The trend of teams reverting to versions of logos from their past isn’t exclusive to American sports – the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League are getting in on the act.
From 1996 to 2012, the logo was a simple outline of a white horse galloping. In 2013, a drop shadow was added to the horse, and he was in front of a red circle with a black and white outline.
In 2016, the shine that was in the circular part of the logo was removed, and beginning in 2020, the red circle is history; it’s back to the horse outline, but the drop shadow remains. It returns to its form as one of the simpler logos in all of professional sports. The logo with the red circle won’t totally disappear – it now becomes franchise’s alternate logo.
The old logo is going out in style, as the Stampeders won the Grey Cup Championship in 2018 with a 27-16 triumph over Ottawa Redblacks; it was the eighth title in team history and second in the past five years. In fact, the Stampeders have played in the Grey Cup game every year except one since 2014.
The horse has been a prominent aspect of the Stampeders’ logo since 1972. Prior to that, from its inception in 1945, the logo was a cowboy riding a horse with a football in the background. In 1972, the white horse was placed on a red helmet. In 1987, the helmet was given a more modern look until it was ditched entirely in 1996.
If the horse looks familiar, there are a couple of other places you may have seen it. First, Ford uses a similar silhouette for its Mustang brand, with the horse debuting in 1964. Five years after the Stampeders adopted it, a very similar horse became the primary logo of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. Instead of a white horse, SMU’s is red. A blue outline was added in 2008. There are also slight differences in the shape of the tail.
The future of the Stampeders will be interesting to follow over the next several years. Calgary Sports and Entertainment own the Stampeders and the Calgary Flames, and the entity is seeking a new venue for both teams. A proposal to provide new homes for both teams did not pass, but it’s looking like the Flames may soon get a new home to replace the aging Saddledome. Right now, the team plays in McMahon Stadium, which has been its home since 1960. It also served as Olympic Stadium for the 1988 Winter Games. Support for just the new hockey arena seems tepid, as Calgary is going through some tough economic times, so the Stampeders may be playing at McMahon Stadium for the foreseeable future.
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