The Neepawa Natives will be sporting a slightly different look on the ice this year, as the junior ‘A’ club has officially introduced a new road sweater for the 2016-2017 Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) season.
The jersey is similar to the throwback worn by the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009 NHL Winter Classic. It features a block N on the chest with the name Natives written in cursive over it. A secondary roundel mark with a block N, the full team name and the year the club joined the Manitoba Junior Hockey League is featured on the shoulders.
Neepawa Natives board president Ken Waddell said the familiar indian head, which has been in use by the junior ‘A’ club since 1989, will remains the team’s primary logo. He noted however, that this new look is an effort to expand the team’s branding.
The sweater has been generously sponsored by the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation (BPCF) through its marketing budget. Foundation president Jane Goudie said that Beautiful Plains is happy to team up with the Neepawa Natives to promote the foundation in a new way. ”As our grant requests grow, the Foundation is seeking new ways of raising awareness about the positive impact the organization has had over the last 20 plus years,” said Goudie. “We want to keep the BPCF name front and centre as community members plan their yearly charitable donations.”
Waddell added that the Neepawa Natives are very pleased to be able to partner with The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation to help market the foundation across Manitoba. “Wherever the team goes, the BPCF will be featured on our jerseys and in photos. The Neepawa Natives are good ambassadors for Neepawa and area. This partnership enhances that effort,” noted Waddell. “The traditional logo will still being used at home and the new one is matched up with the BPCF logo away from home. The BPCF support is greatly appreciated. The Natives board believes it is a great partnership.”
The Neepawa Natives junior ‘A’ hockey club was established in 1989 and has been community owned since 2007. It has a proud history of developing players for all levels of hockey, including the NCAA, Major Junior, CIS and professional ranks.
The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation was created in 1995 and through the interest on its endowment fund, provides grants to not-for-profit organizations in the Town of Neepawa, RM of Rosedale, RM of Glenella-Lansdowne and the Langford portion of the RM of North Cypress- Langford. Last year, the BPCF received $181,977 in Community Fund grant requests, but had only $38,700 available to distribute. Over the past 20 plus year, the Foundation has provided a total of $1,724,871 in Designated, Community and Youth Advisory Grants