Bristol Rugby will become the Bristol Bears from June 1st 2018, the club has announced.
The club released the following statement:
Over the last eighteen months, the club has carefully considered how best to shape its long-term future. 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.
Owner Stephen Lansdown, said: “This is an exciting and major commitment to ensuring the future success of the club. In order to succeed in our mission to Inspire Our Community Through Rugby Success, we must make bold changes to ensure we are prepared for the demands of this highly competitive, dynamic environment.
“We have to be prepared to break the mould and be relentless in driving the progression of this rugby club. In a challenging market, in order to attract investment and new audiences, we must be brave in our vision. The development of the brand expands our appeal to a global audience at a time when the appetite for professional rugby is growing in international markets. "We believe these changes – alongside the matchday improvements to Ashton Gate and the continued engagement with local schools and our community – are critical to enable long-term success.
“We recognise that there is a history and tradition associated with all sports clubs and we are conscious and proud of the loyalty, bond and passion so many share for Bristol Rugby. "We hope that all supporters will embrace the changes and recognize the significant investment taking place – on and off the field – to bring success and a sustainable future for the club.” Bristol Rugby will remain the registered name of the company and we will continue to honour our proud heritage. Here are some of the ways that we are working hard to deliver a matchday experience that our supporters can be proud of.