WICHITA, Kan. – The Sin Bin’s first-ever Logo Tournament is over and what an event it was!
Last week’s final pitted the new kids in the ECHL, the Maine Mariners, against the Orlando Solar Bears. Both sides pulled out all the stops to help get the win:
The Mariners even brought 17-year NHL forward and current General Manager of the Mariners, Daniel Briere, out of a Twitter slumber:
At one point, Maine had rallied-from-behind to grab a small lead late Friday afternoon, but, it was not meant to be. In the end, Orlando’s base was too strong and pulled ahead to earn the title as “best logo in minor league hockey,” by a margin of 53.3 to 46.7 percent (613 votes.)
History of the Solar Bears Logo:
The Solar Bears logo, featuring a polar bear with a hockey stick in hand, has been around as long as the team. Throughout the team’s stay in both the International Hockey League (IHL) and ECHL, the theme in the logos has been to connect a sport played in the winter with a warm-climate city.
The first logo, produced when the team broke into the IHL in 1995, featured a slightly perturbed polar bear wearing sunglasses and holding a stick. The colors of the logo were darker than the current iteration’s, while the letters of the logo were “blocky,” representative of many logos during that timeframe.
This was the Solar Bears’ primary logo until the league shuttered immediately after the 2001 Turner Cup Finals, which Orlando won.
After a two-year soiree with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League from 2002-04 (during which time the Florida Seals won a league title,) and a rough two-plus-year stint in the Southern Professional Hockey League from 2004-07, hockey in the City Beautiful was dormant until 2011.
In November of that year, an ownership group led by Bob Ohrablo, Jason Siegel, and Joe Haleski gained ECHL approval to revive the Orlando Solar Bears franchise. With the revived franchise, came an updated logo, that was revealed in 2012 and has been in use since.
The second edition of the Solar Bears logo utilizes a much livelier color palette and, thanks to the use of sunshine, drives home the theme of a cold-weather sport being played in a warm-weather city. It features the polar bear with a hockey stick, this time across the back of its neck. Additionally, the lettering was also brightened up and is not as blocky as in the previous logo.
A Note of Thanks:
We would like to thank our panel of experts who volunteered their time to put their favorite logos together and push the tournament on their social media platforms: Phil Hecken of Uni-watch.com, Tyler Earles of Earles Designs, Alex from N2B Designs, and our own Mark Grainda.
Thanks to our Chief Technology Officer, Matt Thomas, for putting together the brackets and keeping them constantly updated as the tournament went along. Matt is the brains behind a lot of the imaging you see here at TheSinBin.net.
We would also like to say thanks to the teams involved in the tournament, who went out of their way to push this to their fanbases.
Finally, thanks to you the fans! During our competition, there were more than 20-thousand votes cast for your favorite logos. This was a resounding success and something we look forward to doing again next summer!