Fans of the Sheffield Predators American Football Club are being urged to help the club come up with a new team name as it undergoes a re-branding.
The club wants a new name to avoid ‘negative associations’ with the word ‘Predators’ in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
The Predators, who train at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park on Bawtry Road, will also change their logo and club colours as part of the overhaul.
The club’s general manager, Toby Chesters, said: “The name ‘Predators’ no longer sits comfortably with the club’s stated aims of developing links with the local community, including its schools, colleges and universities.
“We need to avoid any negative associations which the current name, unfortunately, is attracting.
“Our new name, when chosen, will help us to develop the club progressively in the future, both in South Yorkshire and beyond.
“The costs incurred in re-branding will be significant, and we will be seeking support from organisations who empathise with our reasons for changing, and who also appreciate the opportunity to work with a community-minded sporting organisation in the UK’s fifth-largest city.”
A public consultation on the club’s new name is underway, with members of the public encouraged to send in their suggestions.
The club is looking for a name which reflects both the high energy action of American football and the identity of the South Yorkshire region.
Mr Chesters added: “We hope that the suggestions we receive for our new name will celebrate links to the city and community, and that they will reflect the key, iconic ingredients of what it is to live by the slogan #WeAreSheffield.
“Most of all we urge everyone to get involved, and help us choose a great new name!”
After consultation has ended, the club will create a poll of the most popular suggestions and members on the public will be able to vote for their favourite.
The club, among the UK’s top dozen American football teams, competes in the BAFANL Northern Premier Division at adult contact level. It also has well-developed flag, or non-contact, and youth teams, with members as young as 14 years old playing contact football.
The club’s flag team has recently achieved national success, finishing second and third in the National Championships in the last two years.
n Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org