Keep the Tradition, Save the Brand and End the Controversy
Keep the Tradition, Save the Brand and End the Controversy
The Washington Redspears® Project: A brands legacy is built on more than just a name and not a racial slur.
The Washington Redspears® Project: A brands legacy is built on more than just a name and not a racial slur. Read more
Brand Identity: How a business wants a brand's name, communication style, logo and other visual elements to be perceived by consumers.
On July 8, 2015 a federal judge in Northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins federal trademark registration.
The Washington Redspears® project is a grassroots effort to unofficially and publicly re-brand our beloved Washington Football franchise and add a new layer to their name controversy. This project will help put into production Washington Redspears® merchandise, consisting of t-shirts and hats. We contend that there is nothing wrong with the team's brand, which is why on July 15, 2015, Forbes magazine determined that the brand's valuation at $2.4 Billion dollars. This brand has a tradition that goes back more than 80 years, and is beloved by millions of fans. But with the current controversy the franchise name is viewed much differently now. Because of this fans have to endure protest, mockery and ridicule. This does not have to be.
What makes a Brand:
Does our fandom mean that we love the name of our franchise or does it mean that we love the brand and the history associated with it? Our goal is to articulate to the fan base, to the people who want the team name changed, and to the people that love the name, to think about this controversy from a branding and marketing perspective. That there is a way to change the name and at the same time, keep the brand's great tradition. This project hope's to create a discussion about this brand, presents a viable alternative to the name and a solution to the controversy. This is The Washington Redspears® Project.
This Kickstarter campaign is about more than raising money to produce t-shirts and hats. It is about making a statement, and you can be a part of it.
My graphic designer, Andrew Herbert, and I, have created two amazing Washington Redspears® logo designs for you to choose from. These logos allow you to compare and contrast two distict team themes while staying in tune with the current brand.
A Roman Gladiator Spear logo with a Helmet Plume above the “R”.
And a more traditional Native American spear logo.
Both logo’s provide a visual representation of the team's merchandise and how it relates to the current brand.
If you decide to back this Kickstarter campaign. You will become a part of a new and positive re-branding of a beloved sports team.
You will help put in production of the Washington Redspears® merchandise, And more importantly, you will be among the first in the United States to receive the merchandise, logo of your choice and be a part of this innovative branding project. You'll be able to proudly wear the merchandise during the 2015 NFL season and beyond.
After our project closes, I'll send you a survey form where you can specify the size. Sizes available will include both: Men's and Women's S, M, L and XL* and the snapback hats are S/M and M/L.
You also will be making a profound STATEMENT to the ownership group, the 31 other NFL owners and executives, along with Nike's Marketing and Branding Division, that there is a surprisingly easy way to rebrand this storied franchise and retain virtually all of the teams tradition, legacy and spirit of the brand and end the controversy surrounding the current name.
You will show the world that fans, activist, media and the NFL community can come together and make a change that would provide a SOLUTION to a long-standing issue that the current name invokes a racial slur. While still valuing the legacy that has been built by Washington Football franchise.
You will show that the brand's legacy is built on more than just a name and not a racial slur. That their legacy can still hold the strength of it's past while looking positively and respectfully towards it's future.
Most importantly, this storied franchise, brand and motto can remain intact, just slightly augmented. "Hail to the REDSPEARS", and "Go Spears", could become the new rallying cries. "HTTR" will still be the hashtag and motto.
“REDSPEARS” is one of the few names that would lessen the negative impact on lifelong fans, and mitigate brand disassociation. This would be a reasonable compromise for all parties involved in this name debate.
As to the question, what is a Redspear? It's just a red tipped spear. I have randomly asked friends and family to describe what is a Detroit Redwing or Buffalo Saber. Most of the people in my random sampling can't. The name Redspears allows the franchise to use a unique name that is not shared with any other professional sports franchise.
The Washington Football franchise has used the Burgundy and Gold spear with a feather logo from 1965-1969. Therefore there's precedence in the team using the spear motif as part of the team’s history.
Every culture known to man has used a spear in their history for survival and battle. The Washington Football franchise would not be beholden to one particular cultures imagery.
One reason why the ownership group has fought so hard against a name change is that the team brand’s history is wrapped around the RED moniker. Hence the Hail to the RED... and #HTTR. Ownership knows that this is important to the fan base. This Kickstarter campaign would solve that problem. It would give fans a viable alternative to get behind and believe in.
We love this team and its brand, but on any given NFL Sunday. A parent can open any English dictionary and show their child that the team in Burgundy and Gold playing in our Nation’s capital named "Redskins" is disparaging and offensive. As long as the team's name has that designation, this controversy will truly never end.
Lastly, This project won't change the name officially but hopefully it could create a discussion that is needed. That discussion could spur real change. A brand's legacy is not it's name, logo, mascot or fight song. It's the great memories, players, coaches, the five championships including three Superbowl trophies. They are reason we cheer this brand, not it's name.
"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up." -James Belasco and Ralph Stayer
If you back this project or not. Please share it over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram utilizing the hashtag #HTTRedspears. Let’s get this trending and start a real dialog about this brand and what it means to you. Let's offer a solution to end this controversy once and for all.
Oh yeah tweet it to @Redskins
HAIL and Go Spears!
Risks and challenges
This is somewhat a low-risk project, I have excellent support from my family and friends.
I am working with two amazing local Greater Washington DC Apparel Vendors. They have my vector files and are ready to go if the campaign is successful. I’ll need to pay my suppliers, make arrangements for shipping and handling. It will be my mission to ensure that all orders are filled and that all of my backers receive their orders at the start or during the first quarter of the 2015 NFL season.
To my surprise this project has received the attention from the Washington Football franchise and Pro Football Inc. They have sent me notice of opposition against my trademark in entertainment services, but not in clothing. The link below is their opposition. Strangley enough they make their own argument why "REDSPEARS is a good option if they ever decide to change the name.
"Opposers believe they will be damaged by WASHINGTON REDSPEARS on the ground that the subject designation so resembles the WASHINGTON REDSKINS"
If that is the case, lets come together and change the name.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)