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Bob and Bobek Return as Mascots for World Hockey Championship 2024 Amidst Controversy and Financial Constraints

Yes, domestic hockey certainly has much more pressing issues to deal with than Bob and Bobek. But the return to the tried and tested, a large degree of conservatism and things in disagreement are generally quite significant for the current hockey headquarters. The head of the Prague organizing committee, Petr Bříza, admitted that “it would be logical to use the puck or the lion”.

But then remember what a wave of derision the publication of the World Cup logo with the puck icon caused, and that even hockey boss Alois Hadamczik preferred to distance himself from it. That’s why Bob and Bobek will only have the famous pukotikon on their jerseys.

Old acquaintances. The mascots of the World Hockey Championship in 2024 will again be Bob and BobekVideo: Sport.cz, IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship 2024

But in? Even he is now banned in Czech hockey, because it is Hadamczik who is leading a loud fight to remove his head from the national team jerseys, and at the championship – maybe even earlier – the national team will play again with the national emblem on the chest. So for a lion, who is persona non grata for the hockey boss, to be prancing in the stands during the championship is unimaginable.

Then, of course, there are other influences – difficulties with copyrights, which nine years ago did not allow Krteček to enter the hockey scene; Pat and Mat, for a change, are a symbol of sloppiness and who knows if some of the hockey “papaláš” wouldn’t recognize themselves in them. Therefore, in the end, Bob and Bobek are the path of least resistance.

They won’t offend, they won’t excite. They just changed the jerseys, which in a way is also a national feature.

At the same time, there is a certain inconsistency. The championship chose a bold and bold visual in the form of a puck icon and the slogan “Heart in the game”, but now it seems as if it doesn’t want to do much with them because it doesn’t work with them more prominently. The entire communication line of the tournament thus acts – even in the eyes of leading experts – as a payoff that does not hold together. “It’s like a dog and a cat making a cake,” one sports marketer told me.

Bob and Bobek suddenly, after nine years, when no one did anything with them in the hockey environment, step onto the scene again. Why? Perhaps because, in addition to certainty, this option also means a certain financial saving, and what one hears from behind the scenes, there is no room for any major innovations (compared to the World Cup 2015) due to money and staffing. And so who knows if the anthem of the tournament will not be the Kabáts again, since they once composed their song about the fact that “if there is not a lot of gold, the coach will come and that is our dad”.

But what also sucks is the jersey the rabbits are wearing. Bříza indicated that this is a possible third kit that the Czechs would wear during the season, but Bob and Bobek are said to be wearing blue because “it corresponds to what is on the visual.”

Strange, because a layman would say that it is the jersey of a Slovak native…

But that doesn’t matter in the finals, because the main success of the championship is made anyway by the fighters on the ice. And if gold were hanging around their necks, it doesn’t matter what jerseys it will be in, or whether Staflík with Spaghetti, Maxipes Fík or Common Puppets will be waving at them from the stands.

Sara Robert

A graduate of Masaryk University (majoring in history – journalism), he has been engaged in sports journalism since 1999. He mainly focuses on hockey, as a reporter he participated in a number of world championships, motor sports and sports politics. He worked at MF DNES for more than 20 years, in 2021 he moved to Sport.cz.

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