They will adopt a new logo using imagery from the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii Tribe

Exeter Chiefs changing brand from July 2022

From July 2022, Exeter Chiefs will no longer use Native American-themed branding and instead use imagery from the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii Tribe.

The Premiership club had previously faced public criticism for their use of Native American imagery and branding around their Sandy Park home ground. But in the face of such criticism, the club announced  that they would review their branding. This move demonstrates a step in a different direction – though they will retain their ‘Chiefs’ moniker.

Related: National Congress of American Indians call for Exeter Chiefs to retire branding

In December, Glasgow Warriors asked visiting fans not to wear Native American-themed headdresses or use the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ celebration. In November, Wasps also discouraged travelling fans from wearing headdresses at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

A precedent for brand shifts had been set in the United States of America, where in the NFL the Washington Redskins dropped their logo and name, adopting for the time being the title Washington Football Team. In Cleveland, their Indians baseball side have recently switched to be known as to the Guardians.

Exeter chairman and chief exec Tony Rowe said in a statement on the decision: “We are excited to welcome in the next era of rugby within Exeter.

“Exeter has and always will be the most important term in our overall identity. The term Chiefs, however, is equally entrenched in our make-up, going back to over a century ago when teams in this region would regularly call their first teams that of the Chiefs,” Rowe added.

“As a rugby club we have been willing to listen, we have consulted far and wide, and now we are ready to invoke change.

“This is a new direction for our great club, but equally it’s an exciting vision that I’ve no doubt will propel us onwards and upwards over time.

“Our new imagery will bring to life the pride our supporters have to support their club, unifying us all under one brand that underlines all of our core traditions.”

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