New Logo or Old Logo, It's Still 'Go Jets Go!'
While some nostalgic, diehard traditionalists that were upset by the new Winnipeg Jets logo, there was an equal group of fans who were thrilled by the choice of the NHL’s newest ownership group.
The old Jets logo holds memories for thousands of hockey fans from their roots in the Manitoba city dating from 1979 until 1996, and when the team packed up and moved to Phoenix in 1996, Jets fans clung to the old logo like it was the last bit of their community identity and the last thread connecting the city to a team they loved.
While the old Winnipeg Jets logo is long gone, the new logo does integrate some of the best aspects of any logo. Like the logos for Coca Cola, the Montreal Canadiens, New York Yankees, and McDonalds; it’s timeless, it’s simple, and it’s meaningful.
The new Jets logo looks classic, and honours the Canadian Military, something that is a hard theme to bash. It’s also distinctly Canadian, and plays on a compass pointing North; likely a combination of a tribute to Canada, and the owner company’s moniker, “True North.”
Most new sports logos from the last two decades have been cartoonish and overly complex, mixing out of proportion graphics, with a trendy colour scheme or design that eventually looks grotesque. This, instead of sticking with what has always worked, clean, simple, memorable lines and basic colours.
For fans who flock to the rink this winter to cheer on their new Winnipeg Jets, the old jerseys and old logos won’t look out of place considering the new colour scheme still honours the original Jets, and by keeping the team’s traditional name, the retro-sweaters still fit.
When they first announced the new Winnipeg Jets logo, I was expecting to be offended as a sports fan. Many were. Many marketers see the logo as an overly military, overly governmental, and a complete departure from the old Jets. In essence though, when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Manitoba, it marked a new era, and a new logo seems fitting. Overly military? It’s a Jet, they’re called the Jets…get it? Makes sense. Maple leaf too governmental? It’s a new Canadian NHL franchise…something Canadians have been praying about for decades…again, makes sense.
I loved the old Winnipeg Jets logo, I thought it was a staple in the NHL, but I also loved the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques logos, and they’re no longer a part of the league, and I wouldn’t expect a new franchise in these cities to revert to the original logo.
Would I be at all surprised to see the new Winnipeg Jets playing a few games in coming years wearing their nostalgic logo and sweaters? No. In fact, I think it’s inevitable.
Really, I don’t think True North made a marketing blunder by re-branding the Jets with a fresh logo. Simple colours, a tribute to the country, an obvious connection to the Jets name, and clean lines. Most importantly, the name “Jets” is still there. People will always love the Jets regardless of the logo, and that’s why this combination of new logo, and old name is genius. It will sell apparel, the name appeals to pure traditionalists, it honours a proud country, and it has the chance to interest a younger generation.
At the end of the day, when Winnipeg’s arena is filled to the brim this winter, and you look out on the crowd, what will you see? Undoubtedly, you’ll see a crowd blended with new and old Jets jerseys and logos. But more importantly, when that arena is filled, and the TV cameras are rolling, what will you hear? My bet? You’ll hear the new logo, and old logo fans, screaming in unison…Go Jets Go!