How the Seattle Kraken chose the team’s look

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Somewhere in Los Angeles, a team of Kraken insiders were sitting in a room staring at an ice blue “S”. Then billionaire businessman and majority owner David Bonderman stood up, pointed to the hollow of the angular letter on the screen, and said something like, “I think we should try an eye over there. . “

“And now I watch [the logo] and I can’t imagine it without my eye, ”says current team vice president of marketing Katie Townsend, who passed on the now legendary story.

Our brand new hockey team started with over 1,000 possible names: Seattle Sockeyes, Seattle Rainiers, Seattle Emeralds. A little over a year ago, fans didn’t have an official nickname to hang on to. Now 36 players are ready to don midnight blue and ice blue jerseys and hit the ice rink.

Since Seattle received the 32nd NHL franchise in 2018, marketing experts have worked behind the scenes, spoken to locals, interviewed over 200,000 future fans, and built a brand that Seattle players and people can be part of. proud.

The official Kraken brand book is peppered with quotes that set the mood for even the smallest brand decision. “Fear the creature that dwells in the darkest depths, the kraken chained by ice, which threatens to surface and your soul to remain,” reads a quote from Erna Grcic’s poetry book, Beneath the surface. From biologist EO Wilson: “In our hearts we hope we don’t find out everything. The Kraken, it is clear, “is an invisible and unchanging force,” mysterious and all the more perilous because it is never fully revealed – just suggested, a single tentacle rising from below. (Always, always from below.)

These quotes lead to a host of rules that marketers need to keep in mind. The Kraken, if published, should never be depicted in a humorous or cartoonish manner. He never attacks his territory (thank goodness). Irreverence is encouraged. Check out the team’s Twitter bio ahead of the expansion: “Now that we have a name, we are strategizing all about selecting your favorite player. What do you call a Kraken fan? “We are not Pirates or Vikings (although the Kraken would gladly eat them).” For the record, we are also Kraken.

The devil, after all, is in the details. Those red stripes on the jersey? They are there to represent the livery stripe on the bottom of some ferries and they are the because GM Ron Francis was present at design meetings, and he wanted to make sure the scratches didn’t cut players. “He wants his players to look as big as possible on the ice,” said Townsend. The secondary logo anchor contains a subtle nod to the Space Needle. The blues of the Kraken align with the maritime colors of the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders. Every element of the team’s appearance has been carefully considered, from the bevel on the “S” – a reference to the boats and seafaring spirit of Seattle – to the letter itself, a reminder to the Seattle Metropolitan hockey team.

All of this thinking means the Kraken will look great on and off the ice. But don’t take our word for it. Despite a catastrophic ranking in last place in the beginning Illustrated sports analysis of some of the potential Seattle names (we have been there too), the reactions to the brand’s reveal has been overwhelmingly positive. ESPN staff writer Arda Ocal gave the logo a nine out of 10— “a big big W. “Hockey writer Mike Luciano said the Kraken”successfully designed. ” As Zone coverage journalist Giles Ferrell writes, “Once we got a glimpse of what they got us, oh boy, was it still that good.”

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