April 02, 2004

San Jose Sharks - NHL Pacific Division Champs

Here's the story of how the San Jose Sharks hockey franchise got its name, from the official Sharks website.

(in the extended entry, for those bored by sports stuff.)

Popular Sweepstakes Paved Way for Selection of "SHARKS"

They came from as far north as Manitoba, Canada, as far east as Bar Harbor, Maine, and as far south as Coral Gables, Florida.

One even came from Italy. They came in the form of seas creatures, fictional characters and computer components. More than 2,300 of them were submitted by over 5,700 entrants in hopes of winning the grand prize trip for two to the 1991 National Hockey League All-Star Weekend in Chicago. What were these strange items? -- entries in the national sweepstakes to help name the Bay Area NHL expansion franchise.

In a random sweepstakes drawing, San Jose-attorney Allen Speare was selected as grand prize winner. Other entries were submitted from participants representing California and nearly every other U.S. state and Canadian province. The top 15 names submitted, in alphabetical order, were Blades, Breakers, Breeze, Condors, Fog, Gold, Golden Gaters, Golden Skaters, Grizzlies, Icebreakers, Knights, Redwoods, Sea Lions, Sharks and Waves.

Club management selected the team name "Sharks" aided by suggestions acquired during the sweepstakes.

"The involvement of hockey fans throughout the Bay Area, the state of California and all over North America was outstanding," said Matt Levine, then the team's executive vice president of marketing and broadcast. "We were considering several alternatives for a name prior to the sweepstakes, but the creativity shown by many of the entrants was of great benefit to us, " Levine said.

The "Name the New NHL Team" sweepstakes was designed to thank hockey fans for their initial support of a new team for Northern California and to give them an opportunity to offer ideas for the new team's name. Along with Speare's grand prize, an additional 300 sweepstakes prizes were awarded to entrants, ranging from Stanley Cup videos and NHL publications to official NHL pucks and commemorative sweepstakes hockey stick pens.

Why Sharks?

In selecting a team name, club management was looking for something that would appeal to children and adults. It needed to be a name that would inspire graphic logo applications for uniforms, merchandise, promotional items, hockey educational materials, etc. "Sharks" fit all the above and also make sense from other viewpoints:

The neighboring Pacific Ocean is home to seven different varieties of sharks including the Great White, Leopard, Mako, Seven-gill, Blue, Soupfin and Spiny Dog. A specific area of the Pacific in the Bay Area is called the "red triangle," because of its shark population.
Several area institutions provide great amounts of time and money to shark research, preservation and education, including the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC-Berkeley.
And, as stated by Levine, "Sharks are relentless, determined, swift, agile, bright and fearless. We plan to build an organization that has all those qualities."

The 'Look' of the Sharks

The Sharks colors, trademarks and uniforms were selected through a combined effort of team and league officials. The Sharks primary colors are Pacific teal, gray, black and white. They have used those colors to come up with a variety of trademarks, attractive team uniforms and a vast array of merchandise applications.

Primary design work on the Sharks now-familiar trademarks was done by two local, but nationally accomplished designers -- the crest and fin were executed by Terry Smith of Sunnyvale, while the typeface applications were developed by Mike Blatt of Lafayette.

Posted by Ted at April 2, 2004 11:48 AM
Category: History

How 'bout that Alyn McCauley?

Go sharks go! HEH - I would like to see them come out of the WEst and meet Toronto in the finals.

Posted by: The Meatriarchy at April 2, 2004 08:47 PM
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