Sabres Pipe Dream: Spitballing 50th Anniversary Promo Items

Details are slowly leaking out regarding the Buffalo Sabres’ 50th anniversary celebration as we creep closer to October. The team appears to have a full slate of celebrations in store for the 50th anniversary and that got my gears turning.

Everything that’s come out so far seems pretty great. A fan fest will return for the first time in a number of years, accompanied by a 5K run. Season ticket holders will receive a handful of additional bonuses, in addition to a commemorative ticket set (more on that later). The team also announced that they will celebrate something referred to as a Journey Through the Decades. Given the set of era-specific 50th anniversary logos that we released, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll get to see jerseys from each era of the team during warm ups on select nights. They’ve also announced a captain’s celebration for the home opener and Founder’s Night for December 2nd.

That seems like just the tip of the iceberg for the team’s anniversary season as we’ve yet to officially see the alternate uniform they’ll wear for select nights, nor have we gotten a glimpse at a promotional schedule with additional giveaways. With that in mind, it appears as if the Sabres are set to devote a lot of time and enerfy to making the 50th season memorable (hopefully the on-ice product cooperates).

Given that a promotional schedule hasn’t been released, I’ll be making some wild guesses, but it wouldn’t be a Two in the Box without wildly speculating giveaways or promotions the team could or should try out. I have a handful of ideas listed below of items I’d love to see incorporated as part of the 50th season – whether via giveaway or for sale in the Sabres Store.  Continue reading

Sabres Skills Challenge was a Treat

It was nearly two years ago to the day that I ran this post about the Sabres putting on their own version of a skills competition. Obviously the Sabres and Pegula Sports appreciate my very big brain and think all of my ideas are very good. The best ideas you’ve ever seen.

Kidding aside, the Sabres resurrected a practice they dabbled with in the 90s, with the Sabres Skills Challenge. I’d venture a guess that Sabres Showdown, which debuted during the 2016-17 season was a litmus test for the full-scale event from this past Sunday, and they knocked it out of the park.

Going into Sunday I was worried that the fans may not show and there would be scores of empty seats which would likely doom any future iteration of the event. But the lower bowl and 200 level were each well-filled with some spill over into the 300 level. The Buffalo News reported the attendance to be just shy of 10,000, which is a pretty good turnout for something that a vast majority of the fanbase probably hadn’t seen previously.

The entire affair took just over an hour to complete and the Sabres Store was packed to the gills after the fact. Concessions weren’t overcrowded and from what I observed there were plenty of kids enjoying seeing the Sabres up close and personal. The special jerseys the players donned looked terrific and even though there was maybe a little lack of compete in some of the drills, it was a lot of fun to watch, especially Tage Thompson in the shootout and the Remi Elie, Marco Scandella, Rasmus Ristolainen trio in the 3-on-0 drill. Continue reading

The Sabres and Bisons Could be Sitting on an Awesome Opportunity

The Blues and the Cardinals haven’t been shy about collaborating on a host of different projects over the last few years. Their partnership has been particularly strong since the departure of the Rams and one of the coolest things they’ve collaborated on are crossover jerseys.

Lately both teams have adorned their neighbor’s logo for a day each year and the Cards will be offering up a promotional version for 2018, with a cool away uniform design. It’s a cool giveaway which would probably even garner attention as a retail item.

So far, Pegula Sports hasn’t explored too many crossover retail or promotional items since taking over the Bills, Sabres and Bandits. Aside from the various One Buffalo logo shirts, there hasn’t been too much done to explore crossover items like the Blues and Cardinals have created. At least nothing that’s been worth buying. Continue reading

The Bills and Sabres Futbol Series Concepts

The Bills and Sabres each offer countless retail options for fans to deck themselves out in on gameday. Between jerseys, workout gear, hoodies, shorts and hats, both teams have everything you could ever want.

But I was brainstorming the other day about how cool various concept jerseys often look and how it would be cool if a team acted on some of the concepts you see floating around the internet. Not just sport specific either, but the crossovers you see like basketball to hockey, football to baseball, etc. ThrowbackName

So as I started doodling I realized the Bills and Sabres could develop a line of apparel – jerseys in this case – which capitalizes on the love design-oriented people have for creating concept jerseys. I dubbed this “line” of apparel the Futbol Series and applied it specifically to the Bills and Sabres. Continue reading

Sabres Pipe Dream: Renovating the 100 Level

At a previous Sabres Blogging Summit Ted Black made mention of the organization preparing to undertake the renovation of the 100 Level of First Niagara Center. Nearly two seasons have passed since he first touched on the possibility and it’s quite possible that the team has put those plans on the back burner.

Exactly what would be on the to-do list is up for debate as there would be some physical challenges posed by the construction of FNC along with whatever budgetary restraints the organization chose to attach to the plan.

More history and (maybe) more space would be key additions for The Aud Club.

As the official pipe dream author of the Basement Brigade I thought I’d toss out my wishlist of what I’d hope to see incorporated into a renovated 100 Level if and when the Sabres finally undertake the project.
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Sabres Pipe Dream: A New Web Series

Given the on-ice struggles of the Sabres, the Beyond Blue and Gold series may just be the best thing to come out of First Niagara Center in the past few years. The web series has done a brilliant job in highlighting the players away from the rink while also showcasing the phenomenal video production team the Sabres and Pegula Sports boasts.

Can I touch your face? Just for a second.
Can I touch your face? Just for a second.

The lone complaint I’ve ever had about the show is how short the episodes are. I’m typically left wanting more out of each episode and while I appreciate and understand the shooting schedule and production that goes into each episode, I still feel like I want each episode to run a little longer. With that in mind, I started thinking about how the team could expand their web video offerings and came up with an idea for a new web series the team could run.

What I eventually cooked up via text with fellow 2ITB contributor Tyler Roeder was an idea for a studio show that focuses solely on analysis of the team. Unlike Beyond Blue and Gold, this show wouldn’t be feature based but almost like an expanded version of the postgame show with video breakdown, opponent previews and the like. No call ins, a weekly web series going through what the Sabres have been up to on the ice. Continue reading

Take My Money: Mini Sabres Jerseys

In a Buffalo News article from last fall, Kim Pegula was quoted as saying the hope for PSE, the Sabres and the Bills isn’t to follow the lead of other teams in each respective league, but to blaze their own trail. This is a great stance to take, particularly for the Sabres who have often been guinea pigs for NHL projects. Why be a follower time and time again when you can be the gold standard across the league?

However, I’ve come to notice other NHL clubs engaging in various practices and promotions which I would love to see the Sabres take on. What caught my eye most recently is a mini-pack ticket promotion the Anaheim Ducks are running that comes complete with a mini third jersey from throughout the organization’s history. I can say definitively that if the Sabres offered a line of mini jerseys they’d have full license to take as many of my hard earned American dollars as they pleased. I don’t care if it’s a blatant rip-off of the Ducks current promotion, these would kill in Buffalo. Untitled

In other words.

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Two more thoughts for the Sabres to include in the team store

Yesterday’s post on collector edition scarves got my wheels turning on a pair of potential projects that the Sabres could work on for the Sabres Store.

Pretend like this was made by an actual artist and you’ll get the idea.

The first is one that came up in conversation with TJ Luckman a few weeks ago and the second is an idea that @MattyRenn has been preaching on for quite some time. Both would be entirely unique to the Sabres and both would almost certainly be items that fans would flock to the store to buy.

The first idea centers around a collector series of prints or lithographs of Sabres goal masks. The second, which is wholly and entirely the intellectual property of Matt, would be box sets of DVDs that chronicle great games and players throughout team history. I really love Matt’s idea as it gives so much latitude for the games they would wish to highlight. Continue reading

Scarf collection should be the next addition to the Sabres Store

Through the build-up for Dominik Hasek’s jersey retirement, I lobbied hard for the Sabres to provide the fans with a commemorative banner for the game. I also thought it would have been very cool if the organization sold replica banners of the rest of their retired numbers.Scarf8

My recommendations were posted in this space and also brought up to members of the Sabres marketing team who addressed them with hesitation. It’s my belief that they were unsure of the costs associated with producing and selling the banners. As it turns out, they seem to have figured out a way to turn a profit on them as the Sabres Store now sells replica retired number banners and replica championship banners.

This all, of course, was my idea. I didn’t even ask for a commission on it.

Kidding about my utter level of brilliance of million-dollar ideas aside, I was incredibly pleased to see the Sabres take this idea and run with it. At the end of the day this blog is here to create intelligent (I hope) conversation regarding Buffalo sports, Buffalo development and anything else that runs across my mind. If something I pitch is seen as a good idea, I hope to see the powers that be take it and run. That’s why I hope the #ThirdsNotTurds or the game day poster contest gets attention in One Seymour H Knox III Plaza.

So, my next recommendation is for the Sabres to introduce a line of collector-edition scarves. Continue reading