The Nashville Predators broke out their new logos for the 2011-12 season today at Bridgestone Arena (and simultaneously in Las Vegas) to their credentialed bloggers, introducing a streamlined, simpler design that maintains the traditional "Pred head", as well as a new secondary logo which aims to tie the team in more closely with the city of Nashville, and the state of Tennessee as a whole.
This, in anticipation of seeing the team's new road jerseys at this weekend's NHL Draft, and the new home uni's, which are to debut at the Skate of the Union event sometime in mid-July.
Follow after the jump to take a look!
Image from the Nashville Predators
The process, as described by Executive Vice President Chris Parker, involved a number of different focus groups and parties in the development of these new marks, which should start appearing on hats, t-shirts, and other merchandise in a matter of weeks.
Update: Nashville Predators t-shirts with the new logo are now available at some of the online retailers.
Here are some of the highlights of the discussion, which should answer some questions, and open up a whole lot more:
- The idea was not to overhaul the look of the team, but to update it - the process began over a year ago.
- The new primary logo was designed to be more aggressive and realistic, with a more discernible "eyeball".
- Maintaining the Pred head as the primary emblem of the team was essential, the new look is very much intended to be consistent with the team's past while also bringing it forward.
- The secondary logo will be a shoulder patch, and aims to connect more with the state at large as well as Music City in a subtle way via the guitar pick shape. There's a tie-in there with the marketing outreach going on to displaced hockey fans in southeast Tennessee and the Atlanta area, but this design was well under way before the Thrashers story developed.
- These images and logos will be made available to the NHL's licensees tomorrow, so you should start to see goods on sale pretty quickly. Expect the Predators' pro shop at Bridgestone Arena to be one of the first places to check.
- The current 3rd "black and blue" jerseys will not be used next season, to allow the new gear to take the limelight. That doesn't mean they're going away permanently, just being "set aside".
Part of the intent was to update the look of the team, given the new era that they're moving into both on and off the ice. A secondary factor, however, was also to reduce the complexity of the design from a marketing perspective. The old "Pred head" logo, for example, had a greater variety of colors, with orange highlights that aren't seen anywhere else - those kinds of extraneous details make a logo harder to produce across a variety of media (print, signage, hats, t-shirts, etc.), and this new look should be much easier to market, particularly outside of Nashville.
So what do you think? Personally, I like what I see here, particularly the guitar pick. I haven't been a big fan of the current 3rd jerseys, so won't miss them. It will be interesting to watch how this conversation moves ahead as we start to see the new uniforms over the next few weeks...
For reference, I've included the previous version of the logo: