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Coyotes 2.0 marketing campaign set to launch

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes are debuting their new marketing campaign on Monday morning. In stark contrast to past campaigns like “Here to Stay” and “Hungrier Than Ever,” the new one takes a candid and bare bones approach.

Josh Margulies, the team’s new vice president for marketing, calls it Coyotes 2.0; a play on the team’s 20 years in the Valley.

“We want to turn the page on 1.0. We want to be the next generation,” Margulies said. “We want to learn from our mistakes and we want to upgrade.

“No promises, no excuses, no taglines. Let’s just try to be as raw and real and personable as possible.”

The campaign kicks off with a startling letter to the fans and the Valley in which the Coyotes apologize for much of what has gone before them.

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“When you come to this point, 20 years in, you evaluate, look back at those 20 years and take stock of the things you did right and the things you did wrong,” team president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done over last three years since we took ownership but I also realize that we put out a lot of taglines over that time and things weren’t always optimal.

“Maybe it’s because of the 20 years or the work we’ve done over the last three years, but we feel like it’s time to let the team do the talking.”

To that end, the Coyotes will debut a series of ads featuring the players with a behind-the-scenes feel to them. In one, captain Shane Doan is sitting at his locker talking about what it means to be a Coyote. In another, Oliver Ekman-Larsson takes pride in his Swedish heritage and what he can bring to the Valley. In yet another, Max Domi discusses overcoming Type 1 diabetes.

“Some of our ads in the past have been over-produced. This is not; it’s stripped down production,” Margulies said. “I thought the best way for us to reconnect with our fans was for them to get to the know the organization and the players. The players make hockey different form baseball, basketball and football. Everybody loves hockey players. We wanted to highlight that.”

The Doan ad will go live at noon on Monday with the others rolled out afterward.

LeBlanc said the campaign feeds off the optimism that surrounds this franchise with a talented and deep pool of prospects who are either in the NHL, like Domi and Anthony Duclair, or on their way soon in players such as Dylan Strome, Christian Dvorak, Christian Fischer and Jakob Chychrun.

“This is the first time in my three years here that the offseason isn’t causing the kind of panic that we’ve seen in the past — when were in the process of buying the team or all the relocation rumors were swirling,” LeBlanc said. “The first couple of seasons, people were focused on the out clause but there hasn’t been any of that this summer. It’s been about what we were building.”

LeBlanc knows that critics won’t abandon their positions until the Coyotes build the final statement of their Valley commitment: a new arena. While the Coyotes announced this summer that they had chosen a site, they have not divulged the location or any of the details surrounding the new building or their potential partners.

“I’ve never been more confident and excited about the process than I am today,” LeBlanc said Sunday. “Admittedly, these things take more time than any of us expected and humbly, this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in such an extensive development project so I didn’t appreciate that, but people should be comforted by the knowledge that we anticipate communication in the very near future.”

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