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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SEPT. 20, 2000
By Alan Fuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have one of the more unique monikers in hockey, so the question is often asked: what is a Sound Tiger and how’d the team get its name?
When it came time to name the newest American Hockey League franchise back in 2000, it became clear that fans wanted a moniker that was indicative of not only the region, but the city as well. Thousands of entries poured into the front office through a ‘Name the Team’ contest conducted with the help of the Connecticut Post.
According to Roy Boe, the Sound Tigers’ original President, there was an overwhelming insistence that the team name include ‘Bridgeport’ and was an active part of the city’s rebirth along with a new source of community pride. The majority who submitted entries wanted a name unique to the region’s geography and to pay homage to its history.
Many favored references to the shore or beach, which were listed as possible options. Others had names that referenced ‘harbor,’ which was already an integral part of the new arena’s initial name: Arena at Harbor Yard. An overwhelming interest in the coasts, and specifically the Long Island Sound, as well as the region’s history, was evident in the hundreds of entries received.
References were made to the impact of the Sound on the economic history and the recreational activities of the residents of Fairfield County and beyond. Hence, how ‘Sound’ became an obvious component to be included in the eventually selected team name.
Furthermore, Bridgeport’s long and storied relationship with the circus was a consistent theme among hundreds of submitted suggestions. So much so, the team immediately scheduled the Barnum Museum for its official logo unveiling. Tigers were the most referred to animal or character, due primarily to Bridgeport’s fascination with the circus. Focus groups later found ‘Sound Tigers’ to be unique and consistent with the varied write-in suggestions the contest generated.
The distinct name necessitated the development of an equally unique logo, which the organization turned to the Silverman Group of New Haven to create a fitting design. The result was a dynamic logo and vibrant team colors which reflected the club’s “proud to be different feelings” and “take charge attitude.”
In addition, as part of the ‘Name the Team’ contest, the franchise followed through on its pledge to present an authentic jersey to a lucky and creative new fan who voted for the or suggested the team’s ultimate name. Vincent Cupo, of Trumbull, was randomly selected as the winner.