Tampa Bay Lightning unveil new logo and uniforms

Written By:  •  Monday, January 31, 2011
New Lightning Uniforms (2011-12)

Tampa Bay Lightning players model the new team uniforms for the 2011-12 season, unveiled today January 31, 2011

The Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their new logo and uniforms today at a noon press conference in Tampa, Florida… the new look features a relatively stripped down and traditional appearance for the typically modern looking franchise — presumably heavily influenced by long time Detroit Red Wing (the kings of tradition), and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

Tampa Bay Lightning Logos 2011-12

New primary, secondary and alternate logos for the Tampa Bay Lightning

The press conference started off with the owner of the club inadvertently referring to the club as the “Tampa Lightning” — whoops!  Perhaps an accidental slip of the tongue indicating a new team name? Eh, probably not but it sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Other things said at today’s terribly long and boring press conference (which felt more like an internal PowerPoint meeting than what should have been an exciting new-logo press conference)…

  • Listened to Lightning fans and employees about the new team logo and uniforms
  • Made use of a brand wheel — “used by several teams when developing a new look”
  • Players are “proud to wear the bolt”
  • SME Design, out of New York, designed the new brand
  • They wanted a logo and uniform that is one colour, traditional, classic, elegant and iconic, similar to the Dallas Cowboys star
  • Players gave positive reviews of new logo and uniforms
  • Blue and white colour scheme chosen to reflect the colour of Tampa Bay (and ice, I guess)

It should be noted that after the logo was introduced the CEO told the audience “you can clap”, that says it all…

The new home uniform is blue, which is the only welcome change of this whole re-branding… the logo is extremely simple, a white Lightning bolt on a white circle — the players will wear one colour names and numbers, a shoulder patch which appears to be a bolt on a circle with “Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Club”.

The new road uniform, white – as expected – basically a reverse coloured version of the home — the logo, like Nashville’s roads, has TAMPA BAY written above it, the same shoulder patch and one-colour name and numbers from the home jerseys are present.

The existing alternate jersey will be carried over into 2011-12.

The club announced that they unveiled the jersey now to prevent it from being leaked and kudos to them for that because they did just that, it was not leaked whatsoever, other than hints about how it would look — first time in a long time that a team has been able to pull this off.  Also announced was that every season ticket holder will be given a team jersey affixed with a tracking device so the club knows when you are in the building, also to automatically give discounts, etc. — an interesting idea… just don’t use that information to hassle fans who have skipped a few games in a row.

One of my favourite features of the previous Lightning identity has NOT carried over to the new look, the victory stripes under each arm, originally added so they’d be visible while the Stanley Cup was paraded around the rink by their players… perhaps they don’t think they’ll be needing them anytime soon.

Tampa Bay Lightning Unused Logo

Logo registered by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2001 but ultimately never used officially by the club

This is the third re-brand for the Lightning and the first time the logo contains no wordmark on the home jerseys (they’ve seemed to bugger it up every time, in my opinion).  For those who may not remember, the Bolts attempted to introduce either a new logo or alternate logo back in 2001 when they registered to image to the right with the USPTO but once the news of this hit the fans they eventually backed off with their plans — plans back then also reportedly included adding red to the colour scheme which obviously never happened.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • miscbanjoinc

    I feel this sweater took a Red Wings template and painted over it with Maple Leaf colours, and while those are two iconic sweaters there is just something unsettling about that. There is an individuality missing from this.

    Also, It’s too bad that they didn’t carry over the lightning bolt on the pants, I’ve always thought that was a nice touch to their uniform.

  • Billc756

    Get the new Lightning imagery at their website. Super easy to find.

  • beazy

    I seen pictures of what the new logo lightning looks like,??? Are they serious? I like the new blue, BUT there is NOTHING exciting about a PLAN JANE BOLT THAT’S CIRCLED. The older logo seems better w/ more character and depth that made it look 3D. I’m not one of those that get on TBO and bash everything, but this is one terrible multi-million dollar idea to reinvent a sports team. The Bucs logo and colors is one of the best in the NFL, the Rays doesn’t have a cool logo, but the color combination saves it. Seriously, it looks like my lil’sister drew up this lightning’s symbol. I don’t know who SME Design of New York is ,and maybe the idea was so when kids wanted to draw a perfect tb lightning logo, they could . But, for the millions of dollars of developing, make it look worth changing, keep the 3D look, make the logo look cool like the Rockford Lightning, or the Trenton Thunders logo, or at least throw some yellow in it, or outline it in black…

    I hope the idea works out for them, but from a 14 year straight A art student sports junkie, I know a fans logo and colors means alot, because it’s what we wear, what we put on our cars, walls, and screensavers, it’s what we support, for a part of who we are…

  • kyle

    i dont like this logo, just looks like they wanted to dumb it down. As for “They wanted a logo and uniform that is one colour, traditional, classic, elegant and iconic, similar to the Dallas Cowboys star” the logo is iconic you see the current logo and everyone knows who it is, this is stupid horrible idea next to when they changed to being called “bolts” team is falling apart!

  • Joshua Powers

    I like the stylized lightning bolt, but the rest of the sweater could easily be mistaken for Toronto’s.

  • Joshua Powers

    I like the stylized lightning bolt and entrapment, but the rest of the sweater could easily be mistaken for Toronto’s.

  • Marc

    I think it is a crisp, clean and simple logo-I like it. It seems there is a trend to make simple & classic logos and jerseys; some of them even tend to mirror one another, but I would rather take this epoch of uniforms over the horrid collection of alternative jersyes that poisoned the NHL 15-years-ago.

  • anonymous

    As a diehard Lightning fan, all I can say is that this is a terrible uniform. Seriously… no victory stripes? No black AT ALL? Now we just look like Maple Leaf rip-offs! And the final insult is keeping the “BOLTS” alternate- which will still be blue!! But what the heck, I, being the fool that I am, will still pay money for one and put it with all my other Lightning jerseys.

  • Matt Marczel

    There is nothing about this rebrand that I like, I’m very disappointed. The black blue white and silver colour sceme was/is unique and looks very good together. The lightning bolt pants are unique as well and I love’em. IMO the only thing they should’ve changed is the home jersey colour from black to blue.

  • Paul

    Wow. Another disappointment for a new jersey concept.This really is a terrible change, the logo looks pathetic,jerseys (YAWN) boring!.This is just my opinion but the original (2004 Stanley Cup winning)uniforms are a much better design which I agree with what other people have posted, unique and original, especially the lightning bolt on the pants.What a waste of time and money.

  • Phil

    I can see the simple color scheme they were shooting for but this looks too plain. I would have kept some of the Black and Silver. Also the Logo could use some black to make it stand out a little more.

  • MadPanda

    (Yawn!) Come on, really? Is this the best they could do?

    The Flash called…he wants his logo back. Oh, and the Maple Leafs are on the other line.

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  • Mandy

    Eeek…looks a lot like Toronto’s but it is still nice. I hated the “Bolts” thing…it made no sense to me. They are the “Lightning” not the “Lightning Bolts” so I never liked it. This is a sharp logo and anyone watching hockey will recognize the symbol.

  • Matt

    This is sad. Not only do they throw out all creativity with this logo, jersey and colour combination, but they are scrapping IMO the best looking jerseys in the NHL.

    I understand they are trying to add a retro or original feel to this, but the team has only been around since 1993. It’s not required for them to try and mimic simple jerseys and logo’s that have been around since early in the 1900’s. Stevie Y was an amazing player, leader and has done a good job in his first year as GM, but by no means is he an artist

  • totti

    Too bad they gave up their traditional look with black, blue and white. that was more unique. The Logo is too simple. You need at least a two color logo. Bring back the black!!!