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Learning from the Vegas Golden Knights: Naming, Logo Design, and Presentation

Vegas Sign

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If you’re a hockey fan like us, you probably heard about the new expansion team coming to the NHL in 2017-18, the Vegas Golden Knights. Majority owner Bill Foley spent a cool $500 million to bring the NHL to another desert city (thanks again, Bettman) that barely goes below freezing. Once again, if you’re like us you may not have been too amazed with the reveal.

Now, how does this relate to you? As we mentioned, hockey is a tough sell in Vegas, and so is launching your own business. That includes choosing a name, logo design, and marketing tactics. We’re going to take a look at the Vegas Golden Knights and use them as a learning tool for what to do (and not to do) when starting your own business.

Choosing a Name

BrainstormUnlike a lot of earlier NHL franchises that put their team names in the hands of a fan vote, majority owner Bill Foley took matters into his own hands. The name Golden Knights is a nod to his alma mater, the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy, and Nevada’s gold production. Foley told the crowd at the reveal what the name represents: “the knight protects the unprotected. The knight defends the realm…” So why not the Las Vegas Knights? Well, the London Knights already own that copyright in Canada and refuse to give it up.

Regardless of the meaning behind the name, it’s received very mixed reviews online, with complaints including everything from dropping the “Las,” to using a tacky descriptor word (similar to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Anaheim Mighty Ducks). Now, how can you make sure your name is stellar? We have some tips for you below.

  1. Choose something relatable. Before you even think about a name, we hope you have an idea of what type of business you’ll be running. You’re going to want a name that represents that well, hopefully with a bit of local flavour mixed in. For example, Canadian Hockey Equipment gives a lot more information and would be easier to find (especially online) than Mike’s Equipment. Make sure your customers know what you do from your name.
  2. Don’t be set on one word/phrase. Another important piece about naming is to keep an open mind. Being too set on one particular word or phrase can limit your options and result in a less than optimal name choice. Be open-minded and ask for feedback from people that will be honest and challenge your opinion.
  3. Simplicity is best. A name should be easily recognizable, catchy, and simple to spell. Again, you want it to be easy for customers to find you online. Don’t let your business be lost in the depths of search engines. Stand out with simplicity.

Need some help finalizing your name?  We have experts in our Entrepreneur’s Club that can assist you. For example, our partners Law Scout can help ensure the legality of your name and logo and keep track of all your paperwork for a fixed fee.

Designing a Logo

DesignGetting back to the Golden Knights, they did a great job with their logos with the help of Adidas and their marketing team. Go ahead and see for yourself.

Some say the colour scheme is a bit bland, but the designs are clean and full of hidden meaning. At first glance, the main logo looks like a standard knight’s helmet, but it has a lot more depth than that. Look carefully at the negative space where your face would be and you can see a ‘V’ for Vegas.

Their secondary logo, an oddly-shaped star shield with the swords behind it, is a homage to the star on the classic Las Vegas sign.

Finally, the colour scheme plays to the local feel. The ‘steel’ grey comes from the traditional armour colour, the gold from Nevada’s high gold production, the red from the surrounding desert area, and the black adds “power and intensity,”  according to Foley.

Overall, despite some people thinking they’re closer to sci-fi than knight helmets (see MagnetoBoba Fett, etc.), the Vegas Golden Knights really nailed the designs of these logos, keeping them clean, recognizable, and full of meaning.

There are some great notes you can take from the Golden Knights when designing a logo of your own. We’ve highlighted them below:

  1. Make it easily recognizable. Your logo needs to be easily recognizable and eye catching to start, ensuring that you capture people’s attention. Don’t make it too complex, but something that is memorable and unique.
  2. Add some meaning. Ensure that it best represents the company and that customers can immediately make the connection between your logo and what you do. If you can, throw in some local flavour and hidden meaning like the Golden Knights did. That will help them remember and recall your business when they’re looking for products and services in your industry.
  3. Find some inspiration. There are tons of places to take inspiration from so make sure to use them. Have a brainstorming session around your name and brand identity to get started. Similar to your name, make sure to get other people’s opinions to find the best fit and don’t infringe on others’ copyrights.

We also have partners in our Entrepreneur’s Club who can help. Once you’ve picked your fancy new logo, head over to Vistaprint to design business cards, letterheads, and more. You’ll get an exclusive discount just for being in the Entrepreneur’s Club.

The Presentation

StorefrontNow that you have your name and logo, it’s time to show it off to the world. Now, if you watched the video of the Vegas Golden Knights announcement above, you know how not to do it.

Your business may not have a big reveal presentation with a countdown and confetti, but you’re still presenting yourself to the world. First impressions have a huge influence on your business, so you need to make sure all of your touch-points look appealing. That means a pleasing storefront for prospective customers and passers-by, a website that’s easy to find and navigate, and an active social media presence. Our partners Arnold Street Media can help you with digital graphic design and media production to make sure your web presence really pops.

The wrong presentation can have people shying away and ignoring your regardless of how great your products and services are. Great presentation can help you gain trust, be found amongst the clutter, and keep growing. At 411.ca, we can help you by listing your business and getting you noticed.


Get your new business noticed online. Visit 411.ca to add your business and put your name and logo to work.


Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Queen's University. He's obsessed with everything marketing and devoted to helping entrepreneurs everywhere thrive.