Ice Flyers Score Big with Their One-Game Rebrand into Pensacola Bushwackers
March 12, 2023 – Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) – Pensacola Ice Flyers News Release
The reaction has been emphatic.
People have gone bonkers over the Bushwackers.
While there was no way to envision the response, the Ice Flyers quickly learned this week their one-night-only rebrand into the Pensacola Bushwackers for Saturday night’s 7:05 p.m. home game against the Knoxville Ice Bears has generated excitement of a breakaway goal.
“It has exploded,” said Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris. “The response has simply been incredible. We are expecting a big crowd. We’ve had a lot of big nights with crowds this season. This should be another.”
The five-colored logo and specialty-designed uniforms to be worn by Ice Flyers players will also be transferred into a variety of merchandise, including Bushwacker pucks, T-shirts, long-sleeve apparel and other items sold Saturday night at merchandise stands at the Bay Center.
The Ice Flyers rebrand is a nod to Pensacola’s iconic, alcoholic beverage, “The Bushwacker,” made famous in 1975 when first served at the Sandshaker Lounge on Pensacola Beach.
The creamy, chocolate flavored, adult-beverage concoction has been a staple of the establishment ever since.
Because it’s so Pensacola, it was the choice name by the Ice Flyers front office staff when Harris asked during an idea meeting in the summer for a rebrand night theme name with Pensacola ties.
“I said that I wanted something that screams Pensacola,” Harris said. “I don’t care if anyone outside our market doesn’t know what it is about. I want everyone in our market to know what this is about.
“They presented me a list. And “Bushwackers” was at top of the group. And I was like, okay, let’s do this, let’s have some fun with it.”
In a marketing ploy, the Ice Flyers delayed the complete unveiling until Monday. Prior to this week, notification on billboards, radio and TV commercials has been, simply, “Pensacola Bushwackers Coming.. 3-11-23.”
“That was it,” Harris said. “And I had people calling and reacting. Joe Campbell from the Sandshaker Lounge said, ‘I have people asking me about the Pensacola Bushwackers and that teaser video you put out on Facebook.”
The first teaser video had 15,000 views, Harris said. There is also a Facebook page created by Brenden Arney, the Ice Flyers marketing director. The Ice Flyers now have the trademark to “Pensacola Bushwackers.”
“The color scheme is great,” Harris said. “I wanted the jersey to look like something at the beach.”
The Ice Flyers have dabbled in rebrand nights before. Two years ago, it was “Pensacola Barges Night” in reference to the breakaway barges from Hurricane Sally in September 2020 that struck the construction areas near Three-Mile Bridge and other points.
The Ice Flyers also celebrated Pensacola’s hockey past with a Pensacola Ice Pilots Night and wore that former franchise’s uniforms. But nothing has connected like Bushwackers.
The creative front office staff, which included Arney, senior digital content creator Adam Waldron and digital content creator Alyssa Cherney designed the logos, the color schemes and how the uniforms should look.
“Then Brenden and I were thinking about how to do we market this, how to we roll this out,” Harris said. “And I thought, let’s not reveal it. Let’s do a teaser campaign until the week of the game.”
And yes, for Saturday night only, fans of legal drinking age, can also purchase a Bushwacker at the game and receive a souvenir cup.
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