On Thursday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks revealed their helmet sponsor for the 2021-22 season.
Belle Tire will serve as the team’s helmet sponsor this season. The Blackhawks’ official press release highlighted details about the company’s upcoming expansion into the Chicagoland market and how hockey is “part of Belle Tire’s DNA.”
That’s all fine and dandy. I get the financial aspect of helmet/jersey advertising. Good for the NHL, the Blackhawks, and Belle Tire. More money flowing into the greatest game in the world is a positive development for all parties involved.
But I’m here solely to critique the aesthetic aspects of this advertisement.
When NHL helmet ads debuted in 2020, United served as the Blackhawks’ sponsor. It was a natural fit considering United’s ties to the team, most notably the name of their home arena. The United logo that appeared on the Hawks’ helmets last season was just fine as well. One color, a simple line of text, and a small logo.
With Belle Tire taking over in 2021-22, a busier logo now resides on the sides of the Hawks’ helmets.
The animated character brings red and blue into the color mix, making Belle Tire’s logo more noticeable than its predecessor. Once again, this isn’t a slight against Belle Tire, the Blackhawks, or the NHL. It just looks odd. It’s the type of logo I’d expect to see along the boards, not on players’ equipment. Last year’s United logo looked clean and balanced. The same cannot be said about Belle Tire’s design, in my opinion.
Yes, I know that fans will hardly notice them for the majority of a hockey game. You’ll only get a good look at them when sitting along the glass or viewing close-up shots of players on the TV broadcast or the United Center video board. Still, it catches my eye in a way that now makes the Hawks’ brain buckets look peculiar.