PRESS RELEASE – After a successful inaugural season, the Kalamazoo Growlers will be making a name change to their beloved mascot “Barlee” due to a current dispute from Minor League Baseball and the Hillsboro Hops.
This past April, the Growlers selected “Barlee” as their new mascot name after conducting a contest that received thousands of community wide submissions and votes. Shortly after the vote ended, the Growlers received an email from Minor League Baseball advising them that the name “Barley” is a trademarked mascot name for the Hillsboro Hops, the class A short season affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks located in Hillsboro, Oregon.
In good faith, the Growlers attempted to differentiate mascots by changing the spelling to “Barlee” shortly after the vote. However, in the interest of maintaining a healthy working relationship, the Growlers will be hosting a new mascot name contest this December where fans will be able to vote on a new name.
“It is unfortunate, but we see this as an opportunity for the team and our fans to regroup and come back with a name we can embrace and call our own. Barlee will now move up to the “Big Leagues” like so many of our Northwoods League players and we can start fresh with a new name.” said Growlers VP Brian Colopy.
The team is launching a new community-wide vote for fans to choose the mascot’s new name. Fans can vote here up until December 19.
All fans that vote receive a coupon for 15% off on Growlers Gear this holiday season. One voting fan of the winning name will win 4 reserved box seats to the Growlers 2015 Home Opener, a private meet and greet with our new mascot before the game, and a $100 Growlers gift card. Four other voters will also receive $25 Growler gift cards.
The three name finalists for the Growlers new mascot are Blooper, Porter and Beary. The winning name will be announced sometime in January.
Blooper – A fun, whimsical name fit for a fun, whimsical mascot! Blooper fits well with baseball as it defines a weakly hit fly ball landing just beyond reach of the infielders. It also ties in well with our mascot as he’s always committing embarrassing, clumsy acts to get big laughs from our fans!
Porter – Keeping with the microbrew theme of Barlee, Porter not only gives our “portly” bear a fun name but also pays homage to the rich history of microbreweries in Kalamazoo.
Beary – It just makes sense, right?