Jakob Chychrun is a fashion expert. He wore Gucci loafers featuring a roaring Tiger and Valentino sneakers with an "Arizona Red" streak. "Fashion is something that I enjoy. The Arizona Coyotes defenseman stated that you can sometimes show a different side of yourself.
It is said that clothes make the man. Chychrun hopes they will be able to remake a franchise. His team is undertaking what they call a "completely rebranding and business transformation" this season. The Coyotes' logo, uniforms and logo are the first to be changed. This includes the Kachina coyote as their primary logo and the return of the white Kachina jerseys.
It's amazing. They were one of my favourite jerseys in the NHL. That jersey has been worn by many great players," Chychrun, who is about to enter his sixth season as Arizona's captain.
In 2003-04, the team rebranded. Red became their primary color and a howling Coyote was its logo. In 2018-19, the black Kachina sweater was reintroduced as an alternate jersey. It is now the primary jersey of the team. Arizona will still wear its red sweaters for eight games.
They still have a strong appeal to fans. "We didn't want it to be eliminated completely," Coyotes CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said last week to ESPN.
When the Kachina team moved from Winnipeg, 1996, the logo was created. It was based on the ancestral spirits of the Pueblo people and depicted a hockey-stick-wielding coyote with a patchwork of colors associated with the Southwest, including green, brick red, sand and purple. The coyote's chest is marked with a crescent moon. The Kachina position is intended to invoke an "A" for Arizona.
In a poll conducted by the Arizona Republic the logo was voted as the best in Arizona sports history, beating the "Sparky", logo of Arizona State University. Some would argue that the Tucson Gila Monsters were robbed.
Gutierrez describes the logo as "iconic", but also considers it a symbol for what the Coyotes want to be. He said, "It was the perfect brand for what we want as an organization to stand for: impact and leveraging sports to make that difference in the community."
Gutierrez believes that the Kachina logo is a symbol of inclusion and the ideal to bring diverse voices together, as well as embracing all members of the community and not just the current ones.
It is a point to be proud of. It is a way to say, "I don't think I'm a traditional sports fan but this speaks to my heart." He said, "I can identify in that." We want to be focused on our fans but also our fans who are still waiting. We found that the logo is appealing to people who aren’t hockey or Coyotes fanatics. This includes young women and families. It encompasses diverse communities like Latina, African American, and Asian communities.
Gutierrez shares a story about a person the team just hired to be part of its social media communications department. He said, "He moved from Brooklyn and took a photo of a man at a barbershop wearing a Kachina logo cap." People outside of hockey love the logo. It's unique and colorful.
Kelsey Grant/Arizona Coyotes
Fans of the Coyotes have been clamouring for the Kachina to return. Five For Howling, a team blog, has called for it to be the permanent logo for 2020.
Gutierrez stated, "Since my arrival here, the most prevalent question from the fans was when we're bringing the Kachina back full-time." "Also, are you leaving Arizona?" Gutierrez said.
This rebranding comes at a time when a franchise well-known for its off-ice indecisiveness is again being questioned about its future in the desert. Glendale declared last month that the Gila River Arena's multiyear lease was not renewed and that the team will no longer be playing there in 2021-22.
A team that had been plagued by relocation speculation for the last decade suddenly found itself facing these questions again.
It's disappointing. Gutierrez stated that we were looking for something that would be beneficial to the city, its residents and taxpayers. We hope that the city will reconsider. We are not convinced it is the right decision and we are open to having that conversation.
"We have been looking at new arena options for several month and believe there are some options. I just want to make it clear: We are committed to Arizona. We want to be there."
The Coyotes are also looking to attract new audiences and cultivate them. The Coyotes plan to market the brand beyond the Kachina jerseys. The Coyotes will promote their rebranding through billboards, TV, radio and print advertising.
Chychrun, the Coyotes fashionista, wonders whether an upgrade to jerseys will lead to a better future on the ice. Arizona was unable to reach the playoffs last year with a record of 24-26-6.
"They look better in uniforms." He said that it might bring out the best in men too."