It's official: The Ottawa Renegades

Now Ottawa sports fans can cheer the Sens and the Rens after the city's new CFL franchise was christened the Renegades on Sunday.

And the team will have three logos -- including one depicting a mean-looking beaver.

The nickname, chosen by a fan Internet vote, was unveiled at halftime of the Ottawa Rebel lacrosse club's season-opener at the Corel Centre, home of the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

Brad Watters shares ownership of both the CFL and lacrosse teams.

"It goes well with our Rebel theme," said Watters. "It's new and hip."

The Renegades had been reported as the name of choice amongst eight names fans could vote for on the team's Web site. The other names were: Beavers, Bytowners, Power, Rafters, Rage, River Kings and Rivermen.

About a third of the more than 15,000 votes cast were in favour of Renegades, with Beavers and Rivermen each collecting more than 1,000 votes.

The logo that will likely adorn club helmets when the team begins play next season will feature a mysterious-looking cowboy wearing a black cowboy hat and a red bandanna.

In the background is a maple leaf with Ottawa written above the stylized writing of Renegades.

"The big Renegade logo, we thought we could really work with that -- it really is something a football player would want to wear and then the beaver logo will be for everyone who wants to have some fun and the kids."

The beaver logo features a menacing rodent also in a black cowboy hat emblazoned with a red maple leaf, cradling a pewter-coloured football.

It will be used as shoulder crests on the official jerseys and for merchandising efforts aimed at the younger demographic.

Watters said a third logo will resemble a sheriff's badge.

"I'm delighted the colours are black and red," said general manager Eric Tillman.

"I think it's important (to have) a combination of the new but also the old."

The old Rough Riders folded following the 1996 season, taking with them a series of logos, including the simple yet traditional black helmet with white R.

"I don't feel slighted at all," said Dean Dorsey, a former place-kicker with the Riders.

"The R was kind of crazy. I mean, yeah there was a lot of history behind the R but with this thing, it's something that looks great on jackets and I'm sure a lot of people are going to buy it."

The original Rough Riders name belongs to former owner Horn Chen, a Chicago businessman who rarely visited Ottawa.

"We thought having the Rough Riders name would be great. We understand the importance of that," team governor and co-owner Randy Gillis said last month. "But if it was going to cost us a whole lot of money, did it make much sense?

"It's been five-year period that there hasn't been football in Ottawa." he continued. "We feel it's been a great cleansing period, so we felt it's time to go forward with a new name."

Watters said the Renegades had already sold 8,500 season tickets and were to launch a new campaign this week.

"Now we can brand the team -- now we can start doing our mass-marketing," said Watters.

By Mark Brennae