SWIFT CURRENT BRONCOS HERITAGE JERSEY
Established in 1967, the Broncos major junior hockey franchise has stood the test of time throughout their 50+ seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL).
The organization spent their first seven seasons in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, before moving to Lethbridge, Alberta, for twelve seasons.
On the move again…
After a second relocation,the organization returned to Swift Current to start the 1986-87 season. The team rebranded, symbolizing a new era in Broncos hockey. Their new look blue and green saw them win a Memorial Cup championship in 1989 and a WHL championship in 1993.
Over the next twenty years the hockey club experienced various changes to their branding. Prior to the 2014-15 season, the Broncos returned to a modernized version of their blue and green logo that was remembered as the most successful years in franchise history.
Create a third jersey and 50th anniversary logo that is inspired by the history of the Broncos, while still fitting into today's modern era of design.
Seamlessly connect the past and present branding of the organization.
On November 12th, 2011, the Broncos wore a special, one night, retro inspired jersey that was very well received.
Going back to their roots…
Knowing that this vintage look was already well liked by the Broncos' fan base, the green and yellow from the 60s and 70s became the foundation for what we would eventually call the Swift Current Broncos heritage jersey.
In depth research and sketching followed in efforts to explore the possibility of introducing a new main crest to go along with this jersey.
Out with the old, in with the update…
In the end, it was decided to simply polish the logo from the 60s and 70s for an updated, cleaner look.
Dating back to the earliest days of the sport, a lace-up collar has always been regarded as a classic look for a hockey sweater. In drawing inspiration from a Broncos jersey of the past, it was important to incorporate this design component.
Let’s get down to business…
At this point in the process, we began our collaboration with Reebok/CCM.
Standard lace-up collars provide several different options with how they can be tied. So for the sake of consistency, it was decided a two lace faux tie-up was the best fit. A perfect blend of modern and traditional design.
The four leaf clover on the left shoulder honours four Broncos players who tragically lost their lives when the team bus crashed on December 30th, 1986. The four team members were: Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka, and Brent Ruff.
A commemorative four leaf clover containing their retired numbers has been worn on every Swift Current Broncos jersey since then. This is simply a colour adjusted version of the logo from the organization's current branding.
50th ANNIVERSARY LOGO:
As 2016-17 also marked the 50th season for the Broncos organization in the WHL, an anniversary logo was also necessary. Specific challenges were associated with this. The logo had to:
represent the history of the organization.
be functional with the new green, yellow and black of the heritage jersey.
be functional with the team's green and blue home/away jerseys.
primarily focus on the 'Broncos' theme and avoid the use of 'Swift Current' or 'Lethbridge'. After all, the organization was celebrating fifty years as the Broncos and not necessarily fifty years in one city.
Use it or lose it!
And use it they did. Throughout the 50th season, this logo was stitched on the front of all home and road jerseys, as well as on the right shoulder of the heritage jerseys.
The anniversary logo was also used on all official game pucks, on all season ticket packages, as helmet stickers, as the centre ice logo, on various team apparel, and as the primary logo for all team promotional items.
LETTERS & NUMBERS:
To maintain consistency across all Broncos jerseys, the heritage jersey uses the same lettering and numbers typeface as their home and road jerseys.
In the early 2000s, significant amounts of black were being used in efforts to modernize a jersey. Many teams are now reverting back to their blackless colour schemes of the more recent past in order to satisfy their fans' desire for an old school look.
In this case, the addition of black is used somewhat subtly as to not overwhelm the design, allowing 'retro' and 'modern' to coexist. Specifically the lower sleeves and shoulder yolks help to connect the jersey with the team's black helmet, pants and gloves.
The revitalization of past branding has proven to be a tremendous leap forward for the Broncos with regards to their brand identity today. A newfound connection was made that linked Broncos fans of all ages, and this third jersey is a continuation of that.
Jersey sales exceeded expectations throughout the 50th anniversary season and were completely sold out when the 2017 playoffs concluded. While merchandise and apparel sales hit new and unexpected heights.
The Swift Current Broncos heritage jersey, and its associated design elements, has been successfully integrated into the team's present-day branding and continues to be worn as a full time alternate throughout WHL regular season play.