The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Elmont, New York. Often referred to as the “Isles” or “Islanders”, they play in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. They are one of three NHL teams based in the New York and New Jersey area, (alongside the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers) and so their fan base is typically limited to Long Island.
Founded in 1972, the team was created by the NHL to prevent the rival league, World Hockey Association (WHA) from placing a team in the newly built Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders quickly shot to success after their establishment. They secured 14 straight playoff berths and won four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships between 1980 and 1983. Their 19 consecutive playoff series wins continue to be unparalleled in the history of professional sports to this day. The Islanders are the last team to win more than two consecutive Stanley Cup championships. They are also recognized as a dynasty by the NHL.
Unfortunately, the New York Islanders have not seen much success since 1988 after running into problems with money, ownership, and management. They moved from Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn during the 2014/15 season and most recently moved to the UBS Arena near Belmont Park in 2021.
Famous New York Islanders trademarks
Given their establishment in 1972 and their huge amount of success, it makes sense that the New York Islanders would protect themselves by trademarking their brand and assets. Plus being one of three NHL teams playing in New York means that there could be fierce competition over similar branding. However, despite this, the Islanders only have 17 trademarks registered with USPTO. Let’s take a look at some of their most famous trademarks, registered by the New York Islanders Hockey Club L.P.
New York Islanders
The hockey team was quick to register their team name for trademark, filing for it in 1972 and having it granted in 1973. The registration applies to:
- Performing professional ice hockey contests
- Clothing; namely, shirts, jerseys, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweatpants, shorts, caps, scarves, mittens, and bibs
The colloquial team name of the “Islanders” was also registered in 1972 at the same time as the full team name. Registration for this wordmark applies to:
- Performing professional ice hockey contests
- Clothing, namely, jerseys
“Isles” is another nickname for the team that didn’t take off until much later. The wordmark “Isle” was registered with USPTO in 2002 and granted in 2005, it applies to:
- Clothing, namely, caps, hats, shirts, skirts, sweatshirts, and T-shirts
- Entertainment services in the nature of professional ice hockey exhibition
From the Barn to the Bank
The New York Islanders garnered a terrible reputation in the early 2000s for their home at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum which was looking worse for wear. After years of failed attempts trying to rebuild or replace it, they had a new $400 million state-of-the-art stadium built for them near Belmont Park in 2021.
The new stadium, called the UBS Arena, was built as a 20-year deal with UBS bank. Fans didn’t like this name and tried coming up with their own nickname. A popular one was “The Stable”, referencing the Belmont horse track next door. However, “The Bank” appeared to be the most popular – referencing their new banking partner, UBS. In July 2020, the Islanders applied for trademarks for “The Bank”, “From the Barn to the Bank” (referencing their affectionate nickname for the Nassau Coliseum), and “The Stables”, despite the arena already being named. These trademarks are currently pending, but if granted will apply to:
From the Barn to the Bank
- Face covers as sanitary masks for protection against viral infection
- Blanket throws, flags of textile or plastic, pennants of textile, banners, and flags of textile, cloth flags, cloth pennants, fabric flags, fleece blankets, and lap blankets
- Headwear, shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, tops as clothing, knit face masks being headwear, sports shirts, sports jerseys, and T-shirts
- Pucks, face masks being playthings, toy masks, and toy foam novelty items, namely, foam fingers and hands
“The Bank” and “The Stable” covers the above plus:
- Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances; entertainment, namely, live music concerts; organization, arranging, and conducting of sports competitions; providing information relating to sporting, cultural, and live theatrical productions; provision of information relating to live performances, road shows, live stage events, theatrical performances, live music concerts and audience participation in such events
New York Islanders logo
The logo for the New York Islanders hockey team has largely remained unchanged since it was designed by Jacob Morris Strongin in 1972. It features a circular dark blue badge with an orange silhouette of Long Island. White “NY” lettering sits in front, with the “Y’ looking like a hockey stick. Orange “Islanders” writing curves around the bottom. True Islanders will notice that the tip of the “I” points to Uniondale on the Long Island silhouette and the team’s home, the Nassau Coliseum.
Controversially, the Islanders tried to rebrand in 1995. They changed their logo to a masked fisherman holding a hockey stick with blue and orange accents. “Islanders” is written across the bottom in a new modern typeface. This logo looked similar to the Gorton’s fisherman, prompting rival Rangers’ fans to chant “we want fish sticks” at games. The new logo was a total failure and was quickly phased out by 1997 when they went back to their original logo, which has only marginally changed in color since. The New York Islanders logo was trademarked in 1990 and applies to:
- Clothing; namely, shirts, jerseys, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, pants, sweatpants, warm-up suits, wristbands, headbands, shorts, caps, hats, socks, nightshirts, mittens and bibs
- Entertainment services, namely ice hockey exhibitions
Read more: How to trademark your logo
Isles Gaming Team
Earlier in 2022, the New York Islanders launched the Isles Gaming Team (Isles GT), which is an Esports squad. The team will compete as part of the EA Sports NHL game in one-vs-one and six-vs-six National Hockey League tournaments. The aim of the new team was to provide additional entertainment and interest for Islanders fans while the team isn’t playing. The Isles Gaming Team wordmark was filed in May 2022 and if approved will apply to:
- Entertainment and educational services in the nature of arranging, organizing, and conducting electronic game competitions, contests, tournaments, and exhibitions
- Interactive displays, participatory activities, and contests as part of such events, and the production and distribution of radio, television, webcasts, and social media-based programs, all featuring electronic game competitions
- Providing a web-based system and online portal for customers to participate in online electronic games for recreational computer game-playing purposes
- Providing online news, information, and strategic commentary in the fields of basketball, electronic games, electronic sports, virtual sports, and strategy
- Entertainment services in the nature of personal appearances by a costumed mascot or dance team at games, and other events
- Fan clubs services
- Online non-downloadable electronic games
- Electronic publishing services, namely, publication of magazines, guides, newsletters, coloring books, and game schedules, all of the foregoing in the field of basketball, electronic games, electronic sports, and virtual sports
Despite being founded in 1972, and holding many successful accolades and even historical unbeaten titles, the New York Islanders have only 17 trademarks to their name. Most of these are the team name or their logos. Though the team may have more recently realized the importance of trademarking their assets, with many of their recently filed ones for their new stadium nicknames and ESports team still being pending.
Being one of three NHL teams based in New York, the Islanders have a lot to gain from protecting their assets to prevent other teams from claiming similar branding. For example, the New York Islanders have a team mascot, “Sparky the Dragon” as well as the “Ice Girls”, a promotional ice crew of women who would clean up snow that had piled up during television breaks, both of which could be protected.
Protecting your intellectual property by registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will save future legal battles down the line. The New York Islanders seem to be getting back onto trademarking their assets, but there’s still a lot more they could do.
Take a look at our posts on other famous trademarks here.