One Advantage The Arizona Coyotes Might Have This Season

Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81). Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81). Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Coyotes don’t have a lot going for them. They finally managed to get a few wins on the season, but are still at the bottom of their division with no hope for playing meaningful hockey this season. It’s a rebuild of a rebuild and they have barely broken ground.

One thing the Coyotes have going for them is this season they brought back their original “kachina” style jerseys. In a sports market that couldn’t be more incongruent with the traditional history of hockey, the Kachina branding was one of the few things that worked. Coyotes fans and hockey fans abroad equally appreciated the logo that paid tribute to the local culture.

The move back to Kachina has been universally praised for the NHL’s worst team. It might help them earn some of the revenue they need while they enter another rebuild.

That might be one of the few things working in the Coyotes favor this year. While the Coyotes struggle on the ice and struggle to fill seats in their soon to be former arena, they might be a success at the gift shops. Sales of new Kachina merchandise can help the franchise’s bottom line in another playoff less season surrounded by arena drama. Remember hockey is a business, so any place the fans spend their hard earned money helps. The Coyotes haven’t exactly been known as a franchise on a solid financial footing.

The amount of Kachina jerseys and merchandise sold is going to be hard to figure out. The NHL usually releases metrics on players’ jerseys (such as who were the top selling jerseys) at the end of the season. Arizona is a team without any superstars (sorry, Jakob Chychrun) so “peyote Coyote” or not don’t expect to see any Arizona jerseys on that list.

Of course the team and one of the league’s partners could always release their internal sales data. Sales data was released for the successful launch of the Seattle Kraken’s jersey earlier this year. We can also expect Arizona’s relaunched Kachina numbers to be good off of last year’s reverse retro sales. The Coyotes were in the top five of those jersey sales. Not bad for a team everyone says should “just move to Quebec City”.

If anything, the Kachina jerseys are a step in the right direction. Hockey is a business and every successful branding has a successful brand. Winning games is the most successful way to build a brand, but a jersey that is universally beloved with local flair is a step in the right direction. It’s better than the Microsoft clip art one they used to use anyway.