Seattle Seahawks, the only National Football League team based in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, made its debut in 1976 as part of NFC West, but a year later exchanged conferences with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and moved to AFC West. The team appeared in the wake of the NFL expansion during the merger of the league with the American Football League.
June 15, 1972, Seattle Professional Football Inc., managed by Ned Skinner and Herman Sarkowsky, announced their intention to acquire a franchise for Seattle. To speed up the process, executives began building the Kingdome Stadium. The NFL made concessions only two years later – on June 3, 1974. A formal agreement to join the professional league was signed on December 5, 1974.
The group of owners was led by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, who represented the Nordstrom family as owners of a controlling stake. Membership in the NFL cost them $ 16 million. Lloyd died of a heart attack on January 20, 1976, a few days before the debut of the Seattle Seahawks.
In 1975, Seattle Professional Football organized a fan contest to select a name for the club. Fans sent over 20,000 options – of which about 1,700 are unique. The name Seahawks (“Seahawk”) has been proposed 151 times. It is associated with an osprey bird – a fast and agile bird of prey that violently defends its territory. According to CEO John Thompson, this word expresses aggression and is not associated with any other Major League team.
In 1988, Ken Hofmann and Ken Behring bought a franchise, paying $ 178 million. In January 1996, Behring decided to transfer her to Los Angeles – allegedly because of the high threat of earthquakes in Seattle. He had already managed to relocate the office when it turned out that the Seattle Seahawks should play at Kingdome Stadium before 2005. The relocation was disrupted, and the co-owners sold the team. In 1997, it was acquired by Paul Allen – one of the creators of Microsoft. After his death in October 2018, the club became the property of the Estate of Paul Allen.
Meaning and History
All Seattle Seahawks emblems are dedicated to the sea hawk. This is an illustration of a ceremonial Native American bird-head transformer mask. At first, the style resembled the aesthetics of the Native American tribes of the northwest coast – such as Tlingit, Chinook, Coast Salish, Haida, and Kwakwaka’wakw. A little later, designers modernized the graphic sign, giving it aggression and dynamics.
1976 – 2001
When the team debuted at the NFL, its logo depicted a mask of the natives Kwakwaka’wakw. The drawing, like the ritual object, is characterized by symbolic abstraction. The osprey head is turned to the right. It consists of several elements of white, green (“forest green”) and blue (“royal blue”) colors. The bird’s eye is a filled circle; the eyelids are open semicircular stripes; the beak is an arc pointed to the bottom.
2002 – 2011
On March 1, 2002, NFL Properties artists modernized a primitive logo. They simplified the design, removed the eyelids’ lines, and gave the sea hawk an aggressive look. The pupil is now moved forward; the eyebrow is arched; the shape of the beak is smoother compared to the original version. The left side of the head is cut at an angle to create the illusion of movement. The palette also changed: blue approached a light tone (“seahawks blue”), and the color of forest green was replaced by dark blue (“seahawks navy”) and lime green.
2012 – present
Ten years after the redesign, the team again updated the logo. The lower-left corner has turned dark gray (“wolf gray”). This shade was used instead of “seahawks navy,” which completely disappeared from the picture. The emblem, as before, shows the head of an osprey in profile. It symbolizes the desire of a football club for fame and success. The harsh gaze of a bird is taken from Egyptian mythology, where hieroglyphs in the form of a falcon are often found.