It’s all going to be different for the Nashville Sounds in 2015.
New stadium. New Major League affiliation. Now a new look, albeit one that taps into the team’s history.
The Sounds unveiled what they termed a “modified” color scheme Wednesday. The look is “a return to the classic red and black colors that the team has worn for the past 16 years while adding in a new platinum silver accent color.”
The new primary logo was introduced in October, shortly after the team reached an affiliation agreement with the Oakland A’s. Wednesday’s announcement also included the unveiling of secondary logos – a guitar and a guitar pick.
From the team’s release:
The centerpiece of the identity is a new guitar pick "N" logo stylized from an f-hole on a guitar. The logos feature Music City style lettering and the platinum silver color is a reference to platinum records associated with the music industry.
Nashville will wear white jerseys at home except on Fridays, when the players will go with alternate black Music City jerseys with black pants. On the road, they will wear gray jerseys. The guitar logo will be featured on caps worn during batting practice and Sunday home games.
"We heard loud and clear the strong feedback of our fans after our new logo was unveiled last fall. We have made the decision to return to our traditional red and black color scheme to accompany the new Nashville-styled logos," Sounds owner Frank Ward said in a statement.
Brandiose, a San Diego-based company, created the team’s new look.
It matters not if the price is right. Likewise, name recognition has nothing to do with it.
Simply put: The Tennessee Titans are not for sale.
CEO Tommy Smith addressed continuing reports of the franchise’s availability Monday in an interview with The Tennessean. The latest report came from CBSSports.com and listed two potential buyers, FedEx CEO Fred Smith and David Tepper, a hedge fund manager and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Earlier reports claimed that quarterback Peyton Manning could be involved in a bid to purchase the team.
Smith shot down the possibility for each individually and some of his strongest comments involved the idea that Manning and his family members might be involved in the team’s ownership.
"All of that is just nonsense. It's completely unfounded. It's just irresponsible,'' Smith said. "It's not going to happen. Peyton may retire; I am not saying that's not going to happen. And I want to say I have only the highest regard for Peyton and the Manning family. They are a first-class family, Peyton and Eli and Archie have contributed greatly to the National Football League and I appreciate their efforts.
"I wish them the best in their future pursuits, but it's not with me."
Smith is the son-in-law of franchise founder K.S. “Bud” Adams and assumed leadership of the franchise following Adams’ death in October 2013. He, his wife and sister-in-law serve as co-chairs of the franchise and Adams’ grandson is on the board of directors.
The team went 2-14 this fall, the first full season under Smith’s direction. It was preceded by a coaching change early last year for which Smith had the final say in selecting Ken Whisenhunt.
“The team is not for sale. We are not entertaining any conversations in regard to the sale of the team. Period,’’ Smith said. “Any statements that say so are completely off base, and I resent it. It is not helpful to what we are trying to accomplish as an organization and as a family.”
Forbes is out with its annual list of NHL franchise valuations. (No surprise at the top — it's Toronto!) The average NHL franchise saw an 18.6 percent increase in value, fueled by the new Canadian TV deals, and is now worth about $490 million. The Predators are the 24th most valuable franchise in the 30-franchise league, per the study, at $250 million, but that's an increase of 22 percent from the number of last year.
Meanwhile, the Preds' TV partner, Fox Sports Tennessee, tweeted that ratings are up 88 percent against last year's numbers for the surging team's games.
The Nashville Sounds rolled out a new logo this morning ahead of the unveiling of their offseason rebranding campaign.
The mark is a guitar pick with a stylized "N" on top of an orange and beige color scheme.
"Broadway Burnt Orange, Sunburst Tan, Neon Orange, and Cash Black make up the club's new official colors," reads a release from the club. "The Sounds are the first professional sports team to use Neon Orange in its color scheme."
"With this new logo scheme, we wanted to capture the vibrant nature of the city, of downtown Nashville. There is nothing more striking than burnt orange - you see it everywhere in this town," said Sounds assistant general manager Brandon Yerger, who headed the Sounds' rebranding process.
"The Nashville Sounds name has always reflected what this city is all about — musical sounds. With our new look, we want to really celebrate 'this is Music City.' We have incorporated a number of fun new elements, which you'll see as we unveil more in the future."
The rest of the rebranding effort — including new uniforms and alternates — will be made public at a season ticket holder event next month. As for a change in mascot, supposedly from Ozzie the cougar to a hot chicken, the club was mum.
And now, some news you won't clucking believe.
The Nashville Sounds are in the process of rebranding the entire club ahead of their move to First Tennessee Park next spring — and sources tell the Post that team officials are considering dumping their mascot, a cougar named Ozzie, for … a hot chicken.
Ozzie has been the Sounds mascot since 1997, a cat with bulging biceps who tromped the stands and the top of the dugouts wearing a Sounds jersey. In his place would be a symbol of Nashville's only real culinary specialty.
For their part, the Sounds neither confirmed nor denied the change.
"There's a lot of things in play with that and we haven't made any firm decisions," said Doug Scopel, the Sounds' vice president for baseball operations. "We're evaluating all aspects including the mascot, but we don't have anything to make public at this time."
He said that the club doesn't have a timetable for rolling out changes as they move into their new stadium north of downtown.
"It could potentially extend to other elements, but we've got to figure out what will be included," he said. "But absolutely — logos, colors, uniforms and things of that nature will be part of the rebranding, which we will obviously make public before the beginning of next baseball season."
New media outlets and technologies have changed how sports fans take in the action. In the Post's recently published Boom magazine, J.R. Lind took a deep dive into how that might affect the thinking that will go into the next home of the Tennessee Titans.
In a 2013 interview, Eric Grubman, the NFL’s executive vice president of business operations, told the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer that it may be time for a radical re-imagining of what attending an NFL game is all about.
“What if a new stadium we built wasn’t 70,000, but it was 40,000 seats with 20,000 standing room?” Grubman asked. “But the standing room was in a bar-type environment with three sides of screens, and one side where you see the field. Completely connected. And in those three sides of screens, you not only got every piece of NFL content, including replays, Red Zone [Channel], and analysis, but you got every other piece of news and sports content that you would like to have if you were at home.”
It likely won’t take long to know whether or not the Nashville Predators picked the right guy to be their second head coach.
With Peter Laviolette, it rarely does.
The 49-year-old has a history of early success as a head coach. At the same time, though, teams have been nearly as quick to decide that he no longer was the guy. Look no further than the start of this season when the Philadelphia Flyers fired him after three games (0-3-0) — the NHL’s earliest coaching change in more than 40 years.
A well-traveled bench boss who has directed teams in the minor leagues and the NHL — he also will be head coach for Team USA at the 2014 World Championships, which kick off next week in Belarus — he almost always has made a good first impression.
His first job was as head coach of the ECHL’s Wheeling Whalers in 1997-98 and he took that team to the third round of the playoffs. The following season, he took over the Providence Bruins in the AHL and immediately won a league championship.
At first glance, his two-year stint as coach of the New York Islanders seems less impressive given that he did not win a postseason series there. Consider, though, that the Islanders reached the playoffs each of those two seasons following a seven-year absence. They made it back just twice in eight years after he left.
He got the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010, his first season there. He led Carolina to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006, his second year with that franchise.
If General Manager David Poile, therefore, wanted someone who could provide the sort of jolt that immediately pushes the Predators farther than they’ve gone, it’s tough to imagine he could have done any better.
Laviolette gets results and he gets them quickly. The problem is that he fails to sustain those results and can’t measure up to the expectations he establishes for himself. Usually, it doesn’t take long before his team is looking for someone else.
Carolina gave up on him less than one-third of the way into the 2008-09 season, a little more than two years after he led that team to the Cup. The Islanders had seen enough after just two seasons, even though they were playoff seasons. He endured rumors of his firing throughout most of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign only to be shown the door a week into the following season after what chairman Ed Snider called “one of the worst training camps I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m not talking about strictly the results,” former Islanders GM Mike Milbury said when he fired Laviolette more than a decade ago. “I’m talking about the methodology in coaching and communication with players. If you don’t have it, it’s pretty tough to succeed. And it looked to me as if it had been lost.”
In terms of style and substance, he does not represent business as usual. Laviolette is the sort of all-or-nothing personality and performer the Predators traditionally have shied away from at all levels of the organization.
His history suggests that his addition will yield positive results beginning with the 2014-15 season. Likewise, however, there is absolutely no reason to think he’ll ever threaten Barry Trotz’s franchise record for the number of games coached.
With Laviolette, nothing lasts long.
The Nashville Predators have named Peter Laviolette as their new head coach, the team confirmed on Tuesday.
Laviolette arrives in Nashville after head coaching stints with the Flyers, Hurricanes and Islanders. His Carolina team won the Stanley Cup in 2006. His career coaching record is 389-282-(25)-63.
From the team:
“Having reached the peak as a Stanley Cup Champion, Peter knows the intensity and urgency it will take to help our team reach its ultimate goal,” Poile said. “He is a great hockey mind who not only has a winning resume, but has done it with an aggressive offensive philosophy while also excelling in helping young players reach their potential. We look forward to Peter instilling his culture in Nashville immediately following his duties coaching the United States at the 2014 World Championship.”
“I love the nucleus of this team, starting on the back end with two of the best players at their positions in defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, in addition to a solid group of dependable veterans and talented, rising young talent,” Laviolette said. “My challenge will be to impart a system that enables our young forwards to thrive and reach their offensive potential. Being a perennial Stanley Cup contender requires buy-in, passion and commitment from every player on the roster. I can’t wait to get to Nashville and get started on our journey.”
The Predators will add Kevin McCarthy, who was with Laviolette in Philadelphia, to the coaching staff in addition to retaining Lane Lambert and Phil Housley.
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