The Washington Redskins have been under continuous pressure because of the team’s name.
A group of companies led by FedEx and including the likes of Nike and PepsiCo received a request from the investors to part ways with the Washington team unless the name gets changed. The reason is simple – racial connotations.
The implications? $620 million dollars of total worth that could be lost.
While Daniel Snyder, who currently owns the Redskins, is in the process of choosing the new name, many have been suggesting that the most likely candidates for the new names are ‘Redtails’, ‘Americans’, ‘Generals’, ‘Hogs’, ‘RedHawks’, and, frankly, too many others.
But surprising, this isn’t the first time a franchise will change its name. In fact, more than 25% of all teams have done that at some point in the past. Here are some of the most notable examples.
The Boston Braves – The Washington Redskins
This won’t be the first name change for the Washington team either. In fact, for one year in 1932-1933, the team was based in Boston and was called the Braves.
But as the new coach came into the picture, he and a few of the Native American players pushed to change the name to the Redskins, which stayed for almost 90 years – up until now.
The Cleveland Browns – The Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore became the new home for the Cleveland Browns in 1996, but that year also marks the beginning of the new branding for the team. Art Modell was the owner back then, so he decided to arrange a contest for the best name.
Inspired by the great Edgar Allan Poe, the Ravens became a memorable symbol for the team, leaving other contestants like the Americans and Marauders biting the dust.
The Dallas Texans – The Kansas City Chiefs
The Texans were spectacular on the field way back in the sixties, but the fans didn’t seem to generate a buzz powerful enough to support the franchise financially. Thing is, the team was competing with the Cowboys, who had conquered the hearts of the Dallas audiences.
After winning the championship in 1962, Lamar Hunt, who owned the franchise at the time, decided to move the operation to Kansas City and emerge with the new brand – the Chiefs. The rest, as they say, is history.
Investor pressure is not an unusual occurrence, but this time it is going to affect the Washington team’s identity. After all, the name is an embodiment of everything about an entity.
Unless the higher management gets it right, the team will lose a big part of its character.
What other names for the Redskins can you offer? What name would you like for this team? Tell us in the comments.
Also, you can read about Criminals among NFL players.