A brief update on my post a few months ago about the new NHL team based in Las Vegas, scheduled to begin play in October 2017. As I discussed in my post, the team created some publicity by revealing only part of the team name a few months ago, the “Las Vegas [Something] Knights.” The team kept us on the edge of our seats back in September by hinting that the name would be one of three options: The Las Vegas Silver Knights, Desert Knights, or Golden Knights.

At a ceremony on November 22, the full team name was finally announced: The Vegas Golden Knights. Below is the team’s logo, which was revealed on Twitter:


The naming ceremony, with around 5,000 fans in attendance, took place outside the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, where the hockey team will play. No word yet on whether the team will make use of the alternative team names it hinted (Desert Knights or Silver Knights). As I mentioned in my last post, the team filed intent-to-use trademark applications on all three alternative names, perhaps to disguise which team name would be chosen. There have not been any status updates on those trademark applications since the time of filing. (See Application Serial Nos. 87147274, 87147273, 87147261, 87147254, 86526792, 87147265, and 87147269.)

From a branding perspective, the new name has been met with some mixed reviews, although some of the reception has been positive, with the caveat that the naming ceremony itself was a mess. However, the name may encounter some legal hurdles, as U.S. Army officials are considering a challenge. The Army announced that it is conducting a legal review of the hockey team’s use of the “Golden Nights” name because the Army has used that name since the 1960s for the U.S. Army Parachute Team, based at Fort Bragg. The team owner, Bill Foley, stated that he is not planning to change the team name in response to the Army’s concerns. It will be interesting to see whether the Army files oppositions to the team’s trademark applications. Stay tuned for updates.

  • James Mahoney

    As a stalwart Bruins fan, I can say that they won’t have too many golden nights out there in the early years. Though if they throw some of that famous Vegas money around, they might get a few venerable bodies to wear the logo.

    I’ve heard the moaning about both the name and the logo. While the name is unimaginative, I like the logo. It’ll look good on the uniforms and the paraphernalia, and is remarkably tasteful for Vegas.

    As far as the Silver Knights and the Desert Knights, they might be reserved for the Vegas farm team affiliates. Personally, I think the Dessert Knights might have struck some as a sweeter name though…

    Finally, I doubt that anyone will confuse the parachutists with the skaters. Methinks the Army will be firing blanks on any challenge.

  • Tucker Chambers

    Thanks for your comment James! I also like the logo, but I agree that the name itself could be better. Dessert Knights would have been pretty funny. I agree the Army challenge might be unsuccessful… but it will be interesting to see how this develops.

    • James Mahoney

      I read in today’s The Wall Street Journal that the USPTO denied the trademark application, but not because of the Army. It cited possible confusion with the Golden Knights of the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

      NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly thinks otherwise. NHL is reviewing the USPTO letter and will respond. They’ll likely point to numerous other nicknames that co-exist in college and professional sports.

      Incidentally, in Daly’s quote, he refers to them as the Vegas Golden Knights. Seems to me that not many people would confuse Albany with Vegas, and especially wouldn’t associate Saint Rose with Vegas (unless she headlines there).

      • Tucker Chambers

        Thanks James, I read the same thing in WSJ and also on Espn.com (as Martha linked below) today. The Office Action refusal was issued the day after my post unfortunately so I couldn’t cover it, but it may be worth another post soon! The NHL states the refusal is routine… but I think there are some strong points in the Office Action based on the nearly identical names (with the disclaimer of “Vegas” as primarily geographical descriptive, as required by the Office Action) and similar services: “entertainment services, namely, professional ice hockey exhibitions” vs. “entertainment services in the form of intercollegiate sports exhibitions.” However, there are also some good arguments for overcoming the refusal. I may do another post on this, especially as further updates arise.

  • Martha Engel

    Apparently they’ve already received a refusal for the mark based on a college’s team name. http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/18234450/vegas-golden-knights-trademark-request-denied-us-patent-office