More than a year and a half after it retired its controversial nickname and logo, the Washington Football Team announced on Tuesday it will reveal its new identity on Feb. 2.
“We know this has been a long process – one that has required a lot of patience from you over the last 18 months,” team president Jason Wright said in a letter to fans. “We are so excited to let you know that the wait is almost over.”
While the franchise has not publicly announced any finalists, Wright did rule out two potential names – Wolves and RedWolves – citing trademarks held by other teams, including Arkansas State University.
“Early on we understood Wolves – or some variation of it – was one of our fan favorites,” Wright said. “As I’ve said all along, we take feedback from our fans seriously, and because of your interest in this name, we put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully. Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own. And without Wolves, variations like RedWolves wouldn’t have been viable either for these and other reasons.
“Understanding the weight and importance of our team name, and excitement around other name options – both internally and within our fan base – we didn’t want to risk going down a route that could be dotted with legal hurdles. The prospect of years of litigation wasn’t something that we wanted you, our fans, to have to bear as you begin to embrace a new brand.”
Accompanying Wright’s letter was a new episode of “Making The Brand,” a video series that has given us a behind-the-scenes look at the rebrand process. Included were some teaser photos of the new uniforms, which fit the vision of former quarterback and current senior advisor Doug Williams.
“It’s a clean uniform,” Williams said in the video. “I believe in clean uniforms. You just got the number and the stripes around the shoulders – and that’s it. That’s going to be a good-looking uniform.”
From the teaser photos, we’ve gathered the franchise will have two new helmets, including one that is burgundy with an anodized satin finish. It has a gold facemask, the team logo on the sides and a single gold stripe down the middle, with the new team logo or wordmark on the front bumper.
Note that the photo above has a glare from the window on the stripe, giving the illusion of a white stripe accompanying the gold stripe.
The other helmet appears to be black with a black facemask, which is notable given the NFL is doing away with its one-helmet rule for the 2022 season and beyond.
The burgundy home jersey features gold numbers outlined in white with a perforation-like design throughout, while the white road jersey has burgundy numbers with a black outline.
There are three stars on the inside of the back collar, which – along with the striping pattern on the burgundy home jersey – have been pulled from the flag of Washington D.C. There’s also a circular logo on the back, right above the player’s nameplate.
The sleeve design on the white jersey appears to be different than the home burgundy jersey, with a solidly burgundy stripe above a diamond-shaped pattern and another black stripe below that.
Lastly, there is a pair of burgundy pants with a gold Nike swoosh.
“We can’t wait to hit the ground running with our team name and identity on a clear path – one without distracting obstacles, legal or otherwise,” Wright said. “And while we’ve always understood it would be a nearly impossible task to select a name that all of our fans would identify with as their first pick, we are very excited about our final selection, which aligns with our values, carries forth our rich history, represents the region and, most importantly, is inspired and informed by you, our fans.
“We are confident that this identity is one that our team and our fans across D.C., Maryland, Virginia and beyond can rally behind for another 90 years and more as we continue to cheer on the Burgundy & Gold in this next chapter.”
All that said, stay tuned to SportsLogos.net on Feb. 2 for the full unveiling.
Note: One name that hasn’t previously been mentioned as a contender is Admirals, as fans have noticed washingtonadmirals.com redirects to the Washington Football Team’s official website despite also being the name of a Major League Quidditch team.
That’s not necessarily indicative of that being the franchise’s new nickname, especially after legal troubles the Cleveland Guardians faced with their name change. They also likely purchased the domain for any and every name under consideration, so it’s just something to keep an eye on as the date gets closer.
Photos courtesy of @WashingtonNFL on Twitter.