Boy, Was I Wrong About the Jets

It happens to the best of us. Bloggers, I mean. We get stuff wrong. This afternoon I tweeted what may indeed live on as my most infamous tweet ever. In case you missed it, at 12:56 PM Pacific time I wrote:

Literally, within six minutes of that tweet, at 1:02 PM Pacific time, the Winnipeg Jets tweeted this:

It was precisely at that moment I realized my previous tweet would be nullified. Why would the Jets scramble to unveil their logo — perhaps the most highly-anticipated ever — with less than an hour's notice? That is, unless it had been truly leaked. And as promised, at 4 PM Central time the Jets' new logos were posted on their website.

It's at this point you might accuse me of trusting lousy sources. Let me be clear. I had no sources whatsoever. This is all on me. I had only my years of experience in studying and writing a blog about professional sports branding and marketing at my back. Did it fail me? Or did the Jets? Well, I can't answer that without bias.

Honestly, when I first saw the leaked photo, I instantly thought, "there's no way." This is an ownership group who's been so meticulous in its branding strategy. Certainly, they wouldn't be satisfied with marketing their franchise under such a bland mark. And let me say this in the clearest terms possible: Boy, was I wrong!

The title of this post has a double meaning. First, I was wrong to tweet what I did. I should've indicated that it was my opinion rather than making it sound like a fact. Second, I was wrong to think that this team would blow us away with its branding effort. I do stand by one comment in that tweet. What a joke.

Winnipeg logos unveiled / JetsAt this point, another paragraph of expressing my disappointment could easily devolve this post into an irritating rant. And that's not really my thing. So now that you know my opinion, I'll try to handle the rest of my review a little more matter-of-factly. I'll have to start with a direct quote from True North.

"True North Sports & Entertainment felt it was important for the new Winnipeg Jets to develop a strong new identity," said Mark Chipman, Chairman & Governor of True North Sports & Entertainment. "We felt it was important to authenticate the name Jets and we believe the new logo does that through its connection to (Canada's) remarkable Air Force heritage, including the rich history and relationship that our city and province have enjoyed with the Canadian Forces." 

If they felt it was important to develop a strong new identity, then why didn't they? Shoot. Caught myself doing it again. Be objective, Chris. The logo has a silver jet aligned (to the north) with a red maple leaf all set within a blue circle. And the central element meant to draw your eye is muted and fails to do so. It looks like a secondary mark.

Speaking of which, the actual secondary mark is a lot better — for a secondary mark, anyway. It has all the elements you expect from a secondary mark. I like the wings and the hockey sticks. Unfortunately, it looks like the Molson maple leaf is here to stay with the Jets' new identity. Bummer.

To be quite honest, the wordmarks, like the rest of the identity, look rushed. True North took control of this franchise just 52 days ago and only officially decided on the name less than a month ago. So I guess it's to be expected.

I'm also perplexed by the addition of a different shade of blue for the "alternate wordmark." Perhaps a third jersey with a wordmark? Wouldn't put it past these guys at this point. Speaking of which, no date has been set for the jersey reveal, but I'm not holding my breath.

However... I'm sure most Winnipeggers will love it. And that's the important thing. A lot of folks dislike the new Lightning identity but I love it and I'm a fan. That's what matters.

I figured I should address one last thing. Many tweeters have questioned whether my disapproval of the new primary logo wasn't more about my being scooped (or wrong about the leak). I think it goes without saying, but I'm saying it just in case... of course not. This idea that Icethetics has to be first with this sort of news is a concoction of its readers.

I appreciate you all and your loyalty very much, but sometimes you set this blog on a pedestal it doesn't deserve. I'm often not first with this type of news and frankly, I don't feel I need to be. All I do is share what's already out there to a wider audience. (Plus, today was an especially busy day at work so I've only just now found time in my day to update the site. Some of you tend to forget I have that day job.)