Winning Oregon’s Cultural Competition – Who Said It Was A Game?

Every business, institution, and individual have at least this in common: If you've heard of them, they matter. They're doing something right.

To what degree they matter is the next question, which often depends on branding.

Consider sports branding as a current model for success.

Not everyone understands, or enjoys, a rabid fan base but the numbers don't lie. Effective branding fills stadiums, keeps televisions turned to game channels.

Teams create a new identity in the community. For some, wearing team gear reconnects emotions impossible to explain. There's a power at work, an undercurrent found in few regions.

Portland is one of them.

If you're a sports fan in here then you've heard of the Portland Winterhawks. You go to games. You follow your favorite National Hockey League team. You stay connected and engaged

If you're not a sports fan, you've still probably heard of the Winterhawks. Now you've got the Portland Rosebuds, the first American team to play for the Stanley Cup.

This is the team that first branded big time hockey in America. And you thought the Blazers were the only major league team here?

The Oregon Historical Society opens a new exhibit Saturday, a sports show in a hockey uniform with a feeling of true grit. Call it the OHS brand.

Quality brands define their era. You'll find names from this era after you click here and scroll down. Go ahead and hit it, I'll wait.

The line-up reads like the end credits of a good movie for the team who built 'Rose City Champions: 100 Years of Hockey' in the heart of the city.

And it's not the first time Portland's A-Team showed up. How does this happen?

Call it good coaching.

Since Kerry Tymchuk began directing OHS, sports have played an exciting role in exhibit scheduling from racing to rock and roll, the soundtrack of our times.

Sporting artifacts populate the walls of the transition areas in the museum. A soap box derby racer and Terry Porter's Blazer warm ups are both there. Is it safe to say Mr. Tymchuk likes sports? Or is it more?

Visit the gallery staging 'Rose City Champions' and you'd find a whole new team. This is where the hands on work happens. How do you best show a Winterhawk championship ring? Is the goalie uniform standing on its own?

These are the people tasked with executing the exhibit game plan. This is where curator Lori Erickson, exhibit production manager Franc Gigante, and specialist Drew McGrath, with others, do the museum magic you can't ignore.

This is no spoiler alert, but looking over the collected artifacts, the loaned sports treasures, reveals the taproot hockey has sunk into Portland and SW Washington. And it's growing bigger each year. Portland competed for a Stanley Cup, won Memorial Cups, and continues tearing up the league this year.

Be a part of it on Saturday. 

Their team and brand combined with the OHS team and brand promises a great match.

And that's how to win Oregon's cultural competition.

About Stuart Kemp

Stuart Kemp is the President of the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.