THE VOTES ARE IN! After a total of 1,577 votes with a 58%/42% split, the Topeka Pilots (formerly the RoadRunners) will reveal their new logo at an event Thursday, June 14th, in the Capitol Plaza Hotel lobby from 5-7 p.m. The management of Lamar Hunt, Jr.’s new team says they have made “a couple small changes” to the chosen design to incorporate fans suggestions.
“We want a logo that is unique. We want a logo that stands out among the league and says ‘we mean business,'” said the team. “But more importantly, we want a logo that YOU love.”
The Social Butterflies from Kansas, Kim Schultz and Robin Block (pictured above with Lamar Hunt, Jr.), will be there helping to promote the new team and logo, as they were at the name reveal last week.
“We are both so excited about this new name” said Schultz, as Block nodded. “ We can’t wait to see what the fans voted for as the new logo!”
Hunt announced June 5 that the team will now be known as the Pilots. He said they picked a name that he believes “reflects this community.”
Topeka, as the capital of Kansas, not only has history of the city itself, but it embodies the rich history of the entire state, the team said. Although Wichita is known for aviation, Topeka also has a very interesting and detailed history involving flight from the Longren Air Company, to Forbes Field, Topeka Regional Airport, the Combat Air Museum, the Kansas Air National Guard, Philip Billard Municipal Airport and everything in-between.
In April, Loretto Sports Ventures announced it had purchased the team from Don Stone, who had owned the North American Hockey League team since 2009. The company already owns the Kansas City Mavericks, which plays in the ECHL and Hunt said the purchase helps the company with its goal of expanding hockey at all levels.
The new General Manager/Head Coach for the Topeka team will be Simon Watson, who played Division I Hockey for St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and played professionally in the Central Hockey League (CHL) for 5 seasons. He retired from the Missouri Mavericks in 2011 after being named CHL Man of the year. Simon has continued to be closely involved in youth hockey throughout the greater Kansas City area.
The new Topeka hockey team will still play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The RoadRunners placed more than 200 players in NCAA Division 1 hockey programs since their inception in 2007. The RoadRunners won three division titles in their 11 years on the ice in Topeka.