Orange — a fruit, a color and perhaps at times even a mood description. But for a county in Southern California somewhat ironically named after the color as well, orange is the center of an all-out hockey campaign for the Anaheim Ducks. So for the residents of Orange County, orange is not just a color this week — but rather a new way of life.
Two weeks ago, the Ducks announced a “Paint It Orange” campaign via Twitter hashtags and t-shirts given out to all attendees on the opening night of the playoffs at Honda Center. Both proved a nice change of pace for a legion of dedicated fans who have deserved more for years in terms of a hockey culture.
While the Ducks are without doubt one of the best team’s in the NHL, they continue to fly under the league’s radar due to youth of the organization, but also the lack of a league-wide following. You are more likely to find a Chicago Blackhawks fan in Anaheim than you are to find a Ducks fan in Chicago.
However, it finally seems that the organization has begun to understand the positive ramifications of a team’s production when they have an entire city behind them. Orange Ducks car flags are currently a dime a dozen on those famed traffic-laden Orange County freeways, various businesses can be seen flying “Let’s Go Ducks” banners from the tops of buildings, soldiers at Camp Pendleton received a visit from Ducks mascot Wild Wing this week, and elementary school fences around the city are decorated with hand-painted posters wishing the team some much-needed good playoff luck — orange is the color, of course.
Despite where the Ducks end up in the playoffs, seeing people who didn’t know what an icing was four weeks ago buying into the campaign is a nice change of pace for a usually baseball-heavy community.
Anaheim still has a long road to go before a hockey culture is as apparent, but just imagine the opportunities if Lord Stanley has the chance to help paint it orange this summer?