In Edmonton it is all about change right now. The team is looking for a new identity. For now they are known as the Edmonton football team. That is because the Edmonton CFL team have decided to move away from their historical Eskimos nickname.
Recent societal changes have shown a growing movement for the team name to change.
Many fans are emotionally connected to the name and wanted to keep it. Increasingly however others have become more and more uncomfortable with the name.
Board chair Janice Agrios told reporters that their most recent research had captured a sweeping change in public opinion on the name, and that “people who supported it a year ago are less comfortable now.”
The decision has already been well received by at least one Inuit group.
In the case of the Edmonton team this started to snowball when Belairdirect, a long-time team sponsor announced they would cut ties if they did not see progress on a name change.
So what will it be for Edmonton?
The team want to keep their iconic double-E logo and green and yellow colour scheme. Which all has its own history. Even with that the whole re-brand could cost the team a million dollars to enact.
So they have to get this right. They have to get a name people will take to. A name that will attract new fans but also be acceptable to long term fans who grew up with their ‘Esks’.
Edmonton supposedly trademarked the Edmonton Empire some time ago. But people are already saying that could link to the British Empire and could be a whole minefield of its own! Besides which the team appear to have distanced themselves from the idea.
A lot of people like Elk(s). Because it would retain the EE logo and because the team had this name briefly in 1922. (for one game in the regular season and in the playoffs – thanks for the historical knowledge @56Parkies)
But there are plenty of options. We ran our own little poll too but there is nothing definitive on this yet.
I am sure they wont want to be known as the Edmonton Football team forever. Nor will they want to be the CFLers as the Baltimore Stallions briefly were for legal reasons.
Whatever they choose let’s hope it is something fans will want to engage with. It will be fascinating to see where this goes.
Featured image from esks.com