The data shows us Edmontonians love animals.
EE Football Team president Chris Presson revealed the top three finalists for the franchise’s new name on The Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 radio in the Alberta capital.
“When you looked at the overall interest that the majority of the people had, it was the three animals: Elks, Eagles, and Elkhounds,” Presson said.
“Whenever we got our surveys back Elks continued to rank first or second in every category. With our players No. 1, with our coaches No. 1, with our fans No. 1 or No. 2. It quickly became an overall No. 1.”
In November 2020, the team asked the public to join in EE Name Time, a call to help them find the best name for the franchise. The process resulted in 14,833 submissions with 2,047 unique name entries from all over the world. The information gathered was processed to choose the final candidates that best fit the criteria of the organization.
“It really came to the forefront right after Christmas. Once we got the information back from the survey and the seven finalists we put out, Elks continued to be No. 1 or No. 2 in every landscape. Whether it was age, socioeconomic background, where you lived within town, it was one or two in every single category,” Presson said on TSN 1260’s The Nielsen Show.
In February 2021, the list of names was distilled to seven choices, which were chosen based on the findings of brand sessions held in 2020. The survey received an astounding 38,761 responses, which were broken down by location, age, and other key demographics for those who submitted their preference.
Across all of the respondents, it became clear that Elk was highly favoured through all demographic categories. When the team heard from the players and coaches, who overwhelmingly voted for Elk, the choices became much clearer.
After lengthy debate, consultation with linguistics experts from the Oxford Dictionary and the University of Alberta’s linguistics department, the name “Elks” was finally chosen, adding the “s” to the original choice “Elk” — the new name reflects the speed, strength, and resilience of the green and gold and Northern Alberta.
“I was really excited about where we landed. We didn’t want to completely be traditional around the normal looking Elk, what you see with the Milwaukee Bucks. We wanted to be more futuristic and take our team more down that line for the future,” Presson said.
“Once it went to black and white you could see it take shape a bit more and then when you got to colour things really started to stand out. I probably saw 50 to 100 different iterations, but I’m sure there was much more that I didn’t see.”