Bringing the brand to life, the players skated out onto the ice to show the team’s new home, alternate home, away and Challenge Cup jerseys, which have been developed as part of a new partnership with Warrior for the first time, before delighting fans with a practice session and the opportunity to see their new team in action.
Ending the event, in a symbolic nod to the ‘Giants Reborn’ theme, returning fan favourite, defenseman Kevin Raine, shaved off his hair, grown over the last two years, to raise funds and awareness for Action Mental Health, with his hair, measuring 22 inches, donated to the Little Princess Trust.
Speaking ahead of the event, Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey Operations said: “The Belfast Giants has always prided itself on being history makers and game changers. This new brand is designed to continue to grow the game. Whilst being sensitive and paying homage to our history, it will, we believe, help us to reach the next generation of Belfast Giants fans and grow our brand internationally.
“During the downtime of the last season off the ice, we had time to review and reflect. Whilst our old logo will always be an important part of our history, we need branding that will be fit for the future and how we communicate in a digital-first age.
“Tonight is about more than the launch of a new brand though, it’s about the rebirth of this team and the return of ice hockey to Belfast. After 18 months off the ice, we are ready to make up for lost time and make every game count.”
Stena Line return as the Belfast Giants headline sponsor, marking the 10th year of the partnership. Simon Palmer, Stena Line said: “We’re proud to continue our long-running relationship with the Belfast Giants going into the 2021/22 season, at what is a milestone moment for the team and the fans.
“No one could have anticipated how this team would grow and evolve over the last 21 years and the huge impact the Belfast Giants have had. This long-awaited and highly anticipated return of ice hockey to Belfast is a special moment for the team and for the fans and we are proud to be part of it once again.”
The new Belfast Giants brand was developed by our in-house design team, following months of research into sports team branding, which is increasingly moving toward simple, clean design.
The new brand features two main elements: a new primary logo that is a modern, refined version of the team’s mascot and mythic legend Finn McCool and a separate Belfast Giants wordmark, with the word ‘Belfast’ mirroring the arc of The SSE Arena roof. Subtle use of hexagons on the jerseys and the team’s marketing materials also nod to the legend of Finn McCool and the club’s giant history.
A short animation released on social media after the event provided more detail to fans, following the conversation online.