Two big announcements today, Insiders.
First things first, we’ve got some television viewing this evening. The first episode of Behind The Glass: Los Angeles Kings Training Camp debuts tonight on NHL Network at 6 PM Pacific. The first episode will be a one-hour long airing, while Episodes 2 and 3 will be 30 minutes each.
Being with the team in Australia presents some first-person accounts of what we’ll see tonight on television. Setting my own appearances in the background of a shot with an over/under of 0.5. Lots of awareness to try and be out of the shot, but what can I say, sometimes the camera just finds you.
What we will see though is a lot of content about the trip to Melbourne and how everything went in Australia, behind the scenes, from the Kings’ point of view. What I think will likely be the highlight of the episode are the scenes with Drew Doughty, playing tennis against Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis. It’s Drew Doughty being Drew Doughty, fully mic’d up, playing tennis against a professional player. Lot of gold in there that is hopefully showcased in the footage. Pierre-Luc Dubois will also be featured in that scene. He had a visit with Mason Cox of Collingwood FC later in the day, but tagged along to Doughty’s game as a photographer. Dubois has an interest in photography away from the rink and took picture that wound up being used on the team’s social media channels. Already paying for himself, really.
Episode 1 figures to take a look at the organization’s trip to Australia.
From the league’s release this morning –
Tonight’s episode dives into the opening of the 2023-24 training camp for the Kings, focusing on the team’s “win now” mentality and the potential to be a Stanley Cup Champion contender. Cameras shadow the team and 22-year old defenseman Jordan Spence, the first Australian born player to ever play in the NHL, on his return to his birthplace for the 2023 NHL Global Series – Melbourne. The team preparation, travel and footage of the Kings’ first two games against the Arizona Coyotes will be included. Behind-the-scenes access of franchise icons Anze Kopitar, as he sets off on his franchise record tying 18th season, and Drew Doughty are shown balancing life on and off the ice. Kopitar is followed attending his son’s hockey and daughter’s figure skating practices, while Doughty plays tennis with Australian professional Thanasi Kokkinakis. NHL Network spends time with head coach Todd McLellan, in his fifth year as Kings coach, as he’s guided the team through its rebuild and now has a roster comprised mainly of veterans and several star players ready to compete for it all this season.
"That was a celly that I don't have in my book." 😂
We love seeing @AnzeKopitar in dad mode at the ice rink!
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) September 29, 2023
As far as the jersey patch goes, the information has floated out there, but the Kings have partnered with Mercury Insurance to become the organization’s first ever jersey partner, for the team’s home jerseys for games played at Crypto.com Arena. The Kings and Mercury Insurance have been partners for 16 years, but a reworked, multi-year extension will see Mercury Insurance on Kings jerseys for the 2023-24 season and beyond.
The first game with the new patch will be tomorrow’s preseason, exhibition contest against Anaheim, in addition to Saturday’s game versus the Golden Knights and next week’s regular-season opener against Colorado.
Kings President Luc Robitaille
Mercury Insurance has become both a trusted and highly valued partner of our team over the years and we are honored to be making history as we welcome them as our very first jersey partner. Together we have grown, evolved, and most importantly given back to the diverse communities of people who support us and help make our organizations great. We look forward to creating even more cherished memories for our fans as our players step out on the ice for the very first time this season wearing the Mercury brand with pride.
Erik Thompson, Vice President & CMO, Mercury Insurance
We’re extremely excited and honored to be chosen as the first jersey patch partner in the team’s history. Both organizations were ‘born and raised’ in Los Angeles and we share a deep commitment to the City of Angels and the amazing people that live here. Mercury and the Kings are truly part of the fabric of Los Angeles, and nowhere is this better illustrated than on the jerseys of LA’s hockey heroes.
The Kings and Mercury will also partner with forward Kevin Fiala, to celebrate and honor local community heroes who are making significant impacts in their local communities. Each honoree will be inducted into the Hockeywood Community Walk of Fame art installation that the two organizations are creating at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo. Honorees will have the chance to meet with Fiala, be integrated into the art installation and be celebrated in-arena on the videoboard, in addition to receiving a Kings jersey, tickets to a game, and an American Express gift card to help them continue their very important work.
Fiala has already started to become actively involved in the local community here since he was traded to the Kings and this is another step in his process of community involvement. Fiala held a youth hockey camp over the summer and regularly donated tickets into the local community during home games last season.
All for LA 🤝
We're excited to announce @MercuryIns as our first-ever jersey patch partner!
— LA Kings (@LAKings) October 2, 2023
Full release is below –
The LA Kings and Mercury Insurance today announced a landmark, expanded renewal agreement. As part of the expansive multi-year partnership, Mercury will continue as an official partner of the LA Kings in addition to becoming the team’s first-ever jersey patch partner.
This groundbreaking agreement extends a relationship that began in 2008 for another exciting new chapter and marks a significant milestone for the insurance company as its longest running partnership to date. This is also Mercury’s first-ever jersey sponsorship, underscoring the company’s commitment to Los Angeles and the importance of hockey across the Southern California market.
Beginning with the upcoming 2023-24 NHL season, Mercury’s logo will be featured on the team’s on-ice home jerseys for all pre-season, regular season and playoff games taking place at Crypto.com Arena. As the official jersey partner of the LA Kings, fans will get their first look at the new jerseys with the new Mercury patch beginning with the team’s first two pre-season home games on Tuesday, October 3, when the Kings host the Anaheim Ducks at Crypto.com Arena, and Saturday, October 7, when the Kings take on the Vegas Golden Kings. This will be followed by the official debut at the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, October 11, when the Kings host the Colorado Avalanche. Both pre-season games will be broadcast on Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West, respectively, and the regular season opener will be broadcast live on national television from Crypto.com Arena on TNT and is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Now in the 16th consecutive season of partnership, this expanded agreement represents two deeply rooted, Southern California-based organizations furthering their relationship for the benefit of the local fans and policyholders they both represent and serve in the region. Much like the LA Kings who played their first season in LA in 1967, Mercury also has more than 60 years of experience providing exceptional service to the Southern California market and its residents. Founded in 1961 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Mercury offers a wide variety of insurance products, including auto, home, personal liability (umbrella) business, commercial, and mechanical breakdown.
For close to two decades, Mercury and the LA Kings have forged an extraordinary partnership that has greatly enhanced the fan experience and helped create countless memorable moments for thousands of Angelenos. As an example, Mercury’s presenting sponsorship of the “My First Game” program brought Make A Wish youth and their families to Kings games and featured heartwarming videos of Kings players’ first experiences with the sport of hockey. Additionally, Mercury’s unique activations on game days coupled with its ongoing sponsorship of LA Kings’ community-focused initiatives have deeply enriched the fan experience and continue to help make a positive community impact all year round.
Going forward, the partnership will continue to incorporate significant community and fan-focused touchpoints including engaging surprise and delight activations. Among the new in-arena promotions will be “Where’s Bailey?” an augmented reality, first-of-its-kind experience that will challenge fans to search for team mascot Bailey throughout the arena and amongst some of LA’s most iconic landmarks. Everyone who finds Bailey will be entered to win a Kings prize package that includes an authentic jersey and autographed memorabilia.
The two organizations will also partner with LA Kings superstar, Kevin Fiala, to celebrate and honor local community heroes who are making significant impacts in their local communities. Each honoree will be inducted into the Hockeywood Community Walk of Fame art installation the two organizations are creating at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo, California. Honorees will have the chance to meet with Fiala, be integrated into the art installation and be celebrated in-arena on the videoboard, in addition to receiving a Kings jersey, tickets to a game, and an American Express gift card to help them continue their very important work.
The long-term partnership between the LA Kings and Mercury is also highlighted by many significant milestones achieved together over the years and is testament to the strength of the growing relationship. In 2012, the Kings took home their very first Stanley Cup while Mercury celebrated its 50th anniversary, two momentous occasions the partners had the privilege of enjoying alongside each other. Just two years later in 2014, the Kings won their second Stanley Cup, followed by the team’s 50th anniversary celebrated in 2017 – additional historic moments that Mercury was a part of and helped make possible.
Practice Report to follow tonight, with a look at today’s combinations, roster moves and focal points. A good day on the ice, with a game to follow tomorrow!