Out with the New, In with the Old?
What’s Happening: The Arizona Coyotes have announced a “complete rebrand and business transformation focused on the club's commitment to impact, inclusivity, and innovation.” Most notably, fans will see the Coyotes go back to its Kachina logo for the wide majority of games, but the team is also executing “a marketing campaign ... consisting of billboard, TV, radio, digital, and print advertising [that] will run throughout the season.”
This logo, originally introduced when the team relocated from Winnipeg in 1996, “was based on the ancestral spirits of the Pueblo people,” and uses “colors associated with the Southwest.” The goal of the rebrand is to resonate “with people who aren't hardcore Coyotes fans or hardcore hockey fans,” like families, young females, and Latina, African American, and Asian communities, the Coyotes said.
Something has to give: Also since relocating to Arizona, the Coyotes have consistently been a mediocre team. While they’ve had stretches of decent performance, making the playoffs in five of six seasons from 1996-2002 and in all three seasons from 2009-2012, the team has made the playoffs in just 9 of 24 total seasons. Beyond that, the Coyotes have only gotten past the first round once, losing in the Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. This has resulted in the team consistently having one of the worst attendance rates in the league. So, while the desire to resonate with more people from a branding perspective is laudable, in sport, a team also needs to win.
Other Yotes News: In an attempt to improve things on the hockey side, on September 15, the Coyotes hired former Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager John Ferguson Jr. as Assistant General Manager and GM of the team’s AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners. Since 2014, he had been the Director of Player Personnel for the Boston Bruins and also became the GM of their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, in 2016.
Otherwise, with the city of Glendale ending their arena deal with the Coyotes after this coming season, the team has also just put forth a $1.7 billion proposal to build an arena in Tempe. In the proposal, the rendering includes “restaurants, shops, and apartments on a 46-acre tract of land near downtown.” The evaluation process is expected to take “several months” and “will include extensive examinations [and] opportunities for community feedback.”