Just over a month ago, the NLL announced the relocation of the New England Black Wolves a short drive away to Albany, New York. Following 4,000 fan submissions that involved more than 2,000 potential team names, the team formally known as Albany NLL finally has a new identity. Welcome the Albany FireWolves!
Albany FireWolves Begin Their NLL Journey
What Were the Choices?
In a press conference today, the team’s front office announce the new team name, logo, color scheme, and other branding. As part of their effort to solicit names from fans, they had announced the finalists back on March 5. The finalists were the Attack, the Black Arrows, and the FireWolves. Once I personally got over the whole idea of the previous Albany NLL name and spreading the Black Wolves name over two different suggestions, I actually had some fun imagining what each could have been.
Attack was of course the favorite and obvious choice, not only because of their previous four season run in the Capital Region at the turn of the century, but also because sports team love alliterations. The Buffalo Bandits, Syracuse Smash, Baltimore Bayhawks, Rochester Rattlers, and San Jose Stealth (kind of?) all come to mind. The Stealth, by the way, were actually who the original Albany Attack became after, but I digress. I also liked Attack as an option because their original logo was a picture of a wolf running with a lacrosse stick, which tied into the Black Wolves history the team now has.
Then there was the option be being the FireWolves. What is a Fire Wolf, do you ask? Well, it’s a pretty unique mascot. It felt like more of a play on Black Wolves than anything, but the more I thought about it, the more I got excited about it. The image that really came into my head for this one was the incredible fiery battering ram in “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” which is a pretty epic mascot. I really hope this makes an appearance in the pregame hype show.
That then left the Black Arrows, which like the FireWolves was a bit of a play on the Black Wolves name. But where I started to really like this one was linking it back to the Junior A Six Nations Arrows, who have plenty of alums across the NLL. Interestingly enough, team owner Oliver Marti mentioned this as a reason they did not go with an Arrows name out of respect for the existing team. Also, this is another name that’s not used through the sports world, and I do not believe they would be confused with London’s Black Arrows Badminton Club.
Welcome the FireWolves to the NLL
But, those were my personal thoughts and theories. Let’s actually turn it over to the marketing pros for why they chose the new name:
“The Albany FireWolves is a unique name that represents what we are going to be on and off the field,” Team President George Manias said in a statement. “On the field, we will be fierce, like a wolf and intimidate foes who come into our den. A planned fire, like a fireplace or fire pit, always encourages a gathering. Our games will be a gathering place for our fans to rally and support our team onto victory. We will be one with our community, like a PACK and become the alpha in the Capital Region as we will offer our fans the live sporting event and entertainment value they have grown accustom to.”
Also, take a look at the new logo:
So, with an official name and logo, we can now keep the focus on how the Albany FireWolves are going to look out on the floor once next season starts up.