What is in a name? For hockey teams its moniker is almost as important as the town from which the team is from. Tampa Bay for example have the nickname Lightning as the Tampa Bay area is famous for its lightning. Other sides have more history involved with their names, for instance the Maple Leafs moniker was chosen to be more patriotic and the Canadiens name is self evident.
In recent years though there has become a new contender or consideration when it comes to picking a name that is demolishing a teams history. That is the owner. The money and support of companies such as drinks maker Red Bull is well received by sports teams around the world but the side effect is that a teams name changes.
The latest addition to the Red Bull sports family was formerly known as EHC Munchen. The top tier side has had a rapid rise through the German system gaining a DEL license in 2010. The sides distinctive blue and white circular logo with golden M had became famous as the side rose from minnows to DEL stalwarts.
But Red Bull’s involved now means that the side is known as EHC Red Bulls Munchen and the old logo is relegated to a shoulder patch. In its place is the generic Red Bull logo seen on other Red Bull teams jerseys.
The involvement of Red Bull in sports is very much welcomed and in EHC Munchen case their involvement ensures a financially secure future. But by changing the team name and logos some of the history of side is lost. For a side like EHC Munchen this is a real shame. They had battled their way up through the notoriously difficult Bundesliga system winning the Bayernliga, oberliga and the 2.Bundesliga all within 12 years of coming into existence.
Red Bull is not the only company to use these tactics. Garden accessory manufacturer Mountfield is title sponsor, logo and moniker of HC Mountfield previously known as HC Ceske Budejovice of the Czech Extraliga. Other companies though have the balance more in favour of the club with title sponsorships that keep the original team name and moniker.
In order to get some of this corporate money though any team has to be prepared to make some concessions. There is a balancing act to be had, as the big businesses want to ensure their name is exposed as much as possible but for the fans changing a teams name and logo is robbing their history.