Hip-Hop Sensibility Fuels New Kings Line

L.A. Kings

(from Sports Business Journal, November 11-November 17, 2013)  “When I first got the call from the Kings asking if I’d work with them, I was high-fiving all of my friends and thinking this was going to be the dopest project I’ve ever done.”  Those are the words of excitement from Los Angeles street artist Minister Cartoon or Mark Machado.  He was contacted three years ago by the hockey team to come out with a new line of apparel, and he couldn’t have been more excited to fulfill one of his biggest childhood dreams.

Now that the NHL lockout has passed, his line, which includes caps, T-shirts, and hoodies, officially hit the market last week.  His most prized Kings creation is the goaltenders new helmet which completely embodies Minister Cartoon’s vision.  Minister Cartoon has designed things for Nike, Vans, and the Grand Theft Auto video game.  He has also tattooed multiple celebrities including 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and Eminem, so the Kings are very excited for their chance to have this art master design for them.  They are coining his work an “intersection of brand extension, pop culture, and civic dedication.”

Minister Cartoon has done work with the youth and young adults in the Los Angeles area, and his work is quite popular with them.  Jonathan Lowe, the vice president of marketing for AEG Sports which owns and operates the Kings, says that, “His [Minister Cartoon’s] art is viewed by a lot of people as iconic…and we saw working with him as a chance to craft a merchandise line, re-imagine the Kings brand and create a tie-in with the community.”  Since his work is so popular with the youth of L.A., Minister Cartoon and the Kings will donate almost all of their proceeds to Para Los Niños, a non-profit organization.  He has even created a Kings mural at a Para Los Niños school.  Minister Cartoon’s efforts of tying the Kings’ new look into the community closest to him has genuinely enhanced the Kings through increased exposure and sales.