The Seattle Kraken and Muckleshuck Indian tribe made NHL history last week when they announced that the tribe’s logo would be appearing on the hockey team’s sweaters. This marks the first time that an an NHL team has partnered with an Indian tribe on a sponsorship patch. Though the deal has much in common with standard patch deals, it’s also a different kind of deal entirely.
Sweater patch sponsorships have only been available to NHL teams since the start of the 2022-2023 season and this is the first patch the Kraken have worked out. The team has, however, already established a very strong relationship with the Muckleshucks which includes regular acknowledgement of the tribe at the start of games. Muckleshuck dancers perform sometimes at intermission, and the tribe’s casino is also one of the team’s sponsors.
The Muckleshuck sweater patch features Tahoma, the tribe’s name of Mount Rainier with a blue and beige background. The words “Muckleshuck” and “Indian Tribe” appear on the top and bottom of the patch. Representatives of the tribe worked on the patch, which was developed with the approval of the tribe as a whole.
Details of the patch deal were not released, but it’s likely going to be a multi-year arrangement.
However long the deal lasts, it will definitely raise awareness of the tribe, given the fact that Kraken jerseys are among the league’s top sellers.
Commenting in a recent Kraken press release team CEO Tod Leiweke summed up the team’s unique relationship with the Muckleshucks saying, “We launched our franchise with an eye to the future and an acknowledgment of the past. This partnership manifests our gratitude and respect for the Muckleshoot People, past and present, who are the ancestral keepers of the land upon which Climate Pledge Arena sits and we play. We strive to amplify the voices of our Native Community.”