No return of the Winnipeg Jets

The struggles of the Phoenix Coyotes to find new ownership and stabilize the situation in the desert have led many to believe the Coyotes will one day return to the Great White North. While it seems pretty likely that Canada will one day get one, if not two, NHL franchises back it looks like any return of the NHL to Winnipeg, Manitoba will not carry the Jets moniker.

People closer to the situation than I, are reporting that a jersey color scheme and new nickname have already been worked up and some marketing wiz somewhere has decided that naming the team after the province would be a better way to go than simply calling a team in Winnipeg the Jets. In terms of corporate ad sales and sponsorships they might be right, but this is still the wrong thing to do.

Creating a brand is a very hard and expensive thing to accomplish. Just ask the folks who run the United Football League. The Jets brand is still a strong one, and the NHL still markets and sells Jets merchandise. Changing that name and the all the warm fuzzy feelings associated with it, if the team were to return there, seems like a big mistake.

Sports teams should be named something special for the fans of that team, they should not be plain generic things used to get corporate support. In the end it will be the fans that make any team successful, not its ability to bring in big time corporate sponsors.

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