Experts Consider Renaming Cleveland-Ohio Newstime

Cleveland, Ohio — Last week, Cleveland Indians provided fans and updates on the research phase to determine a new team name.

However, it may be very realistic that those who have watched Saga carefully since the first change proposal in July will not be announced until the new name is announced. I wonder why this process lasted for nearly a year. Time 2022.

No doubt, change is coming. Baseball vice president Chris Antonetti pondered a lot on MLB Network Radio in December about whether an organization could be part of a positive shift for social justice and community equality. It was. He said he had spent time.

“After hearing from leaders in different fields, it makes sense to move the new name forward so that we can integrate our fan base and do a better job of connecting people for the common good. I thought it was. It’s the perfect time for sports, “said Antonetti.

That all makes sense, but it’s ridiculous to expect club owner Paul Dolan and team executives to ring their fingers and come up with a new name overnight. On the other hand, the brand-wide transformation story remains a bit of a mystery to the average fan.

Charles Campisi, Head of Marketing and Sports Management at Baldwin Wallace University, said one of the reasons for the slow process is a tremendous undertaking that covers all aspects of the franchise’s existence. Said.

It’s also a delicate transition that the club wants to do only once. That means doing it right, while providing fans with something new and fresh that can be shown as a source of unity and pride.

“From a marketing perspective, it’s not just about changing the name and logo,” says Campisi. “This is a way to replace a brand with a history of 105 years and have fans buy it at the same time.”

Cleveland.com provides Campisi and Case Western Reserve and Ohio State University experts with the idea of ​​renaming Indians and why the process is so difficult and takes time to do it right. .. I asked.

How much does it cost to rebrand?

One of the biggest obstacles is the economic aspect of branding after the team promises to change the name.

“This isn’t just about renaming the jersey,” Campisi said. “It’s all inside and outside the stadium.”

When Seattle changed the name of the stadium from Safeco Field to T-Mobile Park before the 2019 season, the Mariners had three months from signing the deal to the opening date. I patrolled the park and found all the places labeled “Safeco Field”. Mr Kampisi said Indians need to do the same.

“If I’ve been to the park, I’ve seen it so many times that there are many places I can’t see anymore,” said Campisi. “There will be many” Indian “characters everywhere in the park. If you want to get it right, take some time this season. “

From a practical point of view, the entire 2021 season was celebrated by Native American groups locally and nationwide, allowing Indians to sell jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other items they had already ordered. I was able to maintain the contract with.

“If they change it now, we have to imagine that either MLB or Indians will have to eat all that money,” Campisi said.

Jonathan Ernest, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Case Western Reserve University, states that the economy associated with renaming this scope is relatively unprecedented.

“Many of these costs are related to the fact that the brand was built,” Ernest said. “Especially in baseball, it’s more difficult because of the attractiveness of the local market, especially when considering switching.”

According to Ernest, new teams are rarely renamed or existing teams move to new cities.

“It’s hard to tell the impact of having a new fan base in a new stadium with the impact of renaming,” Ernest said.

The closest example could be from a minor league baseball team that tends to change names and brands more often, as was the case with Akron’s Double A team, which changed from Eros to Rubber Dachshund in 2013. There is sex.

“According to research conducted in overseas minor league baseball and other sports, it is important for teams to have local attractions and ties, or associated local identities, when renaming.” Ernest. Said.

Baseball deals with local attractions rather than national fan bases rather than soccer.

“In the case of Washington, they’re trying to find a name that works well across the country, so you might not want to choose a specific name like’Potomac’that others don’t understand,” Ernest said. .. was.

Is it controversial to connect names to rock holes or regional ones? What most people don’t want to see is another guitar-themed logo.

“Especially in baseball, it makes a lot of sense to give a name that is somewhat identifiable in the area, but given how small the local market is,” Ernest said. Said. that’s all”

According to Ernest, minor league teams that change to regional-themed partnerships have fewer dropoffs, higher sales, and more spectators than changing to some sort of bland country name. Studies have shown that it does.

“This is a very strong discussion about understanding the cost of making changes and getting them to work properly,” Ernest said.

“We are facing the same issues, such as trademarks and who is crouching on which website. To make sure we have all rights to the proper means of renaming, and all of these. Trading takes time.

What about the idea of ​​renaming to sell T-shirts and caps and make money?

Jesse Walker, an assistant professor of marketing at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, said 105 years later, the Cleveland Indians brand was so valuable that turning around was not an easy choice. Say.

“There is no natural and beneficial reason to make this change,” Walker said. “In their minds, the only reason to do that is to do the right thing.”

Indians may think this move is worth the cost in the long run, but it comes at a cost in the short run. Also, product sales may not be a decisive factor.

“There is no way they can do this to sell more goods,” Walker said. “The segment that opposes changing fan base is almost always its social impact. Buy merchandise.”

And don’t expect huge amounts of cash on the commercial side of Indians after the new name is born, Campisi said. Most of the profits from Major League Baseball sales are shared by all 30 teams. You can put it in a big bowl.

In MLB, 48% of local revenue is subject to revenue sharing, evenly distributed to all 30 teams, with each team receiving 3.3% of total revenue. In 2018, each team received $ 118 million from this shared pot.

Would you like to give it a tentative name like the Cleveland Baseball Club, just as the Washington Football Team did?

Indians have made great efforts to provide free timetables since the first announcement in pursuit of renaming. That way, you can decide on a new brand and move on from there, rather than a tentative title.

According to Campisi, the two rebranding adds an additional headache to the process.

“You don’t have to market such strange and vague team names like the Cleveland Baseball Team or the Cleveland Baseball Club,” Campisi said.

Experts Consider Renaming Cleveland-Ohio Newstime

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