A NEW NAME AND FACE
Rebranding The Newmarket Redmen
Back in December 2019, the Newmarket Minor Hockey Association (NMHA) starting going through the process of rebranding their hockey team, formerly known as the Newmarket Redmen. The NMHA adopted the name ‘Redmen’ in the early 1990s as a tribute to the red uniforms donned in the 1920’s and 30’s by the Newmarket Junior Redmen. Despite this historical meaning, the term “Redmen” caused some controversy/debate within the community.
On their website, they stated: “Although ‘Redmen’ may have been commonly used in the past, it, along with other terms has since fallen out of usage, regardless of whether it is intended or perceived as derogatory. While acknowledging and celebrating the history of hockey in our community, the Newmarket Minor Hockey Association has made the decision to respectfully retire the Redmen name after this season. It is the NMHA’s goal to continue the proud traditions that we’ve honoured for more than 130 years, but also to ensure that hockey is seen as welcoming, inclusive and culturally sensitive.”
The NMHA took name suggestions, anonymously, from the public to let the community be a part of the whole rebranding process. After receiving hundreds of name suggestions, they finally narrowed it down to The Newmarket Renegades – but they kept the name a secret. No one knew what the new name or face of the NMHA was until they unveiled it on May 22nd, 2020.
While leaving the hockey community patiently waiting, the NMHA was working away behind the scenes finalizing a logo and brand identity.
This is where I came in.
The Newmarket Renegades
During the creative briefings, Renegades was chosen as due to its historical reference to the 1830’s rebellion and Newmarket’s role in it. The terms “Rebellion” and “Rebel” were already being used by the neighbouring hockey team the King Rebellion, so they changed it to “Renegades” due to its similar connotation and connection to the ensuing post rebellion reform of Newmarket.
With the design briefing in mind, I wanted to come up with something that best represents Newmarket’s strength and passion as a community. I wanted to avoid any negative connotation of “Renegades” as bandits or deserters, but instead highlight the strength and fierceness associated with the name. This came with the idea that Renegades refuse to follow orders they don’t believe in, and they are willing to stand up for what they think is right, no matter the consequence.
This is where the shield and slash in the ‘N’ came into play. The shield shows the strength it takes to stand up and defend what you believe in, but also, more literally, represents defense within hockey itself. Furthermore, the slash in the ‘N’ represents that we (Newmarket) are a force to be reckoned with, both in history and today as a hockey team / community. The overall goal was to associate Newmarket as attackers and defenders within hockey and the 1830’s rebellion.
In the end, after months of revisions and finalization, the NMHA team finally settled on the new logo for the Newmarket Renegades. It was a wild ride for everyone involved and I am extremely grateful that I got to be a part of it. Change can be scary, but we will continue to thrive as a hockey community and remember that it’s the people that make a team, it’s the connections that make a community, and it’s the love of hockey that gets us all out there on ice. A new name and logo isn’t going to change that passion.
Let’s go Renegades!