There has been a name change in the Southern Professional Hockey League, as the Fayetteville FireAntz are now the Fayetteville Marksmen.
Over the last few weeks, there have been some changes in Fayetteville’s hockey scene. The FireAntz were recently sold, with a purchase of the club by former Fort Bragg soldier Chuck Norris and his partner, Jeff Longo, announced in April.
Upon taking over the club, the new owners sought to tweak the franchise’s identity, and have unveiled some results of an extensive rebranding process. With the switch from FireAntz to Marksmen, the owners believe they have not only selected a name that reflects the area’s history, but that could also be representative of the identity the franchise seeks to build. More from The Fayetteville Observer:
“Once we knew we were going to finalize the deal with (Howard) Bullard and the other owners, we knew that we were probably going to do a rebrand,” said majority owner Chuck Norris, who came to Fayetteville in 1989 as an Army private. “For me personally, the name of the team needed to somehow reflect the nature of the town; that it paid homage, in some way, to our most elite fighting soldiers in the world, which is right here at Fort Bragg.
“Most of our town, I think, is a very tough town,” he added, citing the large number of military veterans and retirees in the area. “I thought that it would link everything together. I thought it would be a little better than the FireAntz. Nothing against the FireAntz brand, I just thought that Marksmen would be more symbolic of the town and the area.”
Why the use of the fox?
Because a fox is “cagey, wiley, intelligent, shrewd, sometimes ferocious — all things that we want our team on the ice to personify,” team president Jeff Longo said.
Additional results from the rebranding, including new jerseys and a new mascot, are expected to be revealed this summer. The Observer also notes that the team and Cumberland County could agree down the road to facilitate upgrades for the Crown Coliseum.