The names of the Professional Women’s Hockey League six teams have apparently been revealed courtesy of a series of publically available trademark registrations with the USPTO.
Thanks to the master of the trademark search, Clark Rasmussen of DetroitHockey.Net, we have learned that the PWHL has filed trademarks on the following names:
NEW YORK SOUND
As DetroitHockey.Net notes, each of the trademarks was filed under the category of “Entertainment in the nature of hockey games; Organization of ice hockey games,” and was done so by “PWHL Holdings, LLC.” which is the same entity that trademarked the PWHL logo we talked about last week.
While none of the logos were attached to these filings, we have seen colourful teasers for each of these six markets in the past — if those colours end up being relevant and these names are indeed final, then we would get the following:
Full disclosure: I very much want to see a professional women’s hockey league successfully get off the ground and flourish… now, with that in mind… these names are absolutely awful.
It feels like these names were either generated by AI or, at least, all pitched by the same person.
This is not the greatest start for fans of sports branding. If these end up being the club monikers, then I would fully expect this ends up being a templated league — meaning, every club uses similar (if not, exactly the same) jersey styles/striping and the team logos all feel like they’ve been churned out quickly by one designer.
I hope I’m wrong! But I’ve seen movies that start this way before, and the audience usually bails on it before it’s over.
Can quality play save terrible branding? Nothing seals the deal on a logo and uniform with a fanbase more than a championship, but for a new league hoping to make a big splash in the sports world, you’re going to need strong packaging to help win over those who aren’t sure about whether they’re going to buy in or not.
Or maybe my brain is too logo and uniform-focused to know what the average fan cares about. Seems very plausible.
Anyway, my fingers are crossed that this league can still make it work… now *deep breath* let’s see those logos.