The NHL’s newest expansion team may not have a name yet, but its home arena now does.
Today, the Oak View Group and NHL Seattle announced a partnership with Amazon to name the new arena currently under construction at Seattle Center. It will be called Climate Pledge Arena.
It’s an unusual moniker, to be sure. Most arena naming rights deals result in the logo of a big corporate entity being plastered on the side of a massive edifice. That won’t be the case in Seattle, a city known the world over for its aversion to convention—and love of nature. Washington is the Evergreen State after all.
Along with the name, the partners released artist renderings of the arena’s exterior and interior spaces.
There’s no question it will be a beautiful building once it’s complete. The soft green glow should be a welcome addition to Seattle’s twilight skyline.
Here’s a closer look at the Climate Pledge Arena logo, which was also unveiled today.
The bright and dark shades of green evoke the Pacific Northwest forests that envelop the region. The lettering is right-aligned and set in Amazon’s proprietary Ember typeface. The defining characteristic of the text is the stylized “E” at the end of “climate” and “pledge”—borrowed from the logo of the arena’s namesake.
So where does the name come from anyway?
The Climate Pledge is a sustainability initiative launched last September by Amazon and Global Optimism. Its goal is to see businesses commit to going carbon neutral by 2040—ahead of the Paris Agreement target of 2050.
“Instead of naming [the building] after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a press release.
In fact, the arena plans to walk the talk when it comes to environmental concerns. With today’s name announcement came a laundry list of eco-friendly ways in which the new arena will lead the world.
Among those, Climate Pledge Arena will be:
- the first arena to ban single-use plastics and be free of trash cans (fans will see only compost and recycling bins);
- the first arena to fully offset the carbon emissions of all events and related transportation; and
- the greenest ice in the world using rainwater, refrigerants with zero greenhouse gas emissions, and electric Zambonis.
On a personal note, this is such a great brand narrative. Seattle is known for its rain. Why shouldn’t we freeze it and make it our playing surface?
Included in the many renderings of the new arena was this center ice design.
While the ring containing the building’s name may look like this in the final design, the team’s forthcoming logo will surely replace the placeholder script seen in the center.
Of course, this has led to speculation among information-starved fans as to the NHL team’s color palette. I’d caution anyone against reading too much into it. In fact, Vegas Golden Knights graphic designer (and occasional Icethetics concept contributor) Matt McElroy put it in perspective well in a tweet today.
“If you look at T-Mobile Arena, we use pink around the center ice logo because that’s in their logo it has nothing to do with the VGK brand,” McElroy wrote.
The only point I’ll correct him on is T-Mobile’s description of its key color—magenta, rather than pink. I’ve worked with their Washington-based marketing team enough in my professional life to be able to speak from experience on that.
Having said all that, if you are noticing the familiar script logo set in a new navy blue for the first time, there might be something you could safely read into that. I don’t mean to be cryptic, but there’s only so much I can say about what I know at this point in time.
The team’s name and logo reveal may not come until the fall—or whenever the 2020 offseason ends up taking place—but I believe it’ll be very satisfying to fans when it does. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.
I immediately regret that. There will always be people who won’t be happy. Always. But for those with an appreciation of strong brand identities—I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.
For now, feel free to share your thoughts on Climate Pledge Arena in the comments. I’m curious to see how it’s hitting everyone.