Seattle Kraken devour Knights' expansion launch mark
The Seattle Kraken are the NHL's best-selling expansion identity launch ever, with sales four times the previous record set by the Vegas Golden Knights, according to Fanatics, the league's official retail partner.
Twelve days after the Kraken officially unveiled their name, logo and colors, the team is still responsible for two of the top-three selling products across all Fanatics sites, trailing only the WNBA hoodie released ahead of that league's restart.
Even with other professional leagues in full swing, the Kraken rank in the top-five selling teams for all sports across the entire Fanatics network of sites since July 24.
Meanwhile, the Kraken report that since revealing their name, they have a 35% increase in their season ticket-holder waiting list, bringing the total from 39,000 to 51,000. That's on top of the 32,000 fans who have already put down deposits for season tickets.
The team says there were 20 million visits to its website in the first 24 hours, and saw a 157% increase in social media following in that span.
Seattle also launched its own e-commerce stores that sell merchandise with their preferred catch phrase, "Release the Kraken," with full proceeds going to various local nonprofit groups. There have been 13,069 orders on that site, and it has received 2.79 million page views. (The site briefly crashed on the day of the launch.)
The NHL awarded Seattle a franchise in 2018 for a record $650 million expansion fee -- up from the $500 million the Vegas Golden Knights paid. The Kraken will join the NHL in the 2021-22 season, playing at a refurbished downtown arena that was once home to the NBA SuperSonics. Seattle, the 18th-largest city in the United States, has not had a winter sports team since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008
The Kraken were meticulous in their branding strategy. Minority owner Andy Jassy said the team looked at more than 1,200 names and did a "real exploration" on more than 100 of them. Seattle settled on a color scheme of deep ocean and icy blue, plus red accents.