Columbus Indoor Football League Team Named Wild Dogs
COLUMBUS, OH -- Following an extensive process to determine the best name for Columbus' newest professional sports team, the IFL's Columbus franchise revealed on Tuesday that it will be called the Columbus Wild Dogs. The logo, team colors, and uniform designs were made public during an event at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The Wild Dogs will begin play at Nationwide Arena in March of 2022.
The long-awaited reveal came after more than one thousand name suggestions were submitted during the organization's Name The Team contest held last fall. Additionally, team owner Steve Germain and his family worked closely with the world-famous Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, of which the family has been longtime supporters and advocates.
"Today is another great day for our organization," said Steve Germain. "This process was long and drawn out, but only because we had so many great options and ideas that were offered to us by our great fans. In the end, there were some very strong and creative names left on the cutting room floor, but the identity that we have come up with is entirely unique, bold, and brash, just like the exuberance of our fans here in Columbus."
The name also sheds light on one of the world's most endangered mammals. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to numerous African Painted Dogs, a name by which the species is also known, in its exhibit known as The Wilds. The Wilds is an area operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that has supported African wild dog conservation projects in several countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe through its conservation fund.
Though less than 6,000 wild dogs are left in their native regions of Africa, The Wilds has celebrated the arrivals of two litters of the African wild dogs over the past few years. Both litters of pups were the result of breeding recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is coordinated to increase genetic diversity and population sustainability of threatened and endangered species in managed care.
"As an organization, we are happy that we will be able to shed light on this extremely endangered species and advocate for their continued existence," said Jessica Germain. "We were drawn to characteristics of the species, which also fits with the makeup of our team - wild dogs are known for their teamwork, their aggressive nature, their tremendous endurance, their ferocious ability to attack, and their extreme success when they embark on their prey. What more could you want out of your football team?"
Added Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf: "The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has enjoyed a longtime partnership with the Steve Germain Family and their continued commitment to our community is inspiring. Their announcement today is a testament to their values in making a difference locally and globally. By offering our community another opportunity to rally behind Columbus, spend quality time together with family and friends, and raise awareness about the wild dog - an endangered species in Africa - the Steve Germain Family continues to give back in ways that have far-reaching, positive impacts."
The team also revealed its color scheme and uniforms. In addition to its primary black color dubbed Pitch Black, the team's colors include Saharan Taupe, Grasslands Gold, and Safari White, accented with an aggressive Ruthless Red.
Both the home and away uniforms also include a trademarked pattern that represents the mottled coat of the African wild dog. The distinct coat of the wild dogs is where the species gets its Painted Dog moniker. In the wild, the body markings and coat are unique to each dog, with most having a black muzzle with a black line running up the forehead.
The Wild Dogs logo designs and other brand elements were designed cooperatively by local Columbus artist Sam Fout and The Remedy, a national brand strategy agency based in Frisco, TX. Considerable input was also provided by the Steve Germain Family.
The Wild Dogs also announced the launch of their community initiative, Wild About The Community. The Wild Dogs organization understands that part of its responsibility to Columbus is to be a great partner in serving the community. As families and businesses struggle from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is reaching out to its fans and Columbus businesses and organizations to let them know that the Wild Dogs are here to help in any way the team can be of service. More information about the Wild About The Community initiative can be found on the team's website, www.ColumbusWildDogs.com.
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