CFL season cancellation won't affect Edmonton football club rebrand, team president says

The president of the Edmonton Football Team says the cancellation of 2020 CFL season won’t have a significant impact on the franchise’s plans to rebrand.

Chris Presson says team will take a 'stair-step approach' to rebrand

More than half of CFL fans don't like Edmonton changing their name but 57 per cent of Canadians say it was the right choice according to a recent poll. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

The president of the Edmonton Football Team says the cancellation of the 2020 CFL season won't have a significant effect on the franchise's plans to rebrand.

The team announced it was dropping its name last month, but hopes to keep its double-E logo and its green and gold colours. The club will use the names EE Football Team and Edmonton Football Team until a new name is chosen.

Club president and CEO Chris Presson told CBC Edmonton's Radio Active on Monday that the season's cancellation won't have a positive or negative effect on the franchise's rebrand, but will allow more time to choose a name. 

"We would have theoretically more time to work on it, more time to initially begin to focus on it," Presson said.

"One of the challenges certainly would have been in a hub city for us in a rebrand is, how do we find the correct amount of time to devote the right resources to coming up with the right name?"

The league had made plans for a shortened season in the hub city of Winnipeg, but was unable to secure financing from the federal government. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the league will now focus its efforts on the 2021 season.

With no season, the Edmonton club faces the challenge of rebranding with limited revenue.

"When you go through a rebrand it's certainly not a cheap endeavour, and it won't be a cheap investment and that's why we'll have to take a stair-step approach," said Presson. 

"And that's why in certain places around town and even here in the in stadium, it'll take time for us to remove everything with our former name and now we just ask for people's understanding as we do that and we battle this fiscally to get to the other side."

Presson said the pandemic has shown the CFL business model may have to change.

"We certainly through COVID have really found that we have some holes in our business and I think any team and  anyone in the league would tell you that," he said.

"So I think we have to look at how can we change the model, how can we make it better long term. And that starts with us internally, how do we make our businesses better?"

Presson said the cancellation of the 2020 season was one of the most challenging days in the history of the league, but said the team is grateful to be able to look toward 2021.

With files from Rod Kurtz