The Colorado Avalanche, also known as the ‘Avs’, is a professional Ice Hockey Team based in Denver, Colorado. The franchise has a spotty history, founded in 1972 under Quebec Nordiques.
In their seven WHA seasons, they’d win the Avco World Trophy in 1977 and lose the finals in 1975. In 1979 the franchise entered the NHL, alongside Edmonton, Hartford, and the Winnipeg Jets.
After progressive decline and a dreadful 1989 season (the worst in franchise history), the team earned three overall draft picks, which they used to select Owen Nolan, Mats Sundin, and Eric Lindros. Lindros was later traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Peter Forsberg, five players, two first-draft picks, and $15 million, one of the most one-sided deals in sports history. Lindros wasn’t happy with this and refused even to wear the team jersey, begrudgingly holding it when it was passed to him.
Immediately after the trade, the Nordiques reached the playoffs for the first time in history. Despite their luck turning around, their finances did not, and they were eventually moved to Colorado and renamed the Avalanche.
COMSAT bought the team and set up the Ascent Entertainment Group, Inc, which went public on NASDAQ in 1995.
The Avalanche played in the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver on October 6, 1995, winning against the Detroit Red Wings. It marked the return of the NHL after an absence of 13 years. The NHL had no presence in Colorado after the Colorado Rockies (not to be confused with the Major League Baseball team) moved to New Jersey to become the New Jersey Devils.
Valeri Kamensky scored the first goal for the Avalanche, led by Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Adam Foote. Avalanche climbed the ranks further when all-star goaltender Patrick Roy joined the team. After losing a game against the Red Wings with his previous team, the Montreal Canadiens, he left and joined the Avalanche alongside ex-Montreal captain Mike Keane in a trade for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky, and Jocelyn Thibault.
They would finish the regular season, winning the Pacific Division and second place in the Western Conference. Colorado defeated the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Redwings to progress to the playoffs. In the Stanley Cup finals, the Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 4-0.
The 1995 season was the first major championship won by a Denver team, and the Avalanche were the only team to win a Stanley Cup in the first season after a relocation. They’re only the second to win a championship in the four major sports leagues, following the Washington Redskins in the NFL.
In 1996 Colorado won the Pacific Division again, with the added perk of the President’s trophy. Though during a rematch, they lost to the Detroit Red Wings. In 1999, The Avalanche’s new home stadium, the Pepsi Center, opened. They played their first game there in the 1999-2000 season. During the early 2000s, the Avalanches changed hands several times, first sold to Ascent and then to Walmart heirs Nancy and Bill Laurie for 400 million. Donald Sturm eventually bought the franchise for $461 million. Due to a dispute with the city of Denver, it was then sold to Liberty. Liberty held a minority stake when it was sold to Kroenke under Kroenke Enterprises.
Over the next few years, Joe Sakic would win several awards for the franchise, such as the Hart Memorial Trophy (given to the most valuable player in the NHL), the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and the Lester B Pearson Award. Ray Bourque and Joe Sakic were elected to the NHL’s first all-star team.
In 2006-07, the Avalanche missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993 (when they were in Quebec).
Until the Avalanche’s 2006–07 season, no team in the history of the NHL had ever made it to 95 points without entering the playoffs.
Due to Kroenke’s acquisition of the St Louis Rams of the NGL, Kroenke was forced to turn over control of the Denver Nuggets and Avalanche to his son in 2010.
After a disappointing 2012-13 season, Joe Sakic was named the Executive Vice President of hockey operations, overseeing all matters related to hockey personnel. Josh Kroenke was named President of the Avalanche. Patrick Roy returned in the same year as Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations. Roy and Sakic shared most duties until Jared Bednar succeeded him as Head Coach.
Currently, the Colorado Avalanche plays at the Ball Arena and shares with the Denver Nuggets of the NBA and Colorado Mammoths of the NLL.
Famous Colorado Avalanche trademarks
The Avalanche is a popular team with a unique image; few NHL teams have had the colorful history that they’ve enjoyed; surprisingly, they don’t have that many trademarks, but let’s take a look at some of their most recognizable ones, registered by Colorado Avalanche, LLC.
The first word mark registered was ‘Avalanche’, registered for use in one category in 1995:
- Entertainment services such as providing professional hockey exhibitions
The famous ‘A’ logo consists of a stylized ‘A’ in front of a ball; it’s simple but memorable and forms part of their recognizable branding. It was registered in 1995 for use in:
- Entertainment services, including providing professional hockey exhibitions
- Clothing: shirts, jerseys, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweatpants, warm-up suits, wristbands, headbands, shirts, caps, hats, socks, nightshirts, scarves, mittens, and cloth bibs
Related: Our guide to trademarking a logo
Yeti Foot logo
The Yeti Foot logo is still used in their branding and is easily one of the most recognizable Colorado Avalanche logos; it was first registered with the USPTO in 2002, following its first use in 1998. It’s registered for use in:
- Clothing, namely, boxer shorts, caps, hats, jackets, jerseys, scarves, shirts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, toques, and vests
- Entertainment services in the nature of professional ice hockey exhibitions
The ‘Avs’ trademark isn’t surprising, as this name commonly knows the team. It was registered in 2021 but had its first use in 1995; it’s most often seen on merchandise and is registered for the following:
- Clothing including bandanas, belts, body suits, rainwear, suspenders, sweaters, T-shirts, and ties
Colorado Avalanche team logo
The Colorado Avalanche logo features the word ‘Colorado’ above a ball, with the word ‘avalanche’ appearing in front in a stylized font. It’s one of the first team logos, with its registration in 1998. It’s registered for use in:
- Entertainment services, namely, providing professional hockey exhibitions
The CO logo is comprised of a mountain design with the letters ‘CO’ within the mountain. It was first used in e-commerce in 2019 and registered in 2021 in the following categories:
- Entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting professional ice hockey exhibitions
- Clothing, namely, boxer shorts, caps, cloth bibs, coats, gloves, hats, headbands, jackets, jerseys, mittens, nightshirts, pajamas, pants, scarves, shirts, shorts, socks, suspenders, sweaters, sweatpants, sweatshirts, swimsuits, swim trunks, T-shirts, etc., but not related to a sports team or stadium
The Colorado Avalanche National Hockey League team is worth more than 400 million dollars. Part of this wealth will be made up of intellectual property; however, despite a rich and varied history, they have very few trademarks, with less than a dozen registrations as of 2022.
Many teams copyright merchandise such as shirts, jerseys, hockey pucks, or sports equipment. It’s also common to trademark your mascot – as of yet, the Avalanches haven’t trademarked their signature mascot Bernie the St. Bernard.