SinBin.vegas

Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Guest Post: It’s About Identity

Here at SinBin.vegas we strive to be the voice of the Las Vegas valley when it comes to talking about the Vegas Golden Knights. At times we’re critical, at times we’re overly supportive, but at all times we want one thing, to see a successful hockey franchise here in Las Vegas. We believe that’s what you want to, and that’s why we created Guest Posts to give fans an opportunity to speak out about their feelings, positive or negative, on the team.

It’s a sentiment we disagree with, but have heard many say, write, and tweet. Here’s our next Guest Post, written by Matthew Snyder.

If I bought an expansion team, I’d want to name them the Super Rebels. I don’t care what sport, I’ve already decided. But I’d stop to consider the community in which I’d be setting up shop.

The reason the arrival of a professional sports team is a seminal moment for a community is because it brings with it an identity – a validation, even – particularly significant for a historically transient city such as Las Vegas, which has been largely devoid of a rallying purpose since the days of our beloved Jerry Tarkanian.

I was born and raised in Las Vegas and couldn’t have been more excited to learn that our most unusual metropolis had been awarded its first professional franchise. If IKEA was like getting the MLS, this was the real deal.

I was disappointed by Bill Foley’s decision to force his alma mater onto the NHL’s 31st team when he went with “Vegas Golden Knights.” But I have fond childhood memories of the Excalibur Midway, so maybe I can forget about the awkward fit of Las Vegas and medieval times. Never mind that we now have a golden team in the Silver State.

It’s the dropping of “Las” that really disappoints me. Foley, a transplant from Texas, had an out-of-touch moment on November 22nd when he implied in an interview with @SinBinVegas, that locals don’t even use the “Las” when talking to others. At least he didn’t name them the “Nevahda Golden Knights.”

To be sure, “Vegas Hockey” is a great brand (I think UNLV should do more with “Vegas Basketball” and the like). SportsCenter was always going to refer to what happened in “Vegas” just as they use “L.A.” when talking about the Kings.

But “Vegas” is where you party on the weekend; “Las Vegas” is where I’m raising my kids. That the formal team name doesn’t match what I write for my return address feels like a slap in the face.

It’s about identity.

I wish Foley would have stepped aside and let professional branding team do their job. He has 500 million reasons to be selfish, but ought not to be surprised at the mixed reactions to this unveiling. I’m happy that we (finally) have a professional sports franchise to get behind. We’ve waited a long time for this. But the fumbled name announcement ceremony was emblematic of a botched naming process.

Here’s to hoping we forget about it all when we hoist The Cup and really galvanize our identity.

-Matthew Snyder

If you are interested in contributing a guest post to SinBin.vegas, please email us at ken@sinbin.vegas.

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16 Comments

  1. Michael

    Spot. On.

  2. Jeffrey Bassing

    I feel exactly the same way. The idea that Foley was quoted as stating that locals call this home “Vegas” really sucks because it simply isn’t true.

    We are all quite thankful for the major league team. Hopefully none of it matters when they are perennial winners.

  3. NedRyerson57

    Couldn’t agree more. Yes, I say “Vegas” all the time but that’s just for simplicity. Just like, my name is Scott. You can call me Scotty or Scooter (if you really know me), but that isn’t my name. Also, just like, I will NEVER say Golden.

  4. Joe

    Matthew, you nailed it! I just don’t understand why it is so hard to appease those of us that are bothered by the issue by just adding the LAS. It is maddeningly so simple to placate those of us that it bothers. If you google “Las Vegas NHL” right now, you will see that the NHL.com link says “Las Vegas Golden Knights”. If you go to the adidas page and go under the hockey tab under the sports tab it says “Las Vegas is hockey”. Under each of the t shirt selections it says “Las Vegas Golden Knights”. In many national articles being written they say Las Vegas Golden Knights, despite it not being technically correct. The fact of the matter is no one is asking for the logo to be redone to add an L. No one is asking for the Golden to be dropped. We are just asking for a very simple olive branch to be extended by adding the LAS. Why is that such an asinine request? It’s not as though Foley can’t keep selling a bunch of merch with just the “vegas” all over it. Do what the Kings do. They print up stuff both ways. Some stuff says LA, while some stuff says Los Angeles. I urge you, Ken, to go check the NHL shop for the Kings and see what I mean. Look at the Team LA website. Foley can have it both ways and it can be a win win. It’s just such a stupid issue for him to dig his heels in on. It not the hill to die on for him, or at least it shouldn’t be.

    Also the “we can’t have four words in the official name because it’s too long” is garbage logic. Norte Dame Fighting Irish, North Carolina Tar Heels, Wake Forest Deamon Deacons, Arizona State Sun Devils, and on and on. The most popular rugby team in the world is the New Zealand All Blacks. On a world stage, rugby is more popular than the NHL. Point being that all of these teams are way more popular brands than the Knights and will likely remain so. Hell even the hockey team using the Golden Knights nickname is the Clarkson University Golden Knights. Again if Foley wants to market the hell out of the “Vegas” brand then go right ahead. Nothing is stopping that. Just add in those three little letters L-A-S and the bridge is gapped immediately. No pain and oh so simple.

    Ken, a favor to ask. Since you have access to Foley, can you please get quotes for him as to why he can’t just do this simple thing of adding in the LAS to the formal name and print up gear with both ways? You have said it yourself that there is really not much going on right now so why not do a great story on this. Pick his brain as to why he can’t be asked nicely to change such a simple thing to make those of us it bothers feel much better and be on the same page. It’s a win win and I have to know why he doesn’t see it that way or can’t be persuaded to change something so simple. He owns the trademarks on both Las Vegas GKs and obviously VGKs so that’s not an impediment. Ken, I know you look at it like its a stupid issue but like you have said there is other stuff that has bothered you that organization has done or not done, like the lack of PR and promoting certain things. You are our voice and access to Foley whether you like it or not and we love you for it. Keep up the awesome work my friend.

    Just for the record, I think we are all eternally grateful to Foley for bringing us the NHL. We are just asking for the smallest of bones here, one that we didn’t expect was going to have to be asked for in the first place (but which you nailed/uncovered months ago you savy SOB).

    • Joe

      One other small point I wanted to include. If it was Lasvegas (one word), would we even be having the issue? Does one small space mean that much to Foley? Phonetically the space means basically nothing. If Philadelphia was actually Phila Del Phia would we drop the first two thirds? Food for thought on the whole can’t have 4 words in the name.

      • Michael

        Good point Joe. As far as bulkiness, you would think it would come down more syllables. ‘Las Vegas Golden Knights’ is 6 syllables, whereas Arizona Coyotes, though just two words, is 7 syllables!

  5. Michael

    I think the issue is as follows:

    COULD he name it what he wanted because of the 500 millions, blah blah? Of course!

    SHOULD he have named it what he wanted, without trying to truly connect to the feelings of his consumers or the city their call home, who will be the ones actually making him a profit and getting some return on that 500 mill? There’s the rub…

    Not only this, but going staid, dull and drab with colors and name in a city known for flamboyant personality? I really feel he has missed an opportunity to make something instantly iconic.

  6. A Fan

    @Joe’s “garbage logic” about a 4 word name shows he isn’t very knowledgeable about marketing. Just because a few teams through the years out of many, many hundreds made the 4 word name mistake, doesn’t mean it’s the correct thing to do. I could list as many or more teams who have shortened their names as well.

    The name should have been the Las Vegas Aces/Mustangs/Scorpions etc. Simple as that. It keeps the LAS and for marketing reasons, 3 words including ‘Las Vegas’ would have made him more money than the name he gave the team. But as others have said, I will support the team, but I will only call them the ‘Knights.’

    • Joe

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m with you. Las Vegas Knights it what it should be, should have always been. The “we can’t be just the Knights because of London” was always a lie/justification for wanting to be the Golden Knights. Foley is quoted as saying that being just the Knights was too boring. It was all just rationale for him getting to Golden Knights after Black Knights was a no go. Ken’s next shirts should be “Las Vegas Knights” shirts using Sparky Chewbarky’s awesome logos. I love the logo in this one:

      http://i.imgur.com/JrhrffZ.jpg

      The fact the Sparky didn’t do everything is a joke. The man knows exactly what he is doing, including doing full marketing vids for the Knights and Aces concepts.

      • A Fan

        You’re right @Joe. He could have just called them the Las Vegas Knights, but he was going to do it his way no matter what others thought. And yes, Sparky did an excellent job with that design.

  7. cody

    Omg the drama and nitpicking. “Golden Knights” is an awesome brand. It’s not about being “medieval.” In this age of awful expansion names, you got one with a lot of dignity. And a catchy, marketable name. Deny it if you will, but Vegas sells itself to survive. Deal me in.

    • A Fan

      Deal you in @cody, so you’re a season ticket holder then correct? Not about medieval, guess you haven’t seen the logo. What does ‘Vegas sells itself to survive’ mean?

  8. Mickey B

    Las Vegas Knights was obviously the way he should have gone with this if the rights deal with the London OHL team was actually feasible. He still gets the nickname he wanted, the city is properly represented and many more of his fans are happy in the end. Quite simple. In fact, naming the team just Knights includes representation of Black Knights, Golden Knights, Silver Knights, Chartreuse Knights and any other color or variation of a Knight that is out there.

    I am excited that we have a team of our own. I am very happy the NHL is here. But I pray that everyone running this thing start to look at opportunities such as this with broader minds.

  9. 006

    I said this last week, but my hope is that the team ultimately comes to it’s senses and the team is renamed the Las Vegas Knights within a few years.

    What I didn’t realize a week ago (or even before) is how much Foley (the NHL?) is determined to market the team outside of Las Vegas (and I mean waaaaay outside). Afterall, Las Vegas is “Vegas” to everyone who doesn’t live there, right? To go so far as to not only brand the team as Vegas, but to formally adopt the Vegas name as well, says absolutely everything. Sorry Las Vegans, this team is not for you. It’s for the rest of the world apparently.

  10. RJ

    So right. I’ll go to the games, but I’ll never spend a dime on any branded merchandise. Foley has mad enough it very clear that this team him alone, it the locals. It hurts a lot because I waited my whole life for this, and now I feel like I can’t truly be a ‘fan’ of the team that plays in my city.

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