Edmonton Football Team president Chris Presson: new name ‘not a popularity contest’

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Football Team

Edmonton Football Team president Chris Presson doesn’t want the franchise’s new name to come from a competition.

The Green and Gold asked for name submissions from fans as the organization works through the process of selecting a new moniker and over 13,000 votes were received.

“We were quite surprised with the amount of names that we got in, and the submissions, and the overall interest. The number of names, the ones that are useful, and the ones that may not be useful, the creativity around it was very, very good. Some people even submitted their own artwork, which was quite colourful,” Presson said on TSN 1260 radio.

“The name thing was for input from Edmonton, it’s not a popularity contest to see which name ranks first and that’s who we’re going to choose. It’s more about gathering information from the community because it’s their team, seeing what they want in a name and how can we tie it altogether in a story.”

The EE Football Team would not share the exact amount of votes cast for each option with 3DownNation, but did provide the top 10 list. Edmonton is working on a new name to be unveiled in the early spring of 2021.

“I wouldn’t stick to the 10 that you’ve seen, it’s not that they’re not good, they’re all good. I don’t want to be too hasty to hedge on one specific groupings of names, because I know there will be some that will come out that we haven’t seen before, and our agency may also have a name that we haven’t heard of as well,” Presson said.

The board of directors made the decision to discontinue the use of the word “Eskimo” in the team’s name in July. Even though the franchise is committed to the ‘EE’ logo and green and gold colours, it’s going to cost the franchise over $1 million dollars for the new name.

“Those two things were paramount as we begin to take the brand that exists and meld it with the name itself and create an overarching campaign around both of those brands and bringing them together,” Presson said.

“It’s pretty much a no-brainer. We thought about it for about six seconds and then we realized that wasn’t a very good idea. We had always thought that we need to keep the EE, we want to keep the EE, and we know our fans want us to keep the EE, along with the green and gold.”

Since adopting the Eskimos name over 100 years ago, the franchise says it and its predecessor organizations have celebrated the hardiness and spirit of those who live in the north. The team’s values of community, integrity, respect and inclusion will not change with the new name.

“We need to be able to build a story around our name, there are certain names that you can do that with and there are certain names that you can’t,” Presson said.

“We’ll amalgamate all that information and share it with our agency. Our name probably be the first 15 days of April in terms of when we announce it.”