The Washington Football team made a big move this offseason when they retired the Redskins nickname and Native American logo. When that happened, fans were speculating what the new team name and logo might be. With Washington making the decision right before the start of the season, coming up with the permanent name and logo is going to take some time, which led to to the team creating the website www.washingngtonjourney.com, where fans can learn more about the rebranding process and submit ideas for the new name, logo and uniforms.
"We're getting thousands and thousands of submissions," Marcus Stephenson, vice president, digital marketing and programming for the Washington Football Team, said exclusively to PopCulture.com. "It's anything and everything. We wanted to keep it an open book like that because we want to be able to showcase some of the submissions the fans have been sending in as a proof point of the inclusive nature of this process. Some have been amazing ideas. As we start to move forward throughout the season beginning in the fall, we wanted to make sure we had an ongoing dialogue with our fans. This destination really allows us to do that on an everyday basis."
Stephenson said he wanted this site to be an "inclusive" destination for the fans and community. And while fans can submit their own rebranding ideas, the question is how much will the fans play a role when Washington decides to move forward with a new name?
"We can guarantee that we'll choose one of the names, but everything's all up for discussion," Stephenson said. "That's part of what this whole experience is. Let's put everything on the table. Let's have a two-way dialogue with our fans around the world. Let's come to a consensus on what we all want from this franchise moving forward. That's the beauty of it. If we remain to be transparent and that's what this destination is structured for, then along the way people see the evolution through this entire process."
Stephenson also said they have other things planned for Washington Journey throughout the season that will "even go deeper with fan inclusiveness and have more structure points." This move comes shortly before the team hired Jason Wright as a new team president. Stephenson said what Wright brings is perfect for the team as it transitions into a new era.
"He's obviously very excited about this rebranding process particularly because of its inclusive nature," Stephenson stated. "What he brings to the table given his experience, this hits every single note that comes in for. It was part of his excitement coming into the organization. Given Jason's involvement and now leadership coming into the organization, we're going to go bigger and better."
Washington is doing something that is very rare in the NFL. The team has been around for 88 years and has won a total of five league championships (three Super Bowls and two NFL titles). With a new president in Wright a new head coach in Ron Rivera, Washington is ready to take the franchise to new rights once the rebranding process is complete. But even when that happens, Washington Journey will continue to be a favorite destination for fans.
"We will never stop this inclusive nature of our franchise," Stephenson said. "You will only see campaigns or processes like this in every facet of our organization moving forward related to the journey of WashingtonJourney.com."