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Year-End Awards: Best Fashion Statement

By Mark J. Burns

Best Fashion Statement: Seattle Kraken Jersey

Seattle’s sweater smashed sales records.seattle kraken

Seattle unleashed the Kraken’s jersey in September 2021 and immediately saw a deluge of interest that stretched beyond the team’s home waters in the Pacific Northwest. 

In the first five days after being made available to the public, the league said sales for the sweaters were the highest in NHL history for a newly released jersey. To date, the Kraken have also sold over 33,500 jerseys at Seattle-based team stores, according to a club spokesperson. 

What’s more, Kraken merchandise sales across all Seattle locations, including Climate Pledge Arena, eclipsed $1 million during the weekend of Oct. 22-24, which included the team’s inaugural home game on Oct. 23 against the Vancouver Canucks. Notable local celebrities such as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, star singer Ciara, sported the team’s new jersey marks at the home opener along with Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird, Seattle native and rapper Macklemore and Seahawks Pro Bowl wideout DK Metcalf.  

As expected, the NHL’s 32nd team has not fared well on the ice in its inaugural season — the Kraken are last in the Pacific division — but robust sales in the face of such sluggish play is perhaps all the more evidence that the team’s jersey is the Best Fashion Statement of 2021.

$1 million

In merchandise sales across all Seattle locations during the weekend of the Kraken’s first game on Oct. 23.

In fact, the brand has been setting the pace for sports teams since its debut in July 2020. Even with more than a year to go until the franchise would play its first game, the Kraken were the top-selling team across all major pro sports leagues that month, according to global ecommerce sports retailer Fanatics.

The Kraken partnered with Adidas to design the team’s logo, led by that company’s senior designer Matt Merrill, who developed the primary mark and jersey. Brian Gundell, an Orlando-based independent graphic designer who has worked with teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, D.C. United, San Diego Padres and Tennessee Titans, created the Kraken’s secondary mark. 

David Bonderman, billionaire owner and a founding partner of private equity firm TPG Capital, led the creative design process internally along with a brand committee composed of the Kraken’s leadership, including co-owner and famed film producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke, among others.

Sometimes those executives found they had the best ideas; it was Bonderman himself who added the distinctive red eye to the new Kraken logo. 

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