Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Would dropping Chief Wahoo hurt the Tribe in the wallet?

neon wahooAs the debate ebbs and flows over whether or not the Cleveland Indians should drop Chief Wahoo as their logo, a look at what has happened when other teams have made the decision reveals an interesting fact: teams that make the switch may not see a negative impact on their financial bottom line.

The Emory Sports Marketing Analytics project analyzed the impact on universities that changed their American Indian name or mascot and found that, for the most part, the switch away from an American Indian mascot results in positive financial returns over the long run. The switch also has no long-term impact on a team’s brand equity.

The group did admit that their study has some drawbacks – they even use the word imperfect to describe their analysis – because they were only able to look at universities. There is no way of knowing if the college model would translate to the professional level, where fans are more likely to refer to their favorite teams by the nickname rather than the school name as is common in college sports. They were also looking at a limited amount of data.

But the financial side of the Chief Wahoo decision needs to be taken into account and this provides another talking point in the ongoing debate.

(h/t to UniWatch for the link to the study.)

***

The hit-or-miss Tribe was in hit mode on Wednesday, putting up 10 runs in beating Philadelphia and earning a split in the two-game series with the Phillies.

After scoring just two runs in Tuesday night’s series opener – the 19th time the Indians have scored three or fewer runs in the first 38 games of the season – and extending a streak where they scored just three runs in a 27-inning stretch – the Tribe rolled on Wednesday behind home runs by Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles.

With Detroit losing to Houston, the Tribe enters Thursday’s off day only a half-game out of first place in the American League Central Division.

Not bad.

***

We’ve known it was coming since mid-December (and probably earlier), but it is still a bummer that Josh Cribbs is now officially no longer a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Cribbs signed with Oakland on Wednesday, who also visited Detroit and both New York teams before winding up with the Raiders.

With a roster that includes wide receivers Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Rod Streater and Juron Criner – a group that almost (almost) makes one long for Mohammed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie – Cribbs could have an opportunity to see more playing time at wide receiver, something that was not going to happen in Cleveland.

While he will be wearing a different uniform next year, Cribbs will always be a Brown and we wish him well.

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