CLEVELAND -- The Indians organization is in the thick of the name-change process, and it provided its fans with an update Thursday morning.
The club has spent the last few months talking with fans, community leaders, local influencers, staff and front-office personnel to get an idea of what the general population is looking for in a team name. Nearly 1,200 name possibilities were created, and the team is now in the process of trimming that list down to the top choices.
“We’ve engaged our fans and community on many aspects of our team name process,” Indians vice president of communications and community impact Curtis Danburg said. “We felt it was important to share our research journey and what we’ve learned so far. Fans can learn more at www.mlb.com/CLEteamname as we continue to work through our multiphase process.”
Cleveland first announced last summer that it would begin having conversations with local community members and Native American groups about the possibility of a name change. It was in December that the organization announced that it would be eliminating its moniker, “Indians,” and started the search for a new nickname. The team does not have a timeline for when the new name will be announced.
More than 4,000 fans signed up to be part of the conversation, and over 40,000 fans were surveyed. The team also announced that it’s already gone through 140 hours of interviews with fans, staff and community members. What the organization determined is that the name should connect to the city of Cleveland, preserve the team’s rich baseball history and unite the community. And from the original list of 1,198 names, the club has already gone through 14 rounds of vetting to narrow the name options down and select its top choices.
The next step for the club will be to draft creative options for logos, word marks and other brand elements, while working with Major League Baseball to ensure the legal viability with the name. That will be the final hurdle for the team to overcome before officially unveiling the new name.