Is their logo a roulette table?
The owners of the Ottawa CFL franchise slated to start play in 2014 are closing in on a colourful new name for the squad.
Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group partner Jeff Hunt confirmed Sunday night that the name Ottawa Red Blacks is under consideration for the club’s moniker as a reveal date approaches.
In an email to the Citizen, Hunt explained OSEG hasn’t made a final call just yet, because the group is planning to do some focus testing on potential names first. The group planned to release the team name and the identity of the first general manager in late January or early February.
The Red Blacks (or some variation, like Ottawa Red and Black) jives with Hunt’s past statements about the name, however. In previous media interviews, he has suggested the team’s logo would contain an ‘R’ — a throwback to the Rough Riders’ heritage — and that the team colours would include red and black.
An application was submitted to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently to trademark several variations of the name Ottawa Red Blacks, for use with a proposed football team.
Other names a Kanata company called Moonstar Limited is trying to register include Ottawa RedBlacks and two French versions: Les Rouges Noirs D’Ottawa and Les RougesNoires D’Ottawa.
A further search found the company is also seeking to trademark Ottawa Fury FC, a possible moniker for a new franchise in the North American Soccer League.
One of OSEG’s partners, John Pugh, is the driving force behind the NASL team and already runs the Ottawa Fury Premier Development League team here in the city. The Fury will, in all likelihood, serve as a development academy for the NASL squad, so it would make sense for them to share the same name.
And it would make little sense for anyone but the OSEG partners to apply for the Fury trademark.
The applications were filed with the intellectual property office in late December, but weren’t visible to the public until this weekend.
The team’s potential names have been the focus of intense debate in the city since OSEG launched a contest to come up with possibilities in early December. More than 4,000 people submitted their suggestions, which were then whittled down to the best dozen or so.
While that contest was running, the Citizen revealed an OSEG subsidiary had moved to trade mark Ottawa Rush, which Hunt confirmed at the time was among the finalists. It’s unclear whether or not it still is, but that seems unlikely given there was some significant public backlash.
Rush was a bit cumbersome as a French name as well, a big consideration in the bilingual capital of Canada.
In a Dec. 19 newspaper interview, Hunt was quoted saying the group was “very close” to making up its mind, but still had to sort out some legal issues before it could commit 100 per cent.
It would appear some variation of Ottawa Red Blacks is the leading candidate.