Thursday, June 20, 2013

Branding Company Works on the Washington Redskins Logo Problem

The local fans love it.  Meanwhile just about everyone else finds it dated, demeaning, and borderline racist. The Redskin name and logo for Washington D.C.'s NFL franchise are running into a bit of trouble and resistance.  Enter Lexicon Branding to come up with four possibilities for new team names, and Phoenix Design Works to translate that into corresponding logos.  The new logos run the gamut from a mythological bird, an iconic cat (and the possibility of the NFL's first animal print uniform?!), a subway token, and a tribal tattoo. Click through the Power Point slides below and all will be revealed. (Read the article to see the proposed logos.)

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Link to article:
Excerpt: "Controversy over the name of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins surfaced again in May, when 10 members of Congress wrote to the league and Dan Snyder, the team’s owner, asking for a change. The legislators said the name is a 'racial, derogatory slur' against Native Americans. Snyder has long resisted a change (in spite of the fact that one could argue rebranding would be profitable). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell backed Snyder in a response to Congress, writing that the name stands for 'strength, courage, pride, and respect.'

We asked David Placek and his staff at Lexicon Branding—the firm that came up with the names BlackBerry (BBRY), Febreze, OnStar (GM), Pentium, and FiOS—to cook up some new monikers for the team. Then James Skiles, creative director at Phoenix Design Works—maker of logos for hundreds of pro and college teams, including the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia 76ers—drew logos to match.

In the PowerPoint presentation below, you can see Lexicon’s thought process. First, the company surveyed the NFL landscape and noted, for instance, that half of the 32 teams have animal names; 11 have 'humanistic' names (Texans, Patriots); 4 are mythological; and 1, the lonely Jets, is named for a vehicle. Lexicon also tabulated favorite first letters and the use of alliteration, and created scatterplots to map team names on spectra such as passion vs. aggression and speed vs. strength. (The company did not give these names the trademark vetting it normally provides for corporate clients.) Placek & Co. conclude:

'Tradition is important, but so is innovation. The team has been known as the Redskins since 1932. A new name can represent a decisive way to leave controversy behind and step into the future.'

Here’s what Lexicon and Skiles came up with:

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