The desert is an unlikely home for a hockey team, yet the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes have a passionate following. To energise and expand the pack, the Coyotes tapped 9thWonder for a rebrand that debuted this week as the team returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in eight years.
‘Howl Yeah,’ the new rallying cry and logo, leans on the insight that sports are tribal and unify a diverse community of fans. ‘Howl Yeah’ accompanies photos of determined-looking players on billboards throughout Arizona’s major cities, while TV spots, banner ads, radio spots and online video ads stoke fans.
“The campaign introduces an edgy new attitude for the team,” said Jose Lozano, CEO of 9thWonder.
Short online videos play up speed, scoring, fierce body checks, and fan exultation with cheering in the soundtrack and the voiceover: “We are the Coyotes. Laced up and battle ready. Can we play-make, regulate, dominate? Howl Yeah!”
Longer videos play on anticipation of ‘resilience, grit, and toughness that only grows in triple-digit heat. Yeah, it’s frickin’ hot. But being thirsty is something we’re used to.’ The 30 second spot intersperses a fan (a young boy playing street hockey in a cape) and close-up of snarling coyotes with the on-ice action. A 75-second hype video, running on social media, tells the whole story. There’s also a full range of animated banners, billboards and t-shirts.
Interestingly, The Coyotes originally found the agency through 9thWonder’s Latin X practice (part of its Consumer X division) – which defines and engages with the consumers who drive commerce in rising demographic segments – and the CEOs of both enterprises are second-generation Latino businessmen.
“The Howl Yeah campaign is a rallying cry for our loyal and passionate fan base that will focus on the fun, excitement, and intensity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” said Xavier Gutierrez, president and CEO of the Coyotes. “We’re confident that this campaign will energise and unite our team, our community and our state.”
9thWonder is on a winning streak with pro sports teams. In the past year, the agency has picked up three soccer teams as well - the Houston Dash, which won the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup last month, along with the Houston Dynamo and LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) men’s teams.