Vancouver, BC- We have done the OUA, we have done the AUS, now we take a trip out west to Canada West and the 17 schools scattered across 4 Canadian provinces. This was much improved over the unoriginality seen in the AUS but was it as good as the OUA, we are going to leave that up to you the reader to decide a little later on. For now though here is 49 Sport’s review of Canada West.
Either Didn’t Try or Tried Way Too Hard
17. Trinity Western Spartans: NA
The Spartans kick off the bottom of our list just as the Lakehead Thunderwolves in the OUA did, without a hashtag. If a Spartans fan can direct me to their hashtag I will gladly adjust my rating but I searched back a year and couldn’t find one so bottom of the list they go.
16. Brandon Bobcats #Bdnmb
I’m sorry to say to the Brandon Bobcats but of the hashtags that we have reviewed for this series, this is absolutely the worst one. I get what they are going for here, it is trying to be a cute short version of Brandon Manitoba (where they are located). The problems are firstly that it is incredibly awkward to read, second the M and B should be capitalized and they aren’t and thirdly it isn’t #BobcatNation which is already the supporters group that Brandon Athletics is trying to build and would be an exponentially better hashtag.
Go Team Go
15. University of British Columbia Thunderbirds #GoBirdsGo
The UBC Thunderbirds have such a boring hashtag and they don’t even do it the correct format. They are not the UBC Birds they are the UBC Thunderbirds so logically every other Go Team Go hashtag using that moniker would write #GoTBirdsGo. So I am left not only disappointed but annoyed as well.
14. Victoria Vikes #GoVikesGo
So I will be honest before this series I had absolutely no clue what a Vike was. I now know that it was the University of Victoria trying to be gender neutral rather than their original Victoria Vikings. Whilst I commend them for the change, it leaves them with a very underwhelming hashtag. #GoVikesGo is just so plain and unoriginal and knowing they are radical enough to call themselves the Vikes it’s dissapointing.
13. Lethbridge Pronghorns #GoHorns
There is an inappropriate joke that I always think of about the Pronghorns potential hashtag but obviously they wouldn’t be able to do that and the result they do put it is ok, but not exciting. I appreciate the fact that they tried to switch it up by dropping the second Go from Go Team Go but it still comes off as the same.
12. University of North British Columbia Timberwolves #gotwolves
UNBC does the little thing I think UBC’s hashtag is missing in adding that t. It’s subtle but it emphasizes in UNBC’s case that they aren’t just the wolves, they’re the Timberwolves. It is a subtle touch but one that bumps up UNBC some slots.
The Good the Bad and the Plagiarized
11. Mount Royal Cougars: #WeAreTheCougars
Does Mount Royal think that somebody forgot that they were the Cougars? I mean their logo should give it away but now for certain we know they won’t be called the Mount Royal Big Cats or something like that.
10. MacEwan Griffins #GriffNation
I like the premise behind this hashtag it’s just awkward more than anything. They have the right idea, MacEwan is the 2nd university in Edmonton and Nation hashtags are smart to build separation in communities but this is just awkward to say more than anything else.
t-8th: Calgary Dinos #WeAreAllDinos, Manitoba Bisons #WeAreAllBisons
One of these schools just put a fake moustache on the other’s and tried to pass it off as their own hashtag. I will be honest, I don’t know who was first in this battle of hashtag plagiarism thus the two schools get to be tied.
The Ones That Tried Something Different
7. Winnipeg Wesmen #WePlayForWinnipeg
There are two reason why I love the University of Winnipeg’s hashtag. The first being that it avoids the use of the actual team name, which I am very sorry to UofW folks as I get the history of the name but it is up there with Vikes for strangest team name in all of U Sports. So high marks for not doing something like #GoWesGo. The Second reason I like it is that it is trying to establish ground. Not just we play for our school but we play for our community which I think is a smart marketing move in a city like Winnipeg.
6. Regina Cougars: #WeAreUofR
There is just something so aesthetically pleasing about this hashtag. The We Are hashtags as readers of this series have come to know, are something I generally like overall and the the UofR is an interesting touch. They are the only school (outside of Toronto in the OUA) to do a We Are hashtag and not use their team name/moniker. Where Toronto has #WeAreTO for Toronto though, Regina has #WeAreUofR, it’s confident, saying We Are the University of Regina and don’t mess with us and I like it.
5. Thompson Rivers Wolfpack #HereWeCome
Thompson Rivers has had a fair bit of success in Canada West but just hasn’t hit the top of the mountain. A 2009 Volleyball Bronze along with a pair of Women’s Curling Silver’s and a Soccer bronze decorate their trophy case but they just haven’t managed to hit Gold in U Sports just yet. So I like this hashtag in the way that if it were for an up and coming professional franchise people would find it full of swagger. I feel like that is what Thompson Rivers is going for here, “don’t look now because here we come for a gold” .
4. University of British Columbia Okanogan Heat #FeedTheFlame
UBCO stepping up where UBC failed (God my editor is gonna hate me for this lol) but the Heat despite playing second fiddle to the Thunderbirds deliver a straightforward solid hashtag entry. It’s a Flame joke, it’s original and idea of feeding a flame and growing it is a good mantra for one of the smaller programs in Canada West looking to grow.
The Best of the West
3. Saskatchewan Huskies #HuskiePride
I don’t know what it is about Sasktachewan but they are one of the only schools that really pulls off a Pride hashtag. Maybe it’s because the word Huskie ends in an E the same as Pride which makes the hashtag pleasing to read. Or maybe it’s because the Huskies fans are well known for their passion but something about this Pride hashtag works.
2. Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas #BeTheRoar
Does a Panda roar? I don’t know to be honest, a bear certainly does though. This hashtag is a solid entry on Alberta’s part. It’s confident, a little cocky and it invites fans to join them which is the goal of U Sports marketing.
1. University of the Fraser Valley Cascades: #WeClimbWeConquer
The University of Fraser Valley Cascades have easily the top hashtag of Canada West. This hashtag managed to mix the elements of both cockiness and confidence as well as family and community. It is aesthetically pleasing to read with two We then C words, and it comes off as an Athletic program that knows what it wants. I absolutely love it and it takes top spot in Canada West.