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'Next era' - Exeter Chiefs ditch controversial branding and unveil new design

By Ian Cameron
Ollie Devoto /PA

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Exeter Chiefs have revealed their new branding after over a year of online debate around their use of Native American iconography in their team logo.

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A campaign to see them remove the Native American branding saw them ditch their ‘Big Chief’ mascot last year and now they – after a review and consultation – have rebranded to reflect the historical legacy of Devon and Cornwall, while keeping the ‘Chiefs’ name.

Those against the Native American logo had accused the club of cultural appropriation, a campaign which led rivals Premiership clubs to request that Exeter fans not fair faux Native American headdresses to away games.

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Instead, the new logo will pay homage the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii Tribe, “which encompassed a unified area covering Devon, Cornwall and parts of Somerset for many hundreds of years before the Roman occupation from 43 AD, as well as the later ‘Celtic Kingdom of Dumnonia’, which was established around AD 410 and continued for almost 500 years.”

The club say that the new imagery came about after a process of “detailed submissions, together with extensive historical research from leading professionals” which “have been undertaken to ensure the Rugby Club have a brand that not only recognises our traditions but, more importantly, identifies with our supporters and the region itself.”

“We are excited to welcome in the next era of rugby within Exeter,” said Chairman and Chief Executive, Tony Rowe OBE. “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.

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“We are Exeter, we are the Chiefs!

“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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