Clarifying the Indians Demotion of Chief Wahoo

Written By:  •  Friday, January 10, 2014

Cleveland Indians Home Cap 2014

There’s been plenty of articles over the past two days over the news that the Cleveland Indians are relegating their infamous/famous Chief Wahoo logo to secondary logo status, moving their red block “C” logo up as their new primary logo.

Most of these articles feature the Indians denying claims that Chief Wahoo’s days are over, or that it’s being reduced in usage on the uniforms.

We never said that.

To clarify, for everyone…

Chief Wahoo will be on the Cleveland Indians uniforms and caps in 2014 in the exact same way as it was in 2013.

Wahoo stays on the blue/red home cap
Wahoo stays on the blue/blue road alternate cap
Wahoo stays on the sleeve of the home uniform
Wahoo stays on the sleeve of the road uniform
Wahoo stays on the sleeve of the blue alternate uniform.

Chief Wahoo will remain on the 2014 Cleveland Indians uniforms in the areas noted in the photos above

Chief Wahoo will remain on the 2014 Cleveland Indians uniforms in the areas noted in the photos above

What is changing (and being buried within those “the uniform is staying the same!” articles) is how the club designates the logo within their official stylesheets with Major League Baseball, media, and manufacturers.

Chief Wahoo 2013 primary logo becomes the 2014 secondary logo
Red C 2013 road cap logo becomes the 2014 primary logo

Cleveland Indians Primary Secondary Swap 2014

The club has actually acknowledged that this change is happening, once, in a piece on Cleveland.com:

“It’s a nature of changing the, maybe the designation that you might see that Major League Baseball uses in their style guide, which is a more of a discretionary change. It’s nothing to do with the approach in locally how we use it or anything to read into.” – Indians Director of Communications Curtis Danburg

Just so everyone knows, there’s no “maybe” about this change of designation, it’s a done deal. It’s not going to be announced officially by the team but anyone with access to MLB’s branding guides for 2014 will see exactly what we’re talking about.

Paul Lukas did a great take on what this means over on ESPN.com yesterday, basically the style guides are what’s presented to merchandise manufacturers and media outlets and are what’s used to determine what logos are used for what. You’ll likely see the red “C” logo on TV sports shows and web apps when the Indians are brought up instead of Chief Wahoo as we had in years past.

The Indians have always said Wahoo isn’t going anywhere, and they maintain that position today… but it just seems like they’ve been getting rid of the logo (in the slowest possible way) over the past decade or so, this re-designation is just the latest step.

Now, having said all that… thoughts on the red C logo as a primary? I’m of the position that Wahoo should no longer be the primary brand but is this red C logo really the way to go? Share your thoughts below…

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net