Jakob Chychrun knows his fashion. On the NHL player’s media tour in Chicago, he wore Gucci loafers with a roaring tiger and a pair of crisp white Valentino sneakers with an “Arizona Red” stripe. âFashion is something that I really love. Sometimes you can show a different side of yourself, âsaid the Arizona Coyotes defenseman.
Clothes are said to make the man, and Chychrun is hoping they can remake a franchise as well. Her team is embarking on what she calls a “complete rebranding and business transformation” this season. It starts with the Coyotes logo and uniforms, as the team makes the popular coyote Kachina their main logo and brings back their white Kachina jerseys for the first time since 2003.
âI think it’s great. They were my favorite jerseys in the entire NHL. A lot of great players have worn this jersey, âsaid Chychrun, entering his sixth season with Arizona.
The team last changed its name in the 2003-04 season, making red its main color and a screaming coyote its logo. The black Kachina jersey was brought back in 2018-19 as an alternate jersey and is now the team’s primary home jersey – with the exception of eight games this season when Arizona will be wearing their red jerseys.
“They still resonate with the fans here too. We didn’t want to get rid of them completely,” Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez told ESPN.
The Kachina logo was introduced when the team moved from Winnipeg in 1996. It was based on the ancestral spirits of the Pueblo people and depicted a coyote wielding a hockey stick with a patchwork of colors associated with the Southwest, most notably green. , brick red, sand and purple. The crescent moon on its chest creates a “C” for coyotes; Kachina’s position is supposed to evoke an “A” for Arizona.
The logo was voted the largest in Arizona sports history in an Arizona Republic poll, beating the Arizona State University “Sparky” logo. (Some would say the Tucson Gila monsters were obviously stolen.)
Gutierrez calls the logo âiconicâ but also sees it as a symbol of who the Coyotes aspire to be. âIt was the right brand for what we want to represent as an organization: to have an impact and harness the power of sport to have that impact in the community,â he said.
For Gutierrez, the Kachina logo represents inclusion and the ideal of bringing together diverse voices and embracing the entire community, not just current fans.
âIt’s a point of pride. It’s something that says, ‘I might not be what you think is the mainstream sports fan, but it speaks to me. I can relate to it, “” he said. âWe not only want to focus on our fans, but also our fans on hold. In our research, we found that the logo resonates with people who are not die-hard Coyotes fans or die-hard hockey fans. includes families and young women. It includes diverse communities, such as Latin American, African American and Asian communities. “
Gutierrez tells the story of someone the team recently hired in their social media communications department. âHe moved from Brooklyn, and before he left he took a picture of a guy in a barbershop wearing a Kachina logo hat,â he said. âThere is something about the logo that really attracts people outside of hockey. It’s colorful and unique.
Coyotes fans have called for the return of the Kachina, with the Five For Howling team blog calling for it to become the permanent logo in 2020.
âSince I’ve been here, the most important question for the fans has been when we will bring the Kachina back full time,â said Gutierrez. “Well, by the way, ‘Are you leaving Arizona?'”
The rebranding comes as a franchise best known for its off-ice uncertainty is once again faced with questions about its future in the wilderness. Last month, the City of Glendale broke off negotiations over a multi-year lease extension at the Gila River Arena and said the 2021-22 season will be the team’s last in the building.
Suddenly, a team that has been dogged by resettlement speculation for the past decade was once again faced with these questions.
âIt’s disappointing. We were looking for something that was beneficial for the city, its citizens and taxpayers,â said Gutierrez. âWe hope the city may reconsider. We don’t think this is the right decision and we remain very open to this conversation.
âWe’ve been exploring new arena options for several months, and we think there are options here. But I want to be very clear: we committed to Arizona. We want to be here.â
The Coyotes are also hoping to find new audiences who want them to stay, and the rebranding is an aggressive attempt to cultivate them. Beyond the Kachina jerseys, the Coyotes are planning a comprehensive marketing campaign in the community. A campaign to promote the Coyotes’ new brand image through billboards, television, radio, digital and print ads will run throughout the season.
Coyotes resident fashionista Chychrun wonders if an improvement in jerseys means a better future on the ice. Arizona missed the playoffs last season with a 24-26-6 record.
“They are more beautiful [uniforms]. And maybe that brings out something better in the guys too, âhe said.