The Gwinnett Braves announced in May that they would be holding a contest for a new team name, and on Thursday they unveiled the six finalists.
They are the Buttons, Big Mouths, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lambchops and Sweet Teas.
“They’ve all got a tie to the region, they’re all fun and we can do some really cool things both in marketing and in branding with them,” general manager North Johnson said. “We want people to kind of give pause, think about what it is.”
Here’s the reasoning behind each name, according to a press release from the team:
Gwinnett Buttons: The Buttons honor Gwinnett County’s namesake, Button Gwinnett, signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
Gwinnett Big Mouths: Named after the state fish of Georgia, the Big Mouths is a tribute to bass fishing on Lake Lanier.
Gwinnett Gobblers: The Gobblers celebrates the outdoors, hunting, and eating all the foods we love.
Gwinnett Hush Puppies: Our stealthy hunting dog is sneaking through the weeds, about to rustle up some ducks. But don’t think we’re all that serious. You can expect a “corny” fan experience at the “Puppies” game!
Gwinnett Lambchops: A chop off the old block, the Lambchops marries the region’s love of home cooking with the Tomahawk Chop of the Atlanta Braves.
Gwinnett Sweet Teas: It’s a regional icon “to a tea!” The Sweet Teas celebrates the laid-back lifestyle of Gwinnett County while displaying a real sweet look.
Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate is looking for a new name in order to get “separation” in its market from the big league club, Johnson said.
The team plays its home games about an hour away from SunTrust Park and Johnson said the two teams are often not thought of as separate entities. Six of Atlanta’s seven minor affiliates are nicknamed “Braves.” The only exception is the high Class A Florida Fire Frogs, who are in their first season.
“They’ve been in that marketplace for 50 years,”Johnson said of the Atlanta Braves. “They’re an international brand, and we just feel like a lot of our marketing efforts haven’t really gone to promote us as opposed to the brand.”
He added that the Gwinnett organization will “actually own our identity” after a name change.
Gwinnett received more than 4,000 entries and 900 different names for its contest.
“Ultimately most of the decisions we make are for the fans, with them in mind,” Johnson said. “We knew our fans wanted to be engaged in the process, and it’s a fun thing to do . . . It’s created a lot of buzz.”
The voting on the finalists will run until July 24. The team name won’t become official until some time this fall, Johnson said. The Fire Frogs announced their name at the end of October last year.