Monday, May 15, 2017
Here's the second half of the NWHL league concepts.
Boston Pride (NWHL)
Very similar to the current ones, and old Bruins uniforms.
Calgary Inferno (CWHL)
A mix of simple striping and the current Flames uniforms, which is the template they use today.
Minnesota Whitecaps (Independent)
As a team with no ties but still competitive, I wanted to keep the branding but made the tie to the Wild, who are building a hockey facility downtown and would be a big boost when the team goes pro.
Les Canadiennes (CWHL)
The last 3 will be concepts done by friends. Two by some designer buddies and one I'm going to ask my good friend who follows the Brampton Thunder to help me design it.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
So a bit of a background on this project. The NWHL is a upstart women's hockey league, I think they just wrapped up their 2nd season, and are mostly based in the northeast. The CWHL is a 5 team league with Canadian teams, plus a team in Boston. Super talented leagues, made up mostly of USA and Canadian national team players, which you could imagine are both very very good at hockey.
But the issue is that they aren't exactly making too much money. The NWHL dropped their minimum wage for players, and the CWHL doesn't currently pay their players. As you can imagine, the athletes have other jobs during the season.
I got thinking about different ways to improve the quality of life in the leagues because my sport management degree brain won't let me rest. I don't want to be some asshole white knight coming out saying they should be completely ran by the NHL and be absorbed and lose their identities. That would be the easy way out. The leagues don't have ties to the NHL, which is cool. It seems like some teams have loose ties. If you're trying to be successful in Montreal, it doesn't exactly hurt to mirror your jerseys like the Habs.
So while I bore you with some reorganizing, feel free to scroll down and look at concepts. I'm an artist not a cop. Just for the sake of confusion, I merged the leagues. I was going to keep them separate, but went to a divisional format rather than conferences to minimize travel cost. I have a 14 team league, which is probably too many because you want 9 really deep teams than a big league with some watered down teams(like men's leagues). These NHL teams are building insane practice rinks with top of the line locker rooms and smaller seating capacities. I propose some sort of partnership to teams playing in those arenas, to get the top facilities, share sponsorship, and possibly get a discount on rent. Do practises on weeknights with open ice, games on Friday and Saturdays. Do specials like girls under 14 get in free, or whatever. Hell, with a strong partnership they could hypothetically play before an NHL game for fans who want to upgrade their ticket. Partnerships wouldn't be required, much like how the WNBA functions. Connecticut and Brampton would be teams that fit this category.
College sports have travel partners that do weekend trips and swap opponents to minimize on the trips. Each team has one, depending on the closest team in their division. I have a 4 team western division, a 6 team central division, and a 4 team eastern division. I did the math and an even schedule can be made with 32 games played. I can get to those later but feel like I'm rambling.
Here are the first 7 teams. Just one jersey concept for each. I used an Adidas template as a future NHL partner. They'd have more freedom than they would with the NHL. I put some small ads on the jersey as another form of income. All the ones there are just simple ones that might carry over, or in Connecticut's case, already exist. I started out mirroring NHL teams closely, and my friend Lexi made a good point. Basically she said AHL teams' jerseys are inspired but not carbon copies and so should these. Great point, and I tried my best to design as such.
Buffalo Beauts (NWHL)
Connecticut Whale (NWHL)
Detroit Sirens (Expansion)
I originally was going to put them in Grand Rapids, but decided the brand new Red Wings practice facility would be a better home.
Edmonton Vixens (Expansion)
A V as the center hem with a cool fox logo I made that would share the orange heavy uniform set.
New Jersey Riveters (NWHL)
I didn't like the places the Rangers and Islanders practice, but the New York Riveters play out of the small arena inside the Devils building. I kept the bad ass logo and swapped navy for black.
Pittsburgh Blades (CWHL)
So this was the CWHL Boston team that I relocated 100% based on the fact I liked the Boston Pride's logo more. They were black and yellow so Pittsburgh seemed like a good fit in a hockey hub. The Penguins rink looks really nice.
Toronto Furies (CWHL)
I've got 7 left to do. I want to make some friends design teams, so not sure when this is getting done, but I've had these done for a month and finally got around to posting them.
Friday, April 21, 2017
So I read this article by Bob Pockrass, ESPN's NASCAR writer. It basically says that NASCAR has chased money and left smaller tracks that have a history in NASCAR feel disconnected from the NASCAR world with their local short track series. He talks about how Winston did a lot for the small tracks and you still see Winston logos around these tracks, 15 years after they left the sport.
It's a good article, and brings up a good point. Every time they run a short track race, just like this weekend at Bristol, the drivers and fans love it and want more gritty short track racing. The truck series runs at Tony Stewart's dirt track Eldora every summer, and it's a fun event and when that gets ran, people say that a weeknight race would be very cool to see in the top series. Brad Keselowski is a big proponent of this, and would be considered the poster boy of the weeknight race movement.
So in my typical fashion, I ran with an idea. I had huge plans, but couldn't come up with much graphics outside of a logo. Think of this as a big connected series with my race track restoration concepts. Did you know the day after the MLB All Star game is the only day of the year there isn't any scheduled game of the big 4 sports? I would want to take advantage of that.
Introducing the Roots Derby.
So this is a mix of the Winter Classic and the Kraft Hockeytown events. The tracks listed above hosted the Cup series at one point, near .5 miles long, and all are in the Southeastern USA, or close to Kentucky, a trip that would be manageable on a short week. Each year, the host track would be announced and on a rotating basis would host a single cup race for the first time in decades. The idea would be that renovations up to spec to give these tracks as close to a cup facilities they can, and letting the track keep most of those things. That includes fences, SAFER barriers in the turns, and pit walls when needed. No repaving or anything, just the simple fixes and a fresh coat of paint. NBC Sports could broadcast out of a mobile studio, instead of the equivalent of a high school football media center. Put up some port o potties, have food trucks to help concession lines, and use some of the space around the track for merchandise.
Also split the cost of a new leaderboard branded with Monster logos.
(This is Talladega, but very similar to what most tracks have)
Well what about seating? I've looked at the capacities, and most of these are around 10,000. I propose decent sized temporary grandstands, like a street circuit. Why? Well there's a few reasons. A track like Gresham Motorsports Park doesn't need 40,000 seats permanently, but would take a small expansion. NASCAR tracks also make more TV money than ticket money, something there would be an explosion of when you only have to compete against the WNBA and the AAA baseball All Star Game. Most, if not all of these tracks are in big spaces of land, so temporary seats would be easy to accommodate. Not to mention, these tracks don't have the amenities to host much more fans than they can already. Lastly, you won't have people driving from out of town for a Wednesday night race, so mostly locals would be at this event.
That brings me to another point, this race would be 300 laps. Segment wise, 75-75-150. Bristol and Martinsville run 500 laps, which is great but just so long. More and more people are advocates of shortening races, and this would be a good platform to do this. A 500 lap race on a weeknight would take forever, especially if there is a delay.
Cup would take up the whole day on the track. Do practice during the day, qualifying at about 6, and race at 7:30. The day before would be all to the local promoters. Asphalt racing pales in comparison to dirt tracks on a weekly basis. My idea is to have a Stock Showcase, a televised appetizer to the event the next day. This would be where the track makes most of it's money. Have locals get some spotlight and possibly a doorway to the better series. The main event purse would be significant, something a lot of small time racers would value. I don't imagine a back marker NASCAR team offering a ride in the Roots Derby due to NASCAR licensing, but hey maybe a streamlined process could get these guys in.
Finally, financials. Split the Roots Derby cash between the promoters, NBC Sports, and whoever else gets a cut(me, it was my idea after all). Ideally, this should offset the couple million it'd take to renovate the track. The track would have a decent nest egg to possibly renovate media centers to get a legit shot at hosting some form of NASCAR on the regular.
I think that's it! A lot to take in after about 3 weeks of planning. If you're somehow brought here from twitter or whatever, check out this big thread where I have a fictional track company and I renovate tracks.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Hey guys. Some of you might remember this unfinished series. It was a long concept of if high profile international baseball was started in the 50s, and by this time it would be a massive event.
I did like 10 full recaps of the fake tournaments up to 1989, then stopped. The reason? I created my highly popular soccer template and it changed my whole view on templates, and since this was on my old one, and I had so many done for 1993 onwards, it would have been a bitch to remake.
Since then I learned illustrator and realized how truly hard I made it on myself without using clipping groups on the sleeve and stuff. Anyways, I've been looking at these concepts forever and wanting to post. I believe the document with all my plans are on my old laptop which crapped out and was replaced. So I think this series is dead.
But capitalizing on the WBC trend, I'm gonna show off some stuff. I'll post my event logos, then maybe some highlights for the uniforms. They're all designed to fit that era, and was one of my favorite projects ever.
1993 - South Korea
New super power Korea brought the game back to Asia
1997 - Florida
This was pre-Rays hype for Tropicana Field, with games in Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville
2001 - Latin America
A massive 4 country bid with Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela hosting in their best stadium.
2005 - Taiwan
They had 4 stadiums new enough to host games, and would host for the first time
2009 - Caribbean
I believe the second time these two would host. A joint bid since they don't have the 4 stadiums they'd need individually.
2013 - California
LA, San Francisco, Anaheim, and San Diego.
So that's where we are now! Might do 2017 with Australia or Mexico. Who knows. Here is all of them together.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Day Weekend folks!
Had this idea a few nights ago. Monster took over the sponsorship for the Nascar Cup series, which is a great move to try and attract younger fans. You know what else would do? Make some sick caps.
I believe 2 years ago, or maybe last year, Fanatics and Nascar teamed up for basically a streamlined shopping center, replacing merch haulers. Fanatics is a great website with tons of gear for all sorts of sports.
Moving on, if you watch practice or anything where drivers are more relaxed, you'd see sponsor caps done by New Era, which is good because fitted caps are better made than floppier adjustable caps, and they just add to the billboards drivers are at the track. But what about fans? At the track a DOW hat would show you're an Austin Dillon fan, but away from it, you just look like you really like chemicals and plastics.
Doing research after the fact, there are some hats like the one below. I thought it was inevitable with the Monster sponsorship, but you don't see too many hats without crazy designs or the numbers being the main focus of the hat.
So what I did was make some caps designed a lot like baseball caps. Few base colors, a New Era logo, a league logo on the back, and of course sponsors because who am I kidding of course there would be.
Just because I know I didn't do everyone, I'm releasing the file for the hats above and my number font file I created. Feel free to make some of your own!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I've had an idea for a realistic golf game, but done with putt-putt. So I made some menus based on a 20 year old joke from The Simpsons because creating a video game is out of my reach.