For least the 2020 season, the NFL Club is previously known as the Redskins will be known as the Washington Football Team, allowing the group flexibility to select a new full-time name.
Gone is the Indian head emblem and the name that U.S. supporters considered a derogatory insult definable by the dictionary; here are the gold and Bourgogne colors indicative of the history of the franchise.
The interim logo was dubbed “a nice link between the history and the future” as the executive vice president and chief marketing officer Terry Bateman, who was hired on Monday for the change of name and the rebranding process.
“This is an organic kind of move,” Bateman said in a phone interview on Thursday (local time). “We wanted to think it through and try to figure out what is the best approach for us, for the community, for the fans, for everybody and concluded that what we wanted to do was to go slow with the renaming process and be very thoughtful, very inclusive, respectful and all those things. That’s going to require some time to do it right.”
Background to the name change
Native American activists have long protested that both the team’s name and the main logo was racial, endorsing the Black Lives Matter campaign as a result of George Floyd ‘s death.
On Thursday, the NFL updated their names for social media and switched to @WashingtonNFL, while “redskins.com” was dropped from the bio of the account.
The current team name will be automatically operational and will continue to exist “pending adoption of a new team name,” said the team on Thursday in a tweet.
A team statement read: “For updated brand clarity and consistency purposes, we will call ourselves the “Washington Football Team” pending adoption of our new name. The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season. We encourage fans, media, and all other parties to use the “Washington Football Team” immediately.
“The decision to use the “Washington Football Team” for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input. To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels, and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses.
The “Bigger” Picture
The cycle of scrubbing the former name and branding off the new team ‘s offices in Ashburn, Virginia, into the FedEx Field home base continues on Friday for the Training Camp starting next week. At the beginning of the season, Bateman wants this cycle to be done. The real work begins with the creation of a new name.
Over 1,000 names were submitted, Red Wolves and Red Tails being the electronic sportsbook betting favorites.
“I’ve gotten long letters from people explaining their idea,” Bateman said.
“What I tell everybody is everything that comes in will be put in the hopper.”
Owner Dan Snyder reportedly abandoned the name Redskins under the pressure of advertisers and Native American activists after decades of scrutiny.
Since 1933, Redskins has been named the franchise, which started in Boston in 1932.
The Washington Helmet logo will replace a player jersey number, which will get its first close-up against Philadelphia at the opener of the season on 13 September.
In 2020, the Washington Football team will become the name and will stick to it as the brand changing process begins.
“We ‘re not going to put an artificial time frame on it,” said Bateman.
Marketing consultants wanted to engage the group before creating a brand identity for Snyder, coach Ron Rivera and the creative department in Washington.
Until the final decision is made, Bateman wants supporters, advertisers, and others to participate.
“I think it’s critically important because you don’t want to do [a name change] again,” Carnegie Mellon associate professor of marketing and strategy Tim Derdenger said recently.
“You don’t want to mess this up, so they need to take it seriously.”
Currently, in controversy, the Washington Football Team has been accused of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by 15 ex-personnel and two journalists. The team told CNN that an investigation had been launched.