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The heroes of HDA in back and white

The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) became official when NHL players of colour released a coordinated a statement on June 8, 2020. Both inspired and shocked by actions across North America in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and drawing on their own experience, these players quickly determined they could draw attention and resources to help eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey.

Hockey Diversity Alliance colours

a history of racism

Hockey is an old boys’ sport filled with unconscious bias and outright racism. There is a darker side to hockey where black, brown, and indigenous players can experience racism and this rotten culture is creating very real consequences for the game. Registration in hockey youth leagues is decreasing at an alarming rate.

Nine NHL players of colour banded together in this moment of racial reckoning to shed light on the very real issues within the game. They aimed to bridge the gap to help ensure children of colour fall and stay in love with the game of hockey by promoting diversity and inclusivity.

With high-stakes meetings with the NHL and Hockey Canada, and only a few weeks until the NHL resumed in the Covid bubbles, the HDA engaged ZGM to build a polished brand. It happened faster than Connor McDavid on a breakaway.

A beautiful black woman wearing an ALLY t-shirt for HDA

Here’s the gameplan

From day one the HDA set out to develop a movement. The Alliance was bigger than any one person or one moment—it was an ongoing commitment to build a movement that continues to push for change, despite obstacles.

The movement started with nine NHL founding members, but they would be relevant at all levels of hockey.

The HDA cannot go it alone. We need allies. From day one, the HDA knew they needed the support and allyship from the non-BIPOC community and fellow athletes.

Man helping boy fit a yellow hockey helmet with a screwdriver
Hockey Diversity Alliance Logo


The brand development process happened quickly. In less than 4 weeks, from the time the Hockey Diversity Alliance was formed to the time the 2020 season kicked off, ZGM developed an accessible logo and brand for the HDA.

Three images of HDA clothes including a cap, hoodie and jersey

Hockey Diversity Alliance ecommerce site on a laptop


The brand formally launched when the NHL resumed play in the bubble. On August 1, 2020, Matt Dumba became the first NHL player to kneel during a national anthem ceremony. He did it donning the HDA hoodie ZGM made for him. As he knelt for the anthem, ZGM launched the HDA website, store, brand video, and social account, along with the #isupporthda campaign.



The very successful #isupporthda organic campaign to build their ally support. Players posted a video of HDA allies (including Connor McDavid, Patrick Maholmes, Alexander Ovechkin and many more) all publicly stating their support for the HDA and the BLM movement.

A collection of people wearing HDA apparel

We do alot of this.

We spend a lot of time working with social behaviour change organizations. Come take a look.

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