Edmonton’s football team now Edmonton Elks

Edmonton’s football team has a new name. The Edmonton Elks will charge into the 2021 CFL season after the team announced its new moniker Tuesday morning.

The team launched a survey with seven names on it and the name Elk was “highly favoured,” the team said. The players and coaches voted overwhelmingly for the same.

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After debate, and consultation with a linguistics expert from the Oxford Dictionary and the University of Alberta’s linguistic department, the team said an “s” was added to the original choice to reflect the speed, strength and resilience of the green and gold and northern Alberta.

“Either word would have worked to make sure that we were correct,” president and CEO Chris Presson said.

“I like the ‘s’ on the end for a lot of reasons. I think it sounds better. And, frankly, I see a piece of inclusion there. You know, Elks means not me or you, but us.”

Edmonton Elks merchandise is displayed at Commonwealth Stadium on June 1, 2021. Global News

The team reached its decision on the name and the logo in February, Presson said, though the trademark wasn’t submitted until Monday in an effort to keep the name under wraps.

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Click to play video: 'EE Football Team to announce new name Tuesday morning' EE Football Team to announce new name Tuesday morning

EE Football Team to announce new name Tuesday morning

Earlier this year, Ryan King announced he was retiring from the team but was involved in the video shoot to announce the new name.
He thinks the team made the right choice.

“You always play for the logo,” he said. “You have the name on the back which is your family that you represent, but the logo on the front is your journey to get to pro sports, it’s the city you play for, it’s all the people in the stands representing you.

“You look out and you see all the jerseys and you’re on the field playing, it’s a very proud moment to represent the logo on the front of your jersey.”

Read more: Edmonton Football Team calls on fans to vote on 7 possible names

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King said he tried to get the name out of the crew when working on the video, but everyone was tight lipped and he didn’t find out until Tuesday morning.

The team made the decision to drop “Eskimos” last July after repeated calls to change the name.

A call was put out to fans to suggest names, and the team whittled the list down to seven possibilities: Elk, Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles and Elements.

“The organization fully understands that we’re taking something and have taken something away from people who have been supporters of our team for decades,” Allan Watt, VP of marketing and communications, said.

“Seventy years our team was called the previous name. Now we’re applying a new name to it today.”

Read more: Wildlife expert thinks Elk would work for new EE Football Team name

“It’s cool to see that chapter close in such a historic franchise like this and to see the new beginning,” King said.

Edmonton Elks merchandise is displayed at Commonwealth Stadium on June 1, 2021. Global News

Fans were able to vote on the seven names, but the final decision came down to the team.

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“I don’t think any of us in our organization right from the board of directors on down realized how much is involved in actually changing a name,” Watt said. “Then making sure your name is protected, making sure you’ve got all the registrations done, and then there’s the whole process of fan engagement we went through.”

Read more: Edmonton Football Club: The Double E closing in on new name

The team said 38,761 people responded to the name survey in 2020. From the survey, the name Elk was “highly favoured,” and the players and coaches voted overwhelmingly for the same, the Elks said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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