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  1. ITV Report

Bristol Rugby club to change name to 'Bristol Bears'

The move coincides with the team's return to the Premiership. Credit: Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby club is to change its name to Bristol Bears.

The move coincides with the team's return to the Premiership and will generate more income according to the club.

The club will hope to attract 'a whole new generation of supporters' to Ashton Gate. Credit: ITV News West Country

More than 13,000 supporters watched Bristol lift the Championship trophy at the weekend.

After the club was relegated in its most recent Premiership season two years ago, it is seeking new ways to build its international reputation and generate new income.

We firmly believe that the ground-breaking move will attract a whole new generation of supporters and – most importantly – inspire success on and off the field.

– Bristol Rugby
Pat Lam's Bristol side have won 20 of their 21 league matches this season. Credit: ITV News West Country

This is not the first time Bristol has changed its name.

Between 2001 and 2005 the club was rebranded the 'Shoguns' as part of a sponsorship deal.

The majority of the teams in rugby's Premiership have a nickname and Bristol chairman Steve Lansdown says Bristol must "shake up the established status quo".

I’m tired of hearing about Bristol’s status as a ‘sleeping giant’. Now, we want to see the club realise its fantastic potential in one of the UK’s most dynamic cities.

– Steve Lansdown

The club posted a tweet half an hour before the press conference telling fans to prepare for a 'major announcement'.

This black video has become a talking point amongst some fans who questioned whether the empty video was intentional.

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Speculation around the new name has been rife on social media, with the club officially registering the 'Bristol Bears' company name already.

Bristol made the official unveiling via Twitter at 1pm.

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The official confirmation led to a wave of social media posts both supporting and opposing the name change.

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The club's kits will also change as a result of the rebranding.

Credit: Bristol Rugby
Credit: Bristol Rugby