Voting on a name for the new Kinston Carolina League franchise is underway, as the Texas Rangers have revealed five finalists.
The names reveal a few interesting branding ideas. For starters, the team is trying to broaden its geographical appeal by including the phrase Down East, which is a nod to Eastern North Carolina. Additionally, the names themselves amount to unique choices. One of the finalists is Eagles, a name that was used sporadically in Kinston from 1925 to 1986. The other options, however, follow more recent branding trends by connecting a local industry or identity to a unique name.
In all, more than 1,300 suggestions were submitted by fans in the first phase of name the team voting. Each finalist is listed below, with descriptions from the team:
Down East Eagles |
A nod to baseball history in the Eastern part of the state, the Eagles were the first pro team to play at Historic Grainger Stadium.
Down East HamHawks
As one of the country’s biggest pork producers, there’s no questioning the importance of the mighty pig in North Carolina. But, hogs are just a fraction of what the state is known for – this is also the birthplace of aviation. This team name is a play on words paying homage to some of the state’s most notable contributions.
Down East Hogzillas
Whole hog BBQ is part of the very fabric that makes Eastern North Carolina a colorful place. Hogzilla is a mighty and powerful team ready to bring home the bacon, and the wins, for fans.
Down East Shaggers
The Carolina Shag is a partner dance that will leave your toes tapping. Watch for members of this team to shag balls on the field and maybe even invite you to dance at the ballpark.
Down East Wood Ducks
Also known as “woodies”, these colorful local waterfowl and a favorite among local hunters and boast some of the sharpest claws among all ducks. Less than 24 hours after hatching, these gutsy ducklings make a long and unassisted jump out of their nest high above the ground. Look for this team to make equally plucky plays on the field.
Joining the Carolina League as part of the California League/Carolina League realignment, the new Kinston franchise will be owned and operated by the Rangers. It is set to begin play next season at Grainger Stadium, a longtime minor league venue that hosted the Carolina League’s Kinston Indians through the 2011 season.