As pressure mounts for professional sports teams to shed racist or stereotypical names, experts believe the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos will soon announce a name change.
On Monday, the National Football League's Washington team announced it would retire its nickname and logo after pressure from sponsors.
The last thing management wants is for people to be talking about the name of the team, said Marvin Ryder, an associate professor of marketing at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business. "Anybody talking about the name of your team, rather than the performance of your team or the athletes on your team, that's the wrong message. You want that to go away."
When fans, players and sponsors start to say they feel uncomfortable with a name, a team starts to pay attention, he said.
Some sponsors of the Edmonton Eskimos also seemed uncomfortable with the CFL team's name.
Insurance provider Belair Direct said last week it is rethinking its premier partnership with the team. A spokeswoman said the company "will need to see concrete action in the near future, including a commitment to a name change."
Boston Pizza, another sponsor, said "as part of a larger shift in our overall marketing strategy, Boston Pizza recently ended its sponsorship of Edmonton's CFL team." It tweeted the statement as a response to someone asking about whether it plans to follow the lead of Belair Direct.
"We acknowledge and appreciate the feedback and input regarding our name," Rose Mary Phillip, the Edmonton team's vice-president of marketing and communications, said in a email to CBC Sports. "We take this issue seriously, as has been demonstrated by the three years we've spent engaging in Canada's North and conducting research related to our name.
"We recognize that a lot has occurred since this information was gathered, and as a result, we are accelerating our ongoing process of review. We will be seeking further input from the Inuit, our partners and other stakeholders to inform our decisions moving forward."
The Edmonton team recently wrapped a three-year long review that resulted in a February announcement of its intention to keep the name after finding "no consensus."
Under mounting pressure, the team promised to speed up a second review and provide an update at the end of July.
It's unlikely any board room is considering these name changes as a way to sell more jerseys, said Brian Levine, founder and president of Envision Sports & Entertainment, a Toronto-based company. He added that logistical challenges may outweigh the pros in the short-term.
The process to decide on a new name and logo could take several months.
It includes qualitative and quantitative research, including focus groups or a contest, said Cosentino, as well as graphic representation, including colour selection.
The team will have to work with all licensees that produce goods with the team name and logo, he said, noting they'll have to account for what materials licensees have access to when choosing a new colour scheme for the logo.
The team will also have to change signage and other materials used in the stadium.
"It's an investment either way you look at it," Levine said. "And it might not pay off in year one, but it will pay off dividends down the road."