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On Sunday the Canterbury Kings open their Twenty20 Super Smash campaign with a free to enter match at Hagley against Wellington Firebirds.
The match will also see them return to a traditional red and black playing strip after making the divisive decision to switch to purple and gold and ditch the ‘Wizards’ name for the ‘Kings’ for the 2014/15 season. Until this summer Canterbury have continued to play in purple and gold.
Given the debate surrounding the Crusaders recent rebrand, our T20 cricket side doing one of their own is topical, but what’s really changed? Well, other than no longer being able to refer to the Kings as flaunting their purple helmets, not a lot.
The marketing move has been made in the hope of no doubt increasing attendance and preventing the few dozen emails Canterbury Cricket receive every couple of years from so called purists who remain adamant in their refusal to attend a match played by a Canterbury team who aren’t coated in red and black.
The original decision to go to purple and gold was commercially driven due to the colours standing out among the traditional red and black Canterbury colours, giving Canterbury Cricket its own identity within the region.
Yes, it wasn’t our traditional colours, but there’s nothing traditional about T20 cricket and in hindsight, it’s hard to see why so many people found the purple helmet so hard to swallow.
In recent weeks similar noise - albeit amplified - has been heard about the Crusaders new logo. Many - once again purists - have vowed to not buy new merchandise or attend games. Some have even claimed the new Crusaders logo looks like two phalluses touching. Get your head out of the gutter, guys.
Read into rebrandings as much as you like, at the end of the day it comes down to whether or not you want to support your team and the sport in your region by attending a Kings or Crusaders game. Whether it’s wearing a particular colour, or logo, shouldn’t matter.
- The Kings match is part of a double-header at Hagley Park which begins with the Canterbury Magicians playing Wellington Blaze at 12.40pm. Entry is free.