“He saw it, he said, ‘Wow, that’s a reflection of Las Vegas. Over-the-top, neon lights, bright lights, the big city. It really shows, ”said Brian Killingsworth, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Vegas.
The Golden Knights unveiled their third “Metallic Gold” jersey on Friday in a hilarious and entertaining video starring Newton and rapper Lil Jon, two of the team’s biggest celebrity fans. A small crew traveled to the Newton, MT summer house to film their game. The role of Lil Jon was produced remotely; he is based in Atlanta. The final cut ended on Wednesday.
– Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) October 2, 2020
It was ambitious, but it couldn’t happen until Vegas and Adidas finalized the jersey. It sounds amazing, but I’ve been told that you can’t really appreciate the “shine, shine, feel” until you see it in person. It was an arduous process that began shortly after the birth of the Golden Knights, with both sides demanding a lot from each other.
“Part of (owner Bill Foley’s) mantra is ‘always go forward, never back down,’” said Killingsworth. (This phrase is inscribed on the inside of the collar.) “He’s always thinking of the next step, the next acquisition, the next goal, the next project. He really wanted to focus on an alternative jersey and he wanted it to be bold and shiny. Reflection of Vegas. ”
From the start, Vegas made it clear that they wanted “metallic gold” to be the color. He wanted a “shimmering vibe” and a “shimmering texture”. But it had to pass all the required tests for durability and breathability. And, it had to be a jersey that fans would love, that players wouldn’t be shy about wearing.
“They’re unreal,” said Jonathan Marchessault, the franchise’s all-time leader. “Exactly what you expected from a Vegas point of view. We expected great things and we achieved it.
The team has captured the players’ initial reactions to the jersey and will be posting them on social media.
“It was one of the most complicated initiatives we’ve been through,” said Dan Near, global director of Adidas Hockey and Lacrosse. “No compromise on any of the three main ingredients: performance, color and material that would achieve that ‘sparkling aesthetic’. Achieving those three things was difficult, getting just two of the three was unacceptable.
“We only had one chance to get it right,” Killingsworth added.
“At the start of the process, we heard a lot of ‘we can’t do this’ which was funny. It was outside of their comfort zone, being the first sports team to wear a truly metallic gold jersey. I wouldn’t say we’re hard to work with, but we try to push the boundaries as much as possible. A few versions of the first and second generations weren’t really bright enough. We are the Golden Knights, we must own the color gold. So it makes sense for us to come out big and bold. Kudos to them for delivering performance gear that has never been done before – which we are really happy with.
– Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) October 2, 2020
“Brian is right,” Near added. “The trip was long. But if you want to elevate hockey and take it to new places, it’s okay for a project to take a while. Metallic gold did not previously exist as body tissue in the league. Getting to this point has been difficult – at times frustrating – but I don’t know if we ever doubted we would get there. It was, “How long will this take? ”
“Nothing shocks us about the things we are asked to try, and we are energized by the challenge. The cool thing about this project? It wasn’t going to be a subjective decision… Everyone was going to know when they saw the maid.
It was in March, just before the COVID-19 shutdown. Killingsworth traveled to Adidas headquarters in Portland with art director Brady Hackmeister and marketing and communications director Carley Sisolak. Awaiting them were Near, Senior Global Brand Director Jason Berry and Director of Hockey Relations Nic Corbett.
“We were pretty sure they were going to like what we had,” Near said.
“We were blown away,” laughed Killingsworth. “We said, ‘That’s it.'”
Three players – Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and Alex Tuch – did televised tests with the jerseys, making sure they were compatible with the camera. These were done early in the morning, easier to keep secret.
Who will be the most beautiful?
“I should say William Karlsson, with his blonde hair and long figure,” Marchessault replied. “If he warms up without a helmet, he will be the best player in the world.
Who is not? Marchessault laughed as he considered the answer.
“When Nate Schmidt wears colors, he looks pale. But he has the best sense of humor of anyone I’ve met, so I know he’ll laugh about it too.
The team will sell a commemorative first pack of 777 exclusive gold treasure boxes containing the gold jersey, personalization and a limited edition gold coin, and 250 boxes will include VGK Gold Adidas Boost shoes for an additional fee. (Marchessault liked that too.)
“This jersey on our fans (in the seats), on the team skating out of the tunnel, will validate the excitement,” Killingsworth said. “You will see the sparkle, you will see the sparkle, under the arena lights. I don’t know that there have been a lot of jerseys in the history of the sport that have these attributes.
“It’s loud, it’s proud and it’s Vegas.”
Will the golden helmets follow?
“Not at this point,” he replied with a smile.
“You can’t rank your kids,” Near concludes, “but we’re thrilled to see the reaction from fans and athletes. Not everyone in the world, and not everyone in the hockey community, will react with fiery emoticons. This is 100% fine with us because we know as an organization and as a brand that these are the kinds of steps we should be doing to get new fans, expand reach, be relevant in pop culture. We’re sure it will bring that to the Golden Knights.