2014 Stanley Cup Champions: Los Angeles Kings
This year, the lesser brand beat the better one, strengthening the lesser brand. If you’ve learned anything in reading the posts on this site, I hope that it’s that brand is all about perception. The more a team seems like a winner, the better their brand becomes. For the LA Kings, having an incredibly snarky Twitter account helps the brand as well.
Overall, branding and design went 9-for-15 in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year (going 0-for-1 in the final round). Not too bad, going .600. Slightly better than average. To put that in perspective, ESPN’s John Buccigross (of #bucciovertimechallenge fame) went 8-for-15. Branding beats expert analysis. Eat it Bucci.
And of course, congratulations to the Kings are in order. No team has ever made it so difficult for themselves to win the Cup, and they deserve all the accolades that come their way. Ironically, their easiest match-up was the final one, having to go through arguably the best 3 teams in the West to get there. If the Sharks, Ducks and ‘Hawks couldn’t stop them, neither was some slushy snow. Resilience is the word that comes to mind.
And that’s not meant as any disrespect to the Rangers, who deserved to be there and kept things closer than the final outcome may appear. LA didn’t hold a lead in a game until Game 3. Three of the five games went to overtime (all of which LA won). A few different bounces and we’d still be watching hockey.
As for Hockey By Design, we’ll keep going through the summer. There’s a bunch of posts being planned, including bringing in some new writers for the site (which will finally legitimize the royal “we” we keep using) and introducing new series about branding, logos and everything that makes hockey the true ‘beautiful game’. After all, you’ll need something to get through August, the most brutal month for hockey fans. So, stay tuned!