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OT- Teams re-branding without relocating


shrader

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I had a random conversation yesterday about teams with awful names. It got me thinking about how often a team has just straight up changed their name simply because they didn’t like it and not due to relocating. A few different scenarios came to mind, but in my book, none of them meet this criteria. 
 

Redskins and Indians: We all know the reasons here. Strangely enough, I think both teams now have dumb names. I was hoping the new Washington owner would scrap it and find something new. 

Ducks: Technically a name change, but dropping the mighty isn’t enough for me. 

Hornets/Bobcats/Pelicans: This one is a special scenario where one city wants their old name back while another changes the name a few years after moving.  

Bullets/Wizards: Was there actual public pressure here or did they actually do it on their own?

Utah will have a name change, but that’s obviously due to relocation. 
 

I'm sure there are plenty from the early to mid 1900s, especially in baseball and football. So is there anything from the more modern era, say from the 70s and beyond?

Edited by shrader
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35 minutes ago, shrader said:

I had a random conversation yesterday about teams with awful names. It got me thinking about how often a team has just straight up changed their name simply because they didn’t like it and not due to relocating. A few different scenarios came to mind, but in my book, none of them meet this criteria. 
 

Redskins and Indians: We all know the reasons here. Strangely enough, I think both teams now have dumb names. I was hoping the new Washington owner would scrap it and find something new. 

Ducks: Technically a name change, but dropping the mighty isn’t enough for me. 

Hornets/Bobcats/Pelicans: This one is a special scenario where one city wants their old name back while another changes the name a few years after moving. 

Winnipeg: They had to keep Thrashers for a year or two, right? Still, that’s a name change due to moving. 

Bullets/Wizards: Was there actual public pressure here or did they actually do it on their own?

Utah will have a name change, but that’s obviously due to relocation. 
 

I'm sure there are plenty from the early to mid 1900s, especially in baseball and football. So is there anything from the more modern era, say from the 70s and beyond?

Quite often when teams move, the name changes.  Nordiques became the Avalanache with their move.  Same as Jets becoming Coyotes.  Both of which were in your timeframe.  (And Whalers becoming Hurricanes.)

Back in the 20's the Red Wings started as the Cougars and then in the 30's became the Falcons then Red Wings.  And Toronto were the Arenas prior to being the St. Pats prior to being the MLs.

Also in the timeframe in question: Chicago changed their name from Black Hawks to Blackhawks sometime in the 80's.

The Seals while still in the Bay Area changed from Seals to Golden Seals (and also from Oakland to California).  Then became the Barons in Cleveland, then merged with the North Stars in Minnesota and then the Gunds went full circle splitting the Sharks off from the team that soon thereafter moved to Dallas and became the Stars.  (The Scouts had a similar saga but not quite as bad.  Scouts -> Rockies -> Devils.)

The Flames are one of the few that changed location but kept the name.

In baseball, the Angels have kept that name from day one (AFAIK) but have gone from LA, to California, to Anaheim, and back to California (might've missed one or 2 changes to where they claim they're from though they started in LA and have been in Anaheim since).

The Braves kept the name from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta, but the Senators became the Rangers.  And pretty sure the Pilots became the Brewers.

Expos were still the Expos when they were homeless and ended up the Nationals when they got a new permanent home.

Giants and Dodgers kept the names when they went from the right coast to the left coast.  (Though those 2 moves predate your question.)

Edited by Taro T
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14 minutes ago, JoeSchmoe said:

This is not correct. They were immediately the Jets.

Ahhh, I was thinking of them being stuck in their old southeast division, or whatever it was called. 
 

But anyway, people clearly missed the “without relocating” part. 

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19 minutes ago, shrader said:

Ahhh, I was thinking of them being stuck in their old southeast division, or whatever it was called. 
 

But anyway, people clearly missed the “without relocating” part. 

Again, Black Hawks to Blackhawks.  😉 

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We’ve had our local baseball team never leave the stadium they play in, let alone relocate and go from the California Angels, to the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels (which is a joke).  I know it’s not the same as others mentioned, but strange nonetheless. 

Edited by Broken Ankles
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Tampa's baseball team changed from Devil Rays to Rays. I guess the Marlins (Florida to Miami) don't count because they relocated from one part of the Miami metro area to another when they changed their name.

This happened a bit more in baseball the more distant past. The Yankees were the Highlanders from 1903-1912. The Cincinnati Reds changed their name to the Redlegs from 1953 to 1958 due to the Red Scare. The old Boston Braves has a BUNCH of names. They even changed from Braves to Bees from 1936-1940 before changing back. They even switched to a blue and yellow color scheme for part of that period. That rebranding was due to an ownership change. I knew this stuff but I did have to do a bit of research to get the dates. 

I know that people in WNY don't consider MLS soccer to be "major," but it happened a few times. The NY Metro Stars changed their name to the Red Bulls a few years before they relocated from Giants Stadium. The franchise in San Jose started its MLS existence at the Clash but changed its name to the Earthquakes due to historic franchises in the NASL and MISL. Also, the MLS team in KC was the Wiz/Wizards (due to the Wizard of Oz) until they rebranded as Sporting KC in 2011. The Dallas Burn changed their name to FC Dallas in 2004. 

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