- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 15, 2021

Brian Costello was surprised when he checked his email late Wednesday to discover he received a survey from The Washington Football Team about the franchise’s ongoing rebrand. Specifically, the team asked season-ticket holders like Costello to give feedback on a list of names that are being considered.

Among the options? The Washington Renegades. The Washington Armada. Washington DC Football Club (DCFC). The Washington Griffins.

“The Washington Griffins, I immediately thought of RG3,” said Costello, referring to former quarterback Robert Griffin III. “That would just be ridiculous. The Griffins are just silly.” 

Costello’s survey contained only 10 names — but they weren’t completely the same names that season-ticket holders like Mike Callow and others received. Washington’s solicited feedback on at least 35 different names in the survey, including the placeholder Washington Football Team. 

This survey appears to be the latest step in Washington’s rebranding process, which started last summer after the team retired its Redskins moniker in July. Through its rebranding website, the team received more than 15,000 submissions from fans on what they think the name should be. Washington announced last month that it would begin in early April transitioning from the collection stage to the next phase of the process.

Wednesday’s survey included a letter from team president Jason Wright that shed light on what the team was looking for. The team was asking for input on “what kind of names are meaning to you,” he wrote. 

“Each of you will be shown a small selection from a broader pool of brainstormed names that we’re getting early feedback on,” Wright said in the letter. “Please note, this is not a vote for the name, but instead an opportunity to capture insights and perspective that will be so important to this next phase of our rebrand journey.”

Fans were asked to select their two favorite — and least favorite — names. The survey then gave additional prompts about each name listed, such as “What impact if any does the name The Washington Redtails have on your perceptions of the Washington Football Team” and “Does The Washington Redtails have any harmful or negative associations with that the team should be aware of?” 

The latter is an interesting inclusion given the circumstances of Washington’s name change. The team abandoned the Redskins moniker following pressure from activists and corporate sponsors, who argued the name was offensive and needed to be changed. Wright has said that whatever Washington picks as its next name, the moniker must be inclusive.

Washington’s survey also contained screener questions that gauged the fan’s level of interest in the team, as well as sports as a whole. The responders were asked to rank the top three characteristics that a good team name should have, giving seven options that partially included “is fun and playful,” “is connected to a local area” and “inspires the team and fanbase.” 

Washington also asked fans what types of team names they liked best, allowing them to choose up to three selections. The categories included: “Animals (e.g. Dolphins, Seahawks),” “Local Community (e.g. Packers, Steelers),” “Heroic or Tough People (Vikings, Bills),” “Regal Symbols (e.g. Saints),” “Mythical Beings (e.g. Titans, Giants)” and “Other.” 

The team plans to keep “The Washington Football Team” name in place for next season with hopes the process is done in 2022. Wright has said the franchise plans to unveil the new look once it is finalized — accounting for other areas like designing a new logo and filing the necessary trademark paperwork.

A sample of the surveyed names include: 

The Washington Aces

The Washington Ambassadors

The Washington Anchors

The Washington Archers

The Washington Armada

The Washington Aviators

The Washington Beacons

The Washington Belters

The Washington Brigade

The Washington Commanders

The Washington Defenders

The Washington Demon Cats

The Washington Griffins

The Washington Guardians

The Washington Icons

The Washington Majors

The Washington Monarchs

The Washington Pilots

The Washington Presidents

The Washington Razorbacks

The Washington Redhogs

The Washington Redtails

The Washington Redwolves

The Washington Renegades

The Washington Riders

The Washington Rising

The Washington Royals

The Washington Rubies

The Washington Swifts

The Washington Warriors

The Washington Wayfarers

The Washington Wild Hogs

Washington Football Team

The Washington 32 FC (W32)

Washington Capital City Football Club (CCFC)

First City Football Club (FCFC)

Washington DC Football Club (DCFC)

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