Jul 25, 2011, 11:27 AM EDT
When the Winnipeg Jets (somewhat involuntarily) shared their new logo with the world, there was no denying its resemblance to the Royal Canadian Air Force’s roundel. True North Sports and Entertainment admitted that it was inspired by the air force’s emblem (and that their logo was created with some help from Reebok and the NHL), in their press release related to the announcement.
Now it’s looking like the relationship between the Jets/True North and the Royal Canadian Air Force is about more than just artistic inspiration. The team is clearly tying its “brand identity” to the military branch, as you can see from their Web site. That relationship became even more tangible on Sunday as CBC News reports that True North will donate $1 million to military charities for the next 10 years. CBC News explains that the donations will go to three different charities: the Air Force Heritage Fund, Soldier On and the Military Families Fund.
Maj.-Gen. Alain Parent, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, said it was easy to partner with the new hockey outfit.
“Winnipeg has had a long association with the air force,” he said. “Blue Bombers and Jets are both aircraft that have served or are serving the air force.”
“In turn, we consider Winnipeg to be the heart of the air force,” he said.
Some might find the association between a military outfit and a professional hockey team to be unsettling, but it’s clear that the bond has been made for the next decade. Sports teams frequently pay tribute to military members in attendance by offering them nice seats, ovations and other kind gestures, but there aren’t many moments when a franchise literally pays tribute like this.
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