Society for Case Research MBAA 2021

Experience level: 
Beginner
Intended Audience: 
Faculty
Authors: 
Bradley W. Brooks, Britt M. Shirley

Edmonton Eskimos: Brand Value vs Social Values?

The Edmonton Eskimos was one of the most successful and popular franchises in the Canadian Football League (CFL), but the team was facing increasing pressure to change its name. Some considered the Eskimos’ nickname disrespectful and racially insensitive to Canada’s Arctic-based native population, but the team feared that changing the team’s name might upset its fan base and risk brand equity. Other professional and college sports teams had faced similar pressure, with some changing their nicknames and others taking no action. In addition, the companies that produced consumer brands such as Uncle Ben’s, Aunt Jemima, and Land O Lakes had recently changed their names and logos because of concerns they promoted stereotypes. The team needed to consider how a name change might affect its various stakeholders, as well as whether to use of the name was cultural appreciation or cultural appropriation.