CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians are narrowing a final list of new names and vetting them for legal purposes after months of research and discussions with fans.
The American League team announced in December that it is changing its name for the first time since 1915, a move that came after an acknowledgment of it being racist and demeaning to some people.
The team began meeting with groups of fans in February, and following several brainstorm sessions, nearly 1,200 potential names were aggregated.
“Since our name change announcement, we have been conducting extensive research. We’re hosting discussions focused on a range of topics– from what it means to be a Clevelander to why baseball traditions are so important,” the team said.
The team boosted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and teammates, as well as more than 40,000 fans surveyed. The club said common themes like connect, preserve and unite emerged.
“Once we narrow the list of names, we will begin to draft creative options for logos, word marks and other brand elements. This is when we see the name and brand start to come to the life,” the Indians said. “During this phase we will also work with Major League Baseball to ensure the legal viability of the name. The names go through a strict vetting process to make sure they’re legally sound for trademark protection.”