Washington Football Team debuts first campaign since renaming
The Washington Football Team has launched a fan-focused ad campaign titled “No Name but TEAM” that will highlight the organization’s full roster, marking the WFT’s first major creative work since dropping its former “Redskins” name nearly two months ago.
“We’re heading into a new season; and not only a new season, but a new era of football,” says Stephen Perkins, the Washington Football Team’s VP of Marketing.
The 2020 National Football League season, which begins for Washington on Sunday with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, will be the 88-year-old team’s first time playing under its interim name. However, Perkins says he hopes its placeholder identity can act as a catalyst for fans to engage with the team’s evolution and history.
The name change came amid sexual harassment claims from more than a dozen former employees and a Washington Post exposé that alleged the team shot lewd videos of its cheerleaders during a swimsuit calendar photography session. The NFL is considering fining or taking other measures against the team over the accusations, and some don’t rule out pressure on Daniel Snyder, owner since 1999, to sell the franchise.
The organization—which is not yet choosing to disclose what creative agency or agencies worked on the new campaign—will focus much of its messaging on an immersive new website built to engage with fans. Visitors to the web hub, www.washingtonjourney.com, will be able to submit suggestions for new team names, logos, uniform designs and more during its ongoing rebrand.
“We want our fans to be a part of this experience,” Perkins says, adding that the Washington Football Team will welcome fan-generated ideas through its “discovery phase” until a new identity for the former Redskins is decided. “When I talk about ‘team,’ it’s about creating that sense of connection. We’re hoping that the campaign will not only excite [fans], but encourage them to go to the site.”
He also notes that “No Name but TEAM” will be a “full-funnel integrated campaign,” initially launching with a heavy digital footprint that will then grow to encompass broadcast, print, out-of-home and social components.
Unique to the team’s marketing strategy this year is its decision to feature the organization’s entire roster—53 players in all—at various stages of the campaign’s rollout, rather than putting the spotlight on a handful of well-known star athletes or on a team mascot (the WFT is currently without one).
“At a really high level, we’re creating digital experiences so fans can stay connected with us through game days and throughout the season,” says Terry Bateman, the team’s EVP and CMO.
With a fan base in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and across the country who will be unable to attend games in person this year, the team has created a handful of measures to maintain audience engagement, including social media-based pre- and postgame shows and game clips accompanied by interactive polls or questions.
Contributing: Bloomberg News