In light of adidas taking over control of jerseys starting next season, one of my immediate thoughts was that the Flames NEED to go back to the all red retros for a home sweater. Now, because the NHL (Gary Bettman) is kinda lame, they are only allowing teams to wear 2 sweaters for the time-being, presumably one home and one road. Duh. That being the case, not having the retros would be a huge mistake for the Flames organization for a number of reasons (more on this later). This got the ole brain churning and eventually led me to a very unique way for the Flames to improve their organization not only on the ice, but off the ice as well. Despite the title, this is not necessarily a rebrand. I’d like to think of it as more of a revamping of an already great franchise. Without further ado, here is my idea:
(Disclaimer: I am from Chicago and consequently a Blackhawks fan. I am not entirely familiar with the Flames organization, so bear with me)
Like I said, picking the retro all-red uniforms is a no brainer. The current design is riddled with flaws that just don’t do it for me and it just doesn’t look like the sweater of a winning franchise (no offense). But don’t fear, I have cooked up a slightly modified version of the retros with a twist to not only boost jersey sales, but it will put pucks in the net.
My photoshopping skills are sub-par to be generous, but the general idea is clear. How many current teams in the NHL use first names on their sweater? None. The Flames have a chance to revolutionize the jersey-game in the NHL. 50 years down the road when every franchise has first names on their sweater, we’ll be happy we made this choice. You probably noticed that the C is on a Gaudreau sweater and not on Mark Giordano. This is by no means a knock on Mark Giordano. He’s a great player and presumably a great captain. But let’s be honest, Johnny Hockey is a more marketable player. The Skittles hockey stick is a solid start, but it’s time for Johnny to pull in “beaucoup” money. From personal experience, the casual Blackhawks fan gets a Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane jersey, but I give Toews the edge because he’s the captain. Looking at recent annual jersey sales, Toews sits right near the top. If we slap the C on Johnny’s chest, he will shoot up the list in jersey sales, and the money will roll in. This sweater is a classic look, and it is very easy on the eyes. The old saying goes something to the tune of “look good, feel good”. This is certainly the case, and if we wear these sweaters, we will be burying the biscuit and become a perennial cup contender in no time. As for a road sweater, it doesn’t really matter what we do. Whether we keep the same design we currently have, use the retro design with a different color scheme, or use the home sweater as a road sweater as well, we will have made an impact on the franchise and ultimately the NHL. If uniforms had a WAR metric, this would certainly be a league leader.
2. The Arena
From an aesthetics standpoint, I think the Saddledome is an absolute winner. It is a refreshing design compared to other arenas in the league. However, it is my understanding that the city of Calgary is in talks to build a new arena. I have never been inside of the Saddledome, so I can’t speak for fans in terms of the experience of being inside and the conditions of their facilities, but assuming all is normal and up to standards, I think we should keep the Saddledome. All I think needs to be done is the stadium needs to embrace the team name. Flames. Flames everywhere. Obviously this may be tricky given the obvious risk of burning down the entire building, but thats a risk you have to take if you wanna be the best. The look that I think does the most justice to the franchise is putting a nice ring of fire right around the rim of the dome. I have taken the liberty of drawing up some blueprints to make my vision a little more clear:
Like I said, my photoshopping skills are sub-par, but it is an absolute winner of a concept. Not only does this make the arena an attraction to fans, but it makes it an attraction to tourists. That’s right Calgary, we’re officially gonna sell out. I’m just one person, but if I’m in Canada, I NEED to see this. Just start intimately referring to it as the 8th Wonder and I’m sure it’ll catch on. Even if it doesn’t, we still got a beautiful arena to call home. Home attendance is already right where we want it to be, so once these changes are made, ticket demand is gonna skyrocket. As a consequence, prices go up and so do profits. Basic supply and
3. Sponsorship/ Ads
Word has been spreading around that the NHL plans to enforce that teams put an advertisement on their sweater. I for one am not a proponent of this, but my plan has been built in such a way that we can work around this. Because this franchise will already be bringing in a ton of money from merch, tourists, tickets etc., it is affordable to be picky with your ad/sponsorship. If I had it my way, I would want to go with something that pays homage to the city of Calgary while not compromising the aesthetic of the sweater. After doing quick research, I found the Calgary-based pancake utopia that is Smitty’s to be the perfect fit. This sponsor covers all the bases. It has a simple yet memorable logo that doesn’t affect the look of the sweater, it is headquartered in Calgary, and it endorses the delectable Canadian cuisine that is pancakes and maple syrup. This partnership is a win for all parties involved. The Flames get a sponsorship that they can be proud of and look good while advertising for, and Smitty’s gets nationwide recognition as well as recognition in the United States. Tim Horton’s? No thanks. Smitty’s, much like the Calgary Flames, is a force to be reckoned with. Eh.
While this plan is brief in nature, I do believe that it could serve as an outline for the biggest revamp of a franchise the NHL has ever seen. I’d like to think of myself as a bandwagon Flames fan, so we’re all in this together. Help me help you. #GFG.