Rebranding can be triggered by a variety of reasons – including avoiding legal issues. While we normally highlight major national brands, this time we’re talking about a community-centric brand, the new Windsor Royals Junior C hockey team. This team had a very specific reason to re-brand: A possible copyright infringement with another team.
Earlier this year, the Avon River Rats began the search for a new name because of a copyright infringement claim. This claim was put forth by a U.S. marketing company that owns the rights to both the name and the logo of the Albany River Rats. After reviewing the situation, it was decided to take this as an opportunity to rebrand the team and avoid the copyright infringement issues.
In order to move forward, the team started by looking backwards into the history of hockey in their region, where another team name came up:
The name the Windsor Royals actually has roots dating back to the 1960s and is a great tribute to history. In 2012, the Windsor Royals Junior B team requested a leave of absence and the Valley Maple Leafs filled their spot in the league. After this, the Royals did not return to active play. After verifying that the name could again be used for another team – without copyright issues this time – it was decided to revamp the name and the logo for the former Avon River Rats. It is a great nod to both the history of the Royals and a way to avoid the issue of copyright infringement from the US marketing firm.
In the process, the new Windsor Royals worked with Halifax based designers Dose Media to come up with a new uniform, colour scheme and logo. Their main logo is a lion, wearing a crown, paying homage to the former Windsor Royals logo, with a variety of secondary elements available for use as well.
“The lion is the hero of the Royals logo, fearless, confident and demands respect. The shapes in the crown are a subtle nod to previous Windsor Royals logos. The 3 centering pillars of the crown create a ‘W’.” – Dose Media via Dribbble
The Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League is sanctioned by Hockey Canada. The winner of the play-offs competes in the Maritime-Hockey North Junior C Championships. Check out the new Windsor Royals uniforms when the team hits the ice this September!
If you have worked on a recent rebrand, or know of a rebrand that would be of interest or deserves national attention from the design community, contact us to let us know!