape.”
An updated tri-color scheme features jet black, a passionate shade of red and a cool-as-ice gunmetal gray color. It will be highlighted on the team’s three uniform combinations and new logo. (media player: watch the team reveal the jerseys)
The logo features a blocked letter “C” with an abstract depiction of a cyclone inside it. When combined with the banner at the bottom of the sweater the emblem is instantly recognizable to fans of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
“If you look at the new mark, it’s very versatile. It’s a bit of a tribute in terms of color scheme and it embodies everything about this organization,” said Sean Lynn, the Cyclones’ director of marketing.
As part of their push into a modern age, the team launched a redesigned website, CyclonesHockey.com, which incorporates the new look of the team along with what Lynn considers vastly improved functionality, design and aesthetics.
“This is an evolution of the Cyclones Hockey brand,” he said. “We took a lot of things into consideration such as the hockey element, the ‘more than just a game’ element, and much more.”
Of course, the changes aren’t just to the look of the franchise it. It’s also to the people who make up the organization.
The team hired Matt MacDonald as head coach in mid-August after Ben Simon left to take an assistant coaching job with a team in the American Hockey League.
As is usually the case in minor league teams, the Cyclones have also made a significant number of roster moves during the offseason.
Saying goodbye to familiar faces is difficult, but team public relations manager Nick Brunker says management feels good about players they've brought in. And much of the roster from last year's Kelly Cup finals squad is returning this year.
Macdonald and his new cast of characters will hit the return to the start of the regular season on October 18. The first home game is October 25 against the Kalamazoo Wings.