As they prepare rebrand before next season, the Lynchburg Hillcats (High A; Carolina League) are starting a name the team contest. The new name will take effect in time for the 2017 season.
Name suggestions will be accepted through an online contest, which will eventually lead to a final vote with six potential monikers. The Hillcats will work with the San Diego-based Brandiose on the new branding.
The process begins Wednesday, May 25. Fans are encouraged to submit their nomination for the team’s new identity below, along with an explanation of why they feel their suggestion perfectly embodies Lynchburg professional baseball. Fans have until Wednesday, June 8th to make submissions. The top six choices will be entered into a contest to vote for the new team name. One fan who submits an entry will win two full season tickets for life.
“The Hillcats as well as other team names have been a big part of this franchise, and they will continue to be,” said team president Chris Jones. “We are excited to see what fans suggest as possible names for the team. We have a very loyal and passionate fanbase. We hope they will tap into their creative side to suggest some unique and imaginative names that will be associated with Lynchburg baseball for years to come. We want an identity that captures the rich history of this community and its great baseball tradition. I am confident our fans will generate some original and clever names that convey that to all of Minor League Baseball.”
After using the name of its current affiliate for its first 40 years in the Carolina League, Lynchburg changed its name to the Hillcats in 1995 when it switched its affiliation to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lynchburg has remained the Hillcats for the past 21 years, spanning affiliations with the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. The top six submissions, as chosen by a selection committee, will be listed on the team website for fan voting after the initial round of submissions concludes.
The Hillcats are just the latest Minor League Baseball team to accept submissions for a new name. The New Orleans Zephyrs (Class AAA: Pacific Coast League) announced a name the team contest in April, while the Binghamton Mets (Class AA; Eastern League) have revealed six finalists for their new identity. In all of these case, the team has undergone some type of ownership change since last fall. Lynchburg was sold to Elmore Sports Group in December.