Cleveland Indians to become Cleveland Guardians following 2021 season
Marks the fifth team name in franchise history; first name change since 1915
New Brand Elements Feature Continuity with Traditional Colors, Script Wordmark and an Evolution of “C” to Respect Cleveland’s Baseball Heritage
Decision comes after culmination of 1,198 name options, 40,000 surveyed fans, 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel, plus 100+ hours of brainstorming sessions
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians today announced that following the conclusion of the 2021 season, the organization will transition to the new name of Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021).
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” Team Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
While the name will be new, there will be elements of continuity in the new marks and logos. The continuity we chose to incorporate was important to our fans and ties our past to our future:
- COLORS REMAIN: Our team colors will remain the same scheme that has been part of our organization for more than 80 years to honor our rich baseball heritage as well as the tradition of baseball as America’s pastime
- SCRIPT WORDMARK RETURNS: The new Guardians wordmark will have a familiar script style of the last 75 years while evoking the structural architecture of the Hope Memorial Bridge, mimicking the trusses of the bridge’s underside
- HOME/ROAD UNIFORMS: The Club will continue to wear CLEVELAND on the road uniforms, featuring our Bridge Print alphabet derived from the Diamond C, and the Guardians script wordmark on the home uniforms
- ‘C’ EVOLUTION: Our new “Diamond C” will be an evolution of the Block C and respects the tradition and heritage of Cleveland Baseball. The new C stands tall – just as the Guardians of Traffic stand watch over our ballpark and city – and draws from the ascending diamond motifs at the top of each Guardian pylon. The weight of the C is bold and its tapered shape is inspired by letterforms from the 1920 and 1948 World Series clubs
- NEW LOGOMARK: The Guardian’s Fastball embodies what it means to be a Cleveland Guardian in its strong, yet simple design. It is inspired by the helmets and wings of the Hope Memorial Bridge’s Guardian statues and the G purposefully wraps around and guards the baseball. The split-finger design is a tribute to our strong pitching heritage
The name change process started in June 2020 with a statement acknowledging the importance of taking a leadership role in uniting our community. We conducted an extensive multi-phase process to learn how the team name “Indians” impacted different constituencies and how it intersected with our organizational values.
“Since the announcement to change the name in December, our team has been hard at work to ensure we pick a name that our community, fans, partners, employees and players will be proud to have represent Cleveland Baseball,” President of Business Operations Brian Barren said. “Through our research and discussions, we identified a few key themes that were most important to fans – connect to the city of Cleveland, honor our rich baseball history and unite our community – and we believe Guardians upholds all three of those pillars.”
Through the ideation and research phase, we:
- Compiled 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel
- Surveyed 40,000 fans
- Had 4,000 fans sign up to participate in research via team name website
- Conducted 100+ hours of teammate brainstorming sessions
- Generated 1,198 name options which were narrowed down through 14 rounds of vetting
More information regarding our research and ideation process can be found at www.MLB.com/CLETeamName.
President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said, “This is a historic moment for our franchise, and we are excited for our players and staff to debut our new team name and look in 2022. We look forward to our team proudly representing the city of Cleveland as the Guardians. Our club will strive to unite and inspire our entire community.”
The club will finish the 2021 season as the Cleveland Indians and will look to launch as the Cleveland Guardians at the conclusion of the season.