I hope you don't think of 13 as an unlucky number. Because it's going to be central to The IceHL Project this summer. Today, I'm announcing the launch of the next phase of Icethetics' user-driven fantasy hockey league project. And 13 has a lot to do with it.
The infographic above is a quick breakdown of what you can expect over the next 13 weeks. Read on for the full explanation of what we're about to embark upon.
13 Weeks of R&R in 2013
It may sound like we're taking a vacation, 13 Weeks of R&R. In fact, it's the opposite. Starting April 13, we're going to work. And in this case, the two Rs stand for "Rebranding" and "Relocation." Based on your vote, as many as 13 IceHL franchises will get a branding refresh this offseason.
13 out of 32 teams eligible
In an effort to make it all easy to remember and to stick to our new favorite number, I'm making 13 of our 32 teams to be eligible for a redesign. It's one of the few executive decisions I make in this league. Some of my selections are based on duplicate color schemes, naming concepts. Some are cases of poor logo design. Others were more random.
Think I'm wrong? Change my mind!
That said, you know I'm all for the democratic process. So if you think I'm making a mistake and there's a team I should add or remove from my list, make your voice heard. If there's enough of an outcry, I can be convinced to change my mind. But it has to be done by the end of this week — before April 13.
7 of 13 teams eligible for relocation too
You'll note in the graphic above that 7 of the 13 teams are marked as eligible for relocation as well. Another executive call. In some cases, I want to separate teams. Others are somewhat random. All 13 are elgibile to be rebranded. Only these 7 may be relocated as well.
60% majority required for relocation
Relocating an IceHL franchise is a big decision, not to be taken lightly. In order to be certain that the community as a whole is resolved to moving a team, a vote of at least 60% (not rounded) will be necessary to move forward. This vote will take place during Week 1 of the project.
51% majority required for rebranding
Rebranding a team will need just 51% (not rounded) of the vote to move forward. Any team selected for relocation in Week 1 will automatically move to the rebranding phase as it will obviously require a new name and logo to go with its new city.
Some side notes to consider
Since you're probably a bit curious, I do have some notes on eligibility to share. For one thing, any team that's been a league champion is exempted. That goes for the Huskies, Nighthawks and Beasts. There are also some teams that are simply in need of an overhaul.
The Colonials logo designer has already submitted an updated version of the team's marks for consideration. Plus, I'm no longer willing to allow the Renegades and Outlaws to coexist. They're too similar both in name and logos. At least one of them will have to change. Also, I want to give voters a second chance at the Calgary Cavalry (awful name) and the Hamilton Steelcats (should probably be renamed for Toronto).
The IceHL has always been intended as a project where a popular vote makes all the branding decisions. That will continue to be true. However, as commissioner, I feel the need to make rare executive decisions to improve our league.
The big one this year is the Outlaws/Renegades situation. If the voters decide to relocate/rebrand one or both, that's great. If, however, voters decide to do neither, I will step in. The team with the higher percentage of R&R vote will be moving on. So no matter how the vote goes, at least one of those two teams will endure big changes. That's the only big caveat of this summer's proceedings.
At the end of the 13 weeks, specifically on July 13, the rebranding efforts will be complete. But by no means will we be finished with the IceHL.
13 Third Jerseys in 2013
The next phase of our summerlong project starts immediately after the last — July 13. It'll be another jersey design contest just like the one we had last year, but with a few new twists. The 13 Third Jerseys project will last just four weeks, ending on August 13. In the first week, a series of polls will determine which 13 teams will get new alternate uniforms going into the 2013-14 season.
Most teams will be eligible for third jersey
Most but not all IceHL teams will be eligible to get an alternate sweater this year. Any team that was relocated or rebranded this year along with our two expansion clubs from last year will NOT be eligible for third jerseys. At least not in 2013. There's always 2014 and beyond.
Quite simply, all eligible teams (at least 17 of them) will have a poll asking whether a third jersey should be added. The 13 teams with the highest "yes" percentage will move forward this summer. The rest will have to wait and try again next year. (There must be 13 teams chosen so this means it's possible a team could have more "no" votes and still get a third jersey.)
Three teams will "hire" dedicated designers
You read that right. The twist. Unlike in past design competitions, it will be open season on just 10 of the 13 teams. The three teams with the highest "yes" percentage will not be taken lightly. They'll get special treatment. As a group, we're going to "hire" three dedicated designers to create unique third jerseys.
The idea is that we'll choose artists whose work is so respected that it will not have to be subject to a popular vote. So you'll be voting for the artist, rather than the art. These designers will also be given an extra week to hone their work.
The rest will be subject to normal rules
For the other 10 teams, all designers will have two weeks to create and enter their jersey designs. They'll be free to design new alternate logos or stick with existing ones (even altering existing ones will be acceptable). They'll also be free to add a new color if they can make it work.
Designers will have a lot of latitude with these third jerseys. But ultimately, voters will choose their favorite looks in the final week of the project. This will be the additional week that the "hired" artists will have to work on their designs since they won't be subject to a vote. By August 13, we'll have our winning designs.
IceHL 2013 Yearbook: Coming in September
After all the rebranding, relocating and third jersey voting, we'll take a short break before the hockey season resumes. I'll use that time to finish up the IceHL 2013 Yearbook, which I hope to release on — you guessed it — September 13, 2013. I'm hoping to make it available to purchase in print as well as the standard free download from Icethetics.
By the way, you can still download the IceHL 2012 Yearbook for more information about the league.
I sincerely hope you guys are as excited as I am about the next phase of The IceHL Project! Leave a comment and let us know what you think.