WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – The wait is finally over. Washington Commanders has officially been announced as the new name for the 90-year-old franchise.
“As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” said co-owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder in a statement from the team. “As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”
The team shared in a statement they would honor the traditional burgundy and gold color scheme, keeping it at “the center of the team’s identity”, as the franchise prepares for its 90th season.
“Through more than 40,000 fan submissions and countless surveys, focus groups and meetings, this 18-month rebrand process has been a collaborative effort with our fans, alumni, players and local DMV community, all leading to today as we embark on a new chapter in our legacy as the Washington Commanders,” said co-owner and co-CEO Tanya Snyder in a statement from the team. “Going into our 90th year, we are excited to celebrate the rich history of the Burgundy & Gold while also paving the way for new traditions as the Washington Commanders.”
After the official announcement, the team revealed brand new elements, related to their logo, and their jerseys; that aim to pay homage to the District of Columbia flag.
“I was impressed.” said ’83 Super Bowl winner Joe Theismann, “I really was, that’s why when we finished the little press thing, we really wanted to look at the uniforms more closely. I think they look terrific.”
Former players like Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, Rick “Doc” Walker, and more, were present during the event, sporting varsity jackets with the team’s new logo. Some offered perspective on the process involved with the name, and the future of the franchise under it.
“So it’s like 50 years of my life, I’ve been here really a part of the organization.” said Theismann, “So to see us doing what we’re doing now – but even more importantly, to have the fans have such participation in what we become. What the new name is gonna be, and all the different things that Jason had talked about going forward, it’s exciting.”
“Well the good part about it is that I’m still here to see this, and I think it’s a good day for all of the ex-players and the people around.” said Doug Williams, “I know some people don’t like it, but I think they are going to grow to like it. Because I said, the more you look at it, the more you feel good about it.”
Following the press event, the team’s official merchandise store opened at 9am, allowing fans that waited early in the morning, for the first chance at purchasing new “Commanders” gear.
Here’s a snippet of the press event, and some reactions from former players, and fans; about the Washington Commanders name, and logo:
Here’s how the last 18 months have played out for the franchise, as they’ve worked on their rebranding effort.
- On July 3rd, the franchise posted a statement they would be undergoing a thorough investigation, and review of the team name.
- Just 10 days later, the team announced they are retiring the former “Redskins” moniker. Owner Dan Snyder, and Head Coach Ron Rivera would head up the search for a new name, and logo.
- On July 23rd, 2020, the franchise announced they will be moving forward with the “Washington Football Team” name, ahead of their training camp in Richmond. The team announced the name would be temporary, as they continue their search.
- Nearly a year later, Team President Jason Wright released his weekly brief, explaining the team would not adopt the “Warriors” name – saying the team would not want any link to Native American imagery.
- On January 4th, 2022, Jason Wright revealed the team would release the new name, logo, and branding for the franchise on February 2nd. He also said there is no possibility of the team name being “Redwolves” or “Wolves” – pointing to the difficulty involved with trademark issues going on that path.