NFL owner Dan Snyder changed his team's name to the Washington Football Team prior to the 2020 season in response to criticism from fans and sponsors alike. The name change was supposed to be temporary while the organization found a better option, but that may take some time. The Washington Football Team may continue using the name during the 2021 season.
"There’s a pretty good chance we will be the Washington Football Team next season," said recently-hired team president Jason Wright during an interview with WJLA. "I think next year is fast because of how the brand has to come together through uniforms, through approval processes through the league. We could get there quicker, it's actually pretty hard to get there that quickly because of all the steps that need to happen."
The NFL franchise originally made the long-awaited name change after facing pressure from sponsors. FedEx and PepsiCo both received letters from shareholders calling for them to terminate business relationships with the team unless it removed the "Redskins" moniker. FedEx is the primary name sponsor of Washington's stadium and threatened to end the partnership.
Snyder ultimately bowed to the pressure and made the change. The team removed the old name and logo from the stadium, team facility and merchandise. This decision resulted in comments from Twitter users that wanted to express their opinion about the best name moving forward. There were so many comments that the Washington team created the website www.washingtonjourney.com so fans could submit their ideas and learn about the ongoing process.
"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 in August. "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."
While there are several options on the table, the Washington Football Team will not quickly make a decision about the future. They will likely use the new moniker during the 2021 season while continuing to evaluate the various submissions. Although this timeline could change in the coming months.