A couple weeks ago, I laid out some evidence for a possible primary logo update for the Los Angeles Kings. It was a minor change—an extra silver outline—but it was showing up in major places like center ice and new outdoor signage.
That’s when Pat Donahue, the Kings’ Senior Director of Marketing and Creative, got in touch with Icethetics to confirm the change and break it down for us.
“Adidas added this new ‘double stripe’ logo to the silver jerseys last year,” Donahue said, referring to the team’s 2018 alternate uniform.
The original version of that jersey was introduced for the 2016-17 season to commemorate the Kings’ 50th anniversary—only that one used a gold inner stroke instead of silver.
As it turns out, that simple color tweak worked wonders for the Kings branding crew.
“We found that it fixed a lot of the problems we had with the old design,” Donahue said. “People would put it on white and it’d break into two pieces, on black you’d lose a stripe and it didn’t look right.”
“[With] this new one, on light or dark, we just have less issues, and it feels a bit more finished,” Donahue added.
And you can see what he’s talking about, especially when we look back at the evolution of the logo over the past 11 years.
Of course, the logo tweak wasn’t all we talked about. When you’ve got an audience with an NHL team’s marketing director, you make the most of it—especially since this one is very much on the jersey radar these days. They recently launched a ’90s throwback and still have a Stadium Series sweater on the way.
I asked Donahue what the logo tweak means for the future of the Kings’ jerseys. The change was obviously made too late in the game to update the home and road crests, so those will remain the same for 2019-20.
Donahue confirmed the crests will be updated for the start of the 2020-21 season. But is that all? Could the third jersey be promoted to the primary home sweater next year?
“The grey won’t become the primary,” Donahue assured. So before the speculation even begins, we get a solid answer on that one. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the primary jerseys can’t change in 2020.
“Adidas is always looking forward and bringing out new ideas and pushing teams beyond their comfort zone,” he said. “Personally, [I’m] excited to see what they come up with.”
That certainly caught my attention. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that Adidas likes to push teams to try new things, but I never get tired of hearing it. Throwbacks will always be there and that’s fine, but you really need people who want to push the envelope to keep things from getting stale.
I might be reading too much into it, but when Donahue says he’s “excited to see what they come up with,” it does make me wonder if the Kings have something up their sleeves for 2020-21. I’ll definitely keep an eye on it.
Meanwhile, the grey third jersey will be back for the 2019-20 season. I asked if the Kings had settled on a schedule for this season, and as luck would have it, they had. Their jersey schedule was released earlier today. I’ve since added those 11 home dates to the Icethetics Jersey Calendar.
The Kings also included an extra date for the forthcoming Stadium Series jersey. It will be worn for a home game on February 29 when they host the New Jersey Devils.
Naturally, I asked Donahue when we might get a look at that Stadium Series jersey.
“I haven’t heard of a release date yet,” he said. “We take Adidas’s lead on that.”
But surely he could give us some kind of a tease, right?
“I’ll say I’ve seen a digital render of it, but not in person,” Donahue said. “Same as above, Adidas is going for it and pushing what traditional ‘hockey jerseys’ are—which I love.”
As do I. Very excited to see what they have in store.
Before letting him go, I asked Donahue one last question—one many of you guys have been asking me. Since the Carolina Hurricanes are slated to wear their green Hartford Whalers jersey against Los Angeles in January, will the Kings take their own throwback on the road for that game?
“That did get brought up,” Donahue said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen. Honestly not sure why.”
Well, that’s disappointing.
While that may not be the answer we were hoping for, there’s still plenty to look forward to with the L.A. Kings. Stay tuned!