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The Pond rebrand leaves old demons behind

The Pond Ice Arena faced a sex abuse scandal in 2013. A new look from The Barn aims for a fresh start.

The Pond is rebranding after a sex abuse scandal. (Photo by Flickr user { QUEEN YUNA }, used under a Creative Commons license)

The Pond Ice Arena in Newark has a proud history as a training ground for top figure skating talents, most notably Olympian Johnny Weir. But The Pond also had a dark side that was exposed in 2013, when a former co-owner was arrested for sex crimes against minors, a charge he would be convicted of in 2015.

It’s the kind of scandal that’s hard to shake, especially for a sports arena that trains young hockey players and figure skaters. The abuser was taken down and put away, but it still lingers, even more so in the #metoo era.

So, the rink did what Conrad School of Sciences did after an embarrassingly long battle to replace a racist mascot — it hired The Barn Creative for a rebrand.

Sometimes those negative space details can make all the difference in branding. Teaser shot of a new client of ours we are excited to be working with.

Posted by The Barn on Sunday, December 17, 2017

“We’re rebranding both the arena and all of the teams,” said Barn founder Nick Matarese at a pre-holiday Pitch the Press session. That includes a new name. “I imagine people will still call it The Pond,” he said, and he’s probably right, considering folks still call Walgreen’s Happy Harry’s. “But it’s going to be fresh and new.”

The arena has gained respect in the community in recent years through its work for veterans, which inspired a patriotic concept for the rebrand. We haven’t seen the new designs yet, beyond the above sneak peek on Facebook, but expect a whole new, updated Pond for 2018.

Companies: The Barn
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