The Panthers unveiled their new team logos and jerseys today at a fan event at the BB&T Center after months of speculation, rumors, and concepts. The changes mark the first major redesign since the team’s original logos and jerseys were unveiled nearly 23 years ago today.
As rumored and leaked, the Panthers’ new primary logo features a shield design similar to that of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division crest with a more natural-looking panthers in the center. The top of the shield is labeled “Panthers” when the team is playing at home and “Florida” when the team is on the road. There’s also a secondary logo on the shoulders which feature a banner that says “Florida” with a prowling panther on top of a Florida flag. If the player is a captain, there will be a banner that says “Captain” above the Florida banner in addition to the C or A on the front of the jersey. There’s also a tertiary logo which is a more refined and modern version of the former leaping Panther which will be located on the helmets.
The Panthers had a wide variety of merchandise on sale, however no jerseys were available to purchase at the event. Fans were able to pre-order a blank or authentic customer jersey around the arena and the first 1,000 to do so received a commemorative patch for when the jersey arrives in September.
Vincent Trocheck, Aaron Ekblad, Steven Kampfer, and Shawn Thornton were on hand to model the new uniforms in addition to former Panthers Olli Jokinen and Radek Dvorak. Vincent Viola and his son John spoke extensively about not only the new designs but also their commitment to bringing a Stanley Cup championship to South Florida. Also announced at the event was a pre-season game against the New Jersey Devils on October 8th at West Point Military Academy in New York.
We caught up with Panthers co-owner Doug Cifu for a brief interview regarding the new logo and jerseys.
When was the idea of Uniform and Logo change first discussed?
Within the first few months of owning the team…been planning that long.
Who led the movement for the redesign?
What are the steps in getting logo and uniform change in NHL?
We spent a lot of time with the great design team at Reebok and with the NHL merchandising folks who have gone through the process a lot more than we have….they were a tremendous help.
Did the NHL need to approve the redesign?
The new design needs to conform with the NHL standards but there is wide latitude for the franchise to come up with something meaningful.
Who designed the new look?
The Reebok design team did the mechanical work with the input from Vinnie and his son John, who is by far the most creative person I’ve ever met. Also, Rory Babich was instrumental and a great resource.
How many different designs were presented before deciding on final?
What did the organization want the uniform and logo to represent and characterize about the Panthers?
All of the attributes that the Viola family wanted for the Panthers: character, strength and tradition.
How long did entire process take to go from sketch to prototype to finished product?
12 months at least. Maybe more. It’s a long, iterative process.
Are there any concerns about how fans might react to change in and or movement from the original logo?
Sure. We care about our fan base, but we are never going to please everyone, so we have to go with what feels right and represents what we want the Panthers to stand for in the long term.
Will the arena go through facelift in change to new colors and logos?
Somewhat. We won’t completely throw away the old logo and the tradition associated with that logo. Some Panthers get along….
Who had the final say on the design?