University asks Chippewa Hockey Network, club teams to rebrand


The Central Michigan Division III men's hockey team battles for puck with University of Michigan-Flint Friday night at the Isabella County Ice Arena in Mount Pleasant. 

The Chippewa Hockey Network, Division III men's hockey, DII men's hockey and women's hockey were ordered to complete a full rebrand by the university Thursday. 

The network was ordered to rebrand because of a false representation of CMU club hockey teams. The teams and broadcast network combined to create a false impression of varsity hockey at the university, co-founder of Chippewa Hockey Network Shawn Bednard said. 

Chippewa Hockey Network must also rebrand all social media and websites, Bednard said.

The network was contacted via email by University Communications regarding the rebrand. 

Bednard and Tyler Marcotte, co-founder of Chippewa Hockey Network, said they knew where the university was coming from. 

"We understand why we have to do this, but it came at an unfortunate time when we were more successful than ever with (Chippewa Hockey Network)," Mercotte said. "This isn't going to change our coverage, or keep us from doing what we've done all along."

Bednard and Marcotte founded the CHN in September 2015, and have worked to improve it ever since. In a Fall 2017 article about building their brand, Bednard noted that he and Marcotte quit their jobs to start the broadcast station. 

"We can still do everything as long as we follow the compliance of the rebrand," Bednard said. 

Chippewa Hockey Network has a show on Moore Hall TV called "Inside Chippewa Hockey" that must also be rebranded to identify the hockey teams as club programs. 

Bednard and Marcotte noted even though Chippewa Hockey Network must change a few things, they are happy to comply with the university. 

"Tyler (Marcotte) and I have both made our peace with it," Bednard said.

The most important change that the university wanted was to make sure the broadcasters and teams were always using the word "club" in front of hockey to ensure that they do not give the impression of a varsity sport, Bednard said. 

"We have to change our name to Chippewa Club Hockey Network," Bednard said. 

The DIII hockey team confirmed the rebrand after winning its 17th straight game.

"In the future, we have to add 'club', or 'DIII' next to the word 'hockey' in order to say we're a club sport and not a DI or NCAA sport," DIII head coach James Cadzow said. "Any verbiage, as well, has to be club hockey. We've already made changes to our website to just use the (CMU) logo and and not have it say 'hockey.'"

CMU's jerseys are still able to be used in games because of no false representation located on the jerseys. This means the jerseys do not portray a varsity sport at the university. 

Cadzow said the team is getting new jerseys anyway, but since they didn't use CMU's "Action C," they do not have to change jersey designs. 

Women's hockey head coach Brittany Knopp confirmed the rebrand on Saturday. She was contacted by the university, and thinks it is a great idea. 

"We represent (CMU) at the highest level," Knopp said.