After months of what might be best characterized as trepidatious anticipation from fans, the Edmonton Football Club unveiled its new name this week.
To no surprise, it caused a bit of a stir.
But it wasn’t the name itself being questioned, so much as it was the form of said noun.
This is a good thing for the newly-named Edmonton Elks.
In February the team launched a survey about its new name, asking fans to vote on seven final options: Elk, Evergreen, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles, and Elements.
Public response was tepid. There wasn’t a name among them that fans seemed to love, just ones they least disliked. Perhaps the strongest reactions were ones of confusion: What’s an ‘evergold?’ Is there such a thing as an ‘elkhound’?
Such sentiments were only exacerbated by a prolonged period before the Edmonton Football Team announced its new moniker. Originally planned for mid-April, the reveal wouldn’t come for another month a half after that.
Speculation that a large antlered mammal had won the name game was confirmed Tuesday, when the team rolled out its new brand, including a primary logo, secondary logo, wordmark.
And guess what? People actually liked it. A lot.
As with anything, there are those who disapprove. But early reactions across social media and on talk radio seemed to reveal a sense of pleasant surprise.
Maybe it’s because expectations weren’t high, and fans had prepared themselves to be unmoved. Or maybe it’s because the team, to borrow from another sport, hit a home run on this one.
The logo is wide appealing; it’s tidy, not too busy, and has a timeless quality that won’t offend traditionalists. Speaking of which, the original “EE” remains part of the brand, as well as the green and gold colour scheme. The merch, which has already been rolled out in spades, looks great. And those antlers on the sides of the helmets? Yeah, those are pretty flippin’ cool.
As for the contentious aspect of the name, that pesky “s” that was tacked on to “Elk” sometime between now and when the survey was conducted, it’s grammatically correct: the team checked with linguistics experts from the Oxford Dictionary and the University of Alberta to make sure it got that right.
The unveiling has created a bit of a buzz in Edmonton, and a notably positive energy, which can’t be overlooked, considering the last time this team played a season in 2019, average attendance at Commonwealth Stadium slipped below 30,000 for the first time since the Canadian Football League was ‘Radically Canadian.’
For a team whose Q score has taken a bit of a dip in recent years, it’s definitely gained a point here. In fact, you can probably add an “s” on the end of that, too: it’s gained a few points.
This article is a guest contribution by Edmonton-based reporter Brian Swane. You can follow him on Twitter here.