Five new name ideas for the Cleveland Indians

Feb 28, 2018; Tempe, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Chief Wahoo logo on a Cleveland Indians uniform during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2018; Tempe, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Chief Wahoo logo on a Cleveland Indians uniform during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Baseball Team

If Cleveland Indians owners really want to get original, they could borrow a riff from the Washington NFL club. When that team announced its plans to change names, it adopted an interim designation for 2020 as “the Washington Football Team,” with plans to settle on a more permanent change after the conclusion of the current season.

If owners of the Indians really want to be original – and also guarantee never to offend anybody – they could lift the approach taken in Washington but make it permanent. Simply rename the club “The Cleveland Baseball Team.” That would eliminate the use of a nickname altogether.

Why do that? First, it would be impossible for anybody to be offended. But more importantly, it would be unique. No team in major professional North American sports takes the field without some kind of commonly recognized nickname.

That means the team faces an opportunity to do something both utterly unique and fully attention-getting. Taking such an approach would, in a strange way, be the most novel thing the Indians could possibly do.

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Such an action might be viewed as challenging for marketers and merchandisers. But it would be a challenge with unique solutions. Imagine the talk that would ensue with the unveiling of a logo featuring a blank space.