Mayor John Suthers attended the unveiling of the Sky Sox’s new name and logo on Monday on one condition.
If the team had chosen Rocky Mountain Oysters, he was out.
“Very relieved,” Suthers said. “As a matter of fact, I made them come talk to me this morning because I wasn’t going to be out here today if I was going to be embarrassed by the name.”
The Oysters – a cuisine of fried bull testicles – was the lightning rod of discussion from a list of possibilities for the now-named Rocky Mountain Vibes released in the summer. They ultimately went off the list with the Vibes, but team owner D.G. Elmore said the Oysters was an option he would never have allowed.
“That wasn’t going to happen, but it sure got people excited,” Elmore said. “There were sponsors and politicians who said if it’s going to be that, I’m not participating.”
The team had fun with the possibility of being the Oysters until the very end, unveiling their name before a packed house in the stadium banquet hall slowly as the Rocky. Mountain. Oy…. Vibes.
Do you like the name Rocky Mountain Vibes?
General manager Chris Phillips envisions the team eventually holding a “What If” night where it will wear uniforms that are Oyster inspired.
While fear of public backlash squashed that idea, a small shop 54 miles away factored in the discarding of another.
Sources told The Gazette that the team was moving forward with Happy Campers as the probable new name when Minor League Baseball discovered the existence of The Happy Camper Cannabis Company in Bailey. MiLB, with its focus on family entertainment and looking to distance itself from any perceived endorsement of legalized marijuana, provided a roadblock to that name or at least enough discouragement that the team – not yet completely sold on the name – opted go with a more broad riff on what it feels makes people in this region happy campers.
“You can imagine how stressed out I was,” said general manager Chris Phillips, referring to the uncertain time while awaiting word on the Happy Campers and confirming that Vibes would be a name the team could trademark.
In naming the s’more mascot Toasty, the team still found a double-entendre approach to the marijuana issue.
The other finalists – the Lamb Chops, Punchy Pikas and Throttle Jockeys – didn’t gain much traction because of the limitations of what the team could do with those names and concepts.
“The lists are a generator of interest,” said Elmore, whose Elmore Sports Group has operated for 37 years and owns seven minor league teams. “We felt Vibes was playing off some of the things that were on the list, and we think it is really appropriate.
“Brands are all about what you make them. We really feel like this is going to be an amazing brand.”