What’s in a name?
The Washington Football Team has been going through the biggest transformation in franchise history over the last year. Changes have been coming fast and they will continue for years. The team just added Tanya Snyder as co-CEO as the NFL handed down their punishment following their investigation led by Beth Wilkinson into the workplace. Dan Snyder has “stepped aside” for an undetermined amount of time as his wife takes over.
Some of the biggest changes still in the works are the franchise’s new name/logo and the location of the new stadium. Nicki Jhabvala interviewed Team President Jason Wright for an excellent article that went over a wide range of topics. Wright was hired 11 months ago and has transformed the front office into a forward-thinking workplace.
Wright said nearly all of Wilkinson’s recommendations — which included expanding the team’s human resources and legal departments, developing compensation and performance review systems, and creating formal protocols for reporting employee misconduct — had already been implemented when the investigation concluded.
Jason Wright said the WFT’s permanent name and logo will be revealed in early 2022.https://t.co/8NqOTDfCng
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 10, 2021
Jason Wright has said several times since the name change process started that it would take more than a year to finalize and announce a new name. He said it would happen in 2022, but in this interview he narrowed it down a little more to early 2022. We knew it would happen before next season so the team could rebrand the stadium, and have time to push new merchandise and uniforms on the public. So it makes sense to get the name/logo out there quickly after a long playoff run.
The new name and logo will be revealed in early 2022, Wright said, and will retain the traditional burgundy and gold colors that are entrenched in the team’s history.
Five years later, when the team’s lease at FedEx Field expires, Wright expects the team to move into a new stadium. Where, exactly, remains to be seen, but in recent months, a subset of his executive leadership team has embarked on tours and visits of seven stadiums (with more scheduled) to get an idea of what it wants — and doesn’t want.
The other big topic that Dan Snyder is very interested in is getting a location for the team’s new stadium secured, and creating a football mecca like Jerry Jones did for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Wright talks about expanding the business model for the franchise and also building a stadium that offers a lot more than FedEx Field, and will be more in line with current mega stadiums being built.
Wright envisions something similar to the Dallas Cowboys or San Francisco 49ers. In Dallas, owner Jerry Jones built a state-of-the-art stadium with retail and hospitality, its own pro shop and investments in other ventures, such as esports and a stadium management company. The 49ers have an ownership interest in an English Premier League soccer team and their own entertainment and consulting firm, run by the team president.
Washington’s vision for a new stadium is centered around the idea of creating a year-round entertainment venue to host concerts and other events. It also includes a surrounding economic development project with retail, work and living space, restaurants and perhaps even a community element to create “social good that outlasts any of us,” such as creating green space that can double as a parking lot.