I covered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as a young reporter. So, when I met Bill Foley while working for the Las Vegas daily newspaper a few years ago and he told me he was a West Point grad I was surprised.
Our country’s greatest military leaders were schooled at the federal military academy overlooking the Hudson River north of New York City and there’s nothing overtly militaristic about Foley.
Foley struck me as a business guy — not a military one — while also being a wine-making fan who made his millions in the title insurance industry.
But Foley’s love for his West Point roots shines through in his controlling interest in the first-year NHL Vegas Golden Knights — Las Vegas’ first big-league professional team that carries traces of the West Point Black Knights’ mark with the “Knights” reference and helmet image.
So, Foley, a 1967 West Point grad, was beaming when LVSportsBiz.com caught up with the white-haired NHL team owner around 7 p.m. when he posed next to his Golden Knights jersey Tuesday at an adidas event at Wynn Las Vegas.
Adidas and the NHL worked together to unveil the sports apparel manufacturer’s new NHL team jerseys, including making the Vegas Golden Knights hockey sweater the center-stage attraction at the event staged in Intrigue restaurant at Wynn.
“I love the logo,” Foley told LVSportsBiz.com.
Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz said it was a proud moment to see the Golden Knights jersey assume center stage with the 30 other NHL team jerseys on display in groups set by divisions.
“I’m sure Mr. Foley is proud,” Bubolz said.
The team’s chief marketing officer, Nehme Abouzeid, looked at the center stage Golden Knights jersey and observed, “I’m partial to it. It has substance and it has style.”
An NHL employee with Abouzeid remarked, “It’s bad ass.”
LVSportsBiz.com caught up with the worker’s boss, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who said the Golden Knights jersey is emblematic of the state of Nevada’s gold production.
When LVSportsBiz.com interrupted the league commissioner and mentioned the team jersey logo might also represent Foley’s West Point past, Bettman laughed and admonished the reporter, “Who’s answering the questions here?”
On Wednesday, the NHL festivities move on to T-Mobile Arena for the league’s awards event and the Golden Knights will have 30 new players to wear the uniform unveiled today.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com