The Cleveland Indians have admitted that they’ve scaled back on using the Chief Wahoo logo, however, the logo is still very much a part of the organization’s business.
Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan went on the record, admitting that Chief Wahoo is no longer the Tribe’s primary logo. This isn’t exactly breaking news. In the past, the Indians have been pretty forthcoming about moving beyond the logo.
But will Chief Wahoo go extinct? Right now, it’d be ridiculous to draw that conclusion.
How can I write, so convincingly, that The Chief is still very much a part of the Tribe’s business? Follow the money, my dear reader.
Guess what ball cap just happens to be the Tribe’s No. 1 seller? If you said the home Chief Wahoo logo cap, you’d be right.
So while ownership tries to downplay the team’s use of the logo, Chief Wahoo is still very, very popular among Tribe fans, and undoubtedly, ownership knows it.
Here’s the breakdown of which caps sell the best, via Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto.
- Home cap with Chief Wahoo
- Road cap with Block C red
- Washed Chief Wahoo cap
- Washed Block C cap
The Block C cap is a good look (the blue ones, at least), but it’s a fantasy to think the Dolans would do away with the revenue generator that accounts for two of their top three best-selling caps.
I do applaud the job the front has done by scaling back the Chief. Ownership isn’t in a easy position. Rather than ignite a hell, fire and brimstone outcry from their fan base by doing away with The Chief in one swift action, the Dolans have quietly used the chief less and less.
Check out a preview for an upcoming game. What graphic will be used for the Indians? The Block “C.” Open up the RBI Baseball app on your iPad. The Block C represents the Tribe. On opening day, open up your Yahoo sports app to check scores. You won’t see the Chief.
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I find this to be a very conflicting topic. I love Chief Wahoo as much as the next life-long Tribe fan. I had just entered my teenage years when the Tribe hit their hay day of the mid 1990s. To me, Chief Wahoo is a symbol of the good times I had watching baseball as a boy coming of age in the west-side burbs. The logo is as much a part of the Indians as Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Rocky Colavito Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.
However, I also understand why some view him as offensive, and I have agreed with how the Indians have scaled back the logo’s usage. Baseball’s a game played by kids, yet a lucky, select group of adults get paid millions for the sake of entertaining the masses in cathedrals across the nation. Games are meant to be fun. Not offensive.
And I think the Indians understand this, based on the public comments the Dolans family has made regarding the topic.
However, Chief Wahoo’s popularity remains at an all-time high. The Chief’s likeness can still be bought in the team shop or your local Lids.
By taking their current stance, the Dolan ownership gets the best of both worlds. Their politically correct in their views, but their also keeping the fan base happy, while reaping the profits.
It’s a fine line, and the Indians have walked it.