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HC Kladno unveils new name, new logo

August 31, 2011

Photo: lidovky.cz

And it’s not religious or anything. Jaromir Jagr’s business deals on behalf of the team he owns, HC Kladno, continue. But these deals are not being received with universal praise. HC Kladno will now be known as Rytíři Kladno, or “Knights of Kladno.” Lidovky has panned the team’s new name, and the fact they had to take on sponsorship in order to stay afloat.

Last week Jagr secured a deal with Sazka, the betting and lottery agency, to sponsor the club. Like all Extraliga teams, their logo is now emblazoned up front. It was a necessary move, though. Jagr’s next step: the knight. You can read the team’s official press release from the press conference here.

I have to say, the logo resembles the Los Angeles Kings’ burger king quite a bit. The color scheme, the angles. I mean, I would perhaps go so far as to say it was a bit of plagiarism. To take it a step further, the logo of the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, bears traces of burger king man, too. Except, in the form of a lion. What makes it all slightly more baffling is the fact it’s not a king, but a knight. Then there’s the prominent cross on the face of said knight. Mind you, the Czech Republic is one of the most atheist countries in Europe. A European Commission sponsored survey from 2005 found that a meager 19% of Czechs believe in god. And 30% believe in nothing at all. Then again, Jagr was baptized an Eastern Orthodox church in 2001, so perhaps his personal religiosity is coming into play with this decision. Maybe it’s a reference to the Crusades?

At the same time, the team’s rebranding is a bold step for an Extraliga team, as most use word-marks, or have logos that are not quite so prominent. Kladno’s rebrand is in the mold of an NHL team. Perhaps more color, more illustration, is a positive thing for the Extraliga. There are some fantastic logos out there for some of the teams, like that of HC Oceláři Třinec and HC Bílí Tygři Liberec, but many more that are like that of PSG Zlin and HC Pardubice.

But the Knights of Kladno, and their accompanying logo…well, I can’t help but feel it’s recycled. I like the bold move, but I think it’s half-baked.

#jagrwatch

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