A Rose By Any Other Name
A Huge Opportunity for DC and Dan Snyder
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in the following blog post are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions held by Printing Images, Inc.
Well, if you live in the Washington Metropolitan area, you know that lately there's been considerable controversy over the name of Washington's signature team, i.e. the Washington Redskins. At the heart of it all is the dispute over whether the name "redskin' is a derogatory term to Native Americans, and should it be changed. For those of you who aren't in the know, the short answer is 'yes'. We can go back and forth over this, but unless we're on the receiving end of such a label, we can't fully understand it's impact. Now, I mention all of this unpleasantness because I think we could be missing a huge opportunity, 'we' meaning the franchise and local area businesses. An opportunity where everybody wins.
One of the arguments brought up against changing the name was how much money the franchise stands to lose if Dan Snyder were to concede to the idea. It's estimated to be in the millions, if not billions of dollars in terms of revenue and endorsements. From a business standpoint, such numbers are staggering, and nothing to take lightly. But here's a thing (or two): without a winning team the franchise stands to run into the same problem. No one wants to wear the jersey of a team that plays poorly year after year. It's embarrassing. If the team isn't winning, then the merchandise isn't selling. When that happens, the franchise isn't making money. And that's exactly where we're headed. Ticket prices are starting to drop, and scalpers are having trouble giving them away. Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine had an extra ticket to sell to a home game (a friend couldn't make it), but could find no takers (not one.) Point number two: I'm a HUGE fan, and it doesn't matter to me what we call ourselves (well,...sort of) as long as we're WINNING games, HELLO? I don't believe that it's the name that endears us to the Washington team, it's the teammates themselves. For heaven's sake, we know most of the players by affectionate nicknames (or at least once upon a time we did. Now, there's so many players coming and going, it's hard to keep track. Coaches, too.)
Now on the flip side, think of all the business a new name would create. Local businesses far and wide would jump on board in a heartbeat. They couldn't make the stuff fast enough to keep up with the demand. The old merchandise would become collector's items, the new merchandise will have fans dying to be the first to sport the new whatever. I'm talking posters, banners, signage, programs, apps of all kinds (can you imagine an event app for every game?), games, merchandise, sports apparel, jewelry, broadcasting, multimedia,... you name it! Combine all of that with a winning team (this is a must), and a winning attitude and I promise you that you will gain more than you ever dreamed! There's nothing like this town, when Washington is on top. At the end of the day, Dan Snyder becomes a public relations hero, local businesses are booming, and the franchise's bottom line is enormous. Everybody wins. Not bad for simple name change.
So, allay your fears, whatever Washington decides to call themselves, it will stick. Trust me. The name is not our biggest problem, Washington needs to start winning games. As fans, we just go with the flow. If Washington starts winning, I guarantee people will embrace whatever sporty moniker the team happens to be graced with, just to keep the momentum going. It's our *team* we love, and the name only by extension. And with that, I'll quote Shakespeare:
... O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So [Redskins] would, were [the team] not [Redskins] call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which [the team] owes
Without that title. [Redskins], doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
I'm just sayin'