In mid-May, the Philadelphia Flyers launched their new overall marketing concept, to go along with new hires Daniel Breyer (as general manager) and Keith Jones (as president of hockey operations): a new era of Orange.
Obviously, that new era includes a “new” orange color for their jerseys.
“This new era of Orange is about honoring our franchise’s past while writing an exciting new chapter in Flyers history,” Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dan Hilferty noted in a press release Tuesday. “This new uniform embodies exactly that feel with detailing to pay homage to past eras paired with a fresh, modern design.”
In many ways, the new jerseys are a throwback. A big nod to the past? A return to the bold “burnt orange” color that characterized Flyers’ sweatshirts in the ’80s and ’90s.
The most recent jersey was noticeably bright orange. But for the past five to seven years, the feedback in focus groups run by the foundation has been overwhelming: Fans wanted the dark orange back. So last summer, when the wheels were turned for a jersey refit—the team’s first since 2010—the plan was to bring it back.
However, the T-shirts are not a complete rehash of the ’90s. It is worth noting that the black trim between the shoulder and chest area is missing, a distinctive feature of the old jerseys.
But there are other differences as well. The numbers on the sleeves are now a solid color – black on the home jerseys (on top of the white sleeves) and white on the road jerseys (over the orange ones) – which wasn’t the case over the past decade, or in the 1980s. and the nineties.
It’s actually a reference to the first Flyers jerseys from 1967 to 1970, which also featured solid color sleeve numbers. The Flyers will retain the panel pattern on the back, an addition from the past decade remaining.
And then, of course, there’s the really big, new addition to T-shirts: advertising.
Last year, the Flyers did not sell advertising space on the front of their jerseys, as they were allowed to do so for the first time starting in 2022-23. Now, they’ve entered that game, partnering with Independence Blue Cross and putting a blue crest on their jackets.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that IBX was finally the choice — after all, it’s not only a homegrown company, but a new business for Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Hilferty.
“It is an organization that has meant a lot to me personally and to the entire Philadelphia area,” Hilferty noted in the press release.
The logos will be missing from the road jerseys (for now), but they will appear on the home and third alternative jerseys, which will remain in the same lion-centric design as in 2022-23.
But the aim this summer is clearly to rebrand the Flyers – an attempt to find a middle ground between the past and the future. They’re rebuilding, but with familiar faces running the show and with one of the last remaining “old school” coaches in the league.
They are restructuring organizations, but with players from the 90s and 2000s in positions of power rather than those from the 70s and 80s.
And now, they’re turning to new T-shirts that bear more than a few echoes of the past.
“These burnt orange jackets are one of the most recognizable symbols of Flyers hockey,” Jones added in the press release. “There is no doubt that this look is known throughout the NHL and uniquely loved by our fans because it brings to life one of the most important parts of our rebuilding – it honors our past as we continue to forge a new path forward.”
Old but new. So far, this is the new era for Orange. And now, she has a jersey design to match.
(Top photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers)
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”