A lot of NFL fans have strong opinions when it comes to the new name and logo for the former Washington Redskins.
After the franchise—temporarily known as the Washington Football Team—announced in July that it would drop the controversial name it has held since the 1930s, social media was abuzz with ideas. Some hoped the team would rebrand to the Washington Redwolves, while others urged a new era of the Washington Redtails, inspired by the nickname for the Black Air Force unit also known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Today, the team officially invited the public to participate in the rebranding process, posting a form that fans can use to upload suggestions—and designs—for a new name and logo.
“Last week’s announcement was just the beginning,” reads the submission form. “Now it’s your opportunity to come along with us and be a part of our evolution. This is your opportunity to give us your best pitch, because WE WANT YOUR INPUT! Whether it’s a name idea, a logo or artwork that you’ve created, or a video testimonial, we want to hear it. Please submit your idea now!”
On Twitter, accounts responded to the announcement by flooding a tweet with designs for what appears to be a fan favorite: the Washington Redwolves. Some of those designs played off the former logo, with a wolf tail replacing the controversial headdress feathers.
“We’ve been receiving a ton of feedback and ideas from fans and just wanted to create a place where we could streamline those notes and ideas,” said Sean DeBarbieri, director of communications for the Washington Football Team. “This is just a fun way to engage the fan base and hear their suggestions.”
But the team was also criticized by some who pointed out that asking fans to do a “Fiverr-inspired” redesign was an unusual replacement for hiring a branding agency.
The public submission form on the Washington team’s website does not offer any compensation or credit for any designs or pitches used by the team.
In fact, the team’s legal disclaimer makes it clear that anyone submitting a pitch gives up all rights to their design. Fans will “irrevocably grant, transfer, and convey to the Washington Football Team, free and clear of any and all liens and encumbrances, all of [their] right, title, and interest in, to, and under the content, together with the goodwill associated therewith, worldwide, including but not limited to all concepts, ideas, images, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property.”
The form does say the team “may reach out with additional questions or comments” after reviewing pitches, and that all ideas and files submitted will be reviewed.
The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now.