The Who What of Who?

Legal reasoning aside, I think it’s stupid that the Angels are allowed to call themselves the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Since their inception in the 1960s, they have been the Los Angeles Angels, the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels and now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Talk about a lack of a brand identity.

The team actually took on the “Anaheim” name when an agreement with the municipality gave the franchise some money to renovate their stadium and all the city asked for in return was their name in the team’s name.  Under Disney ownership at the time, the owners of the team took on this identity and hoped to make “Orlando West” with Anaheim the equivalent of Orlando, complete with Disney Park and sports team.

When Arte Moreno purchased the team and chose to rebuild its brand from the pieces it was left in from the Disney days, he changed the team name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in order to appeal to a broader market.  A lawsuit that was just settled or dismissed or something enables the Angels to keep this name.

I think it’s tough for a team that’s been around for 40 years to go through four different “location” portions of their name.  This, of course, begs the question: what geographic area are the Angels attempting to appeal to?  Is is LA?  California? Anaheim? Some combination of the three?  Needless to say, the team’s fans are frustrated with these changes and at least when this current, long name was implemented, there was some resistence.  Maybe that’s not the case now.

The judgment that allows the Angels to keep this long, ridiculous name is a bad precedent to set in sports.  With the Oakland A’s moving to Fremont one of these days, does that mean they will be the Oakland A’s of Fremont?  How about the NFL’s Giants and Jets?  How long is it until the state of New Jersey wants those teams to be called the New York Giants of New Jersey.  Realistically people generally disregard the “of Anaheim” when referring to the Angels.  Their abbreviation on scoreboards is LAA (Los Angeles Angels) and since it’s a mouthful to say Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, people generally cut the “of Anaheim.”  Regardless, I know that Anaheim gave the Angels money to rennovate their stadium, but I think it’s time, for everyone’s sake, to just cut the “of Anaheim” to ensure this isn’t a precedent for teams moving going forward.

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