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Report: Redskins' new name will not have Native American imagery

Report: Redskins' new name will not have Native American imagery

When the Washington Redskins announce its new team name, whenever that might be, don't expect its new moniker to have any Native American ties.

During the recent internal discussions the team has had about its name, Washington is "planning to have no Native American imagery," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

However, the team is planning on keeping its popular burgundy and gold color scheme, according to ESPN's John Keim.

Last Friday, Washington announced the franchise was undergoing a "thorough review" of its team name. The decision to review the name came just days after some of the team's biggest corporate sponsors -- FedEx, Nike, PepsiCo and Bank of America -- publicly pressured the team to change its name.

FedEx chairman Fred Smith, who is also a minority owner of the franchise, was the first to raise public concern about the name, calling for it to be changed last Thursday. FedEx owns the naming rights to Washington's home stadium on a deal that runs through 2027.

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Last week, Nike, the NFL's official merchandise partner, removed all Redskins apparel from its website. Other online apparel stores such as Walmart, Target and Amazon have followed Nike's lead in recent days. Fanatics, however, has chosen to keep the team's merchandise on its site, along with NFL.com.

RELATED: 5 POTENTIAL OPTIONS IF REDSKINS CHANGE THEIR NAME

The talk of the Redskins potential name change has been one of the biggest topics of conversation over the past few days, as several prominent figures both on the inside and outside of the sports world have shared their opinion on the matter. D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser is happy to see the name change, and President Donald Trump even weighed in on the matter, too.

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Amari Cooper is confident — like, supremely confident — in the Cowboys receivers this year

Amari Cooper is confident — like, supremely confident — in the Cowboys receivers this year

The Washington Football Team would love to see a wide receiver eclipse 1,000 yards in 2020, especially considering they haven't had a pass catcher achieve that milestone since 2016.

Amari Cooper, meanwhile, believes the Cowboys could finish the year with a trio of players above the four-digit mark.

In speaking with Dallas' website recently, Cooper called his new teammate, CeeDee Lamb, the "best player on the board" when the franchise drafted Lamb 17th overall this past April. And Cooper's already adamant that Lamb will fit in quite well with himself and Michael Gallup.

"I think the expectation is to have three 1,000-yard receivers this year," Cooper said.

In the history of the sport, only five offenses have been able to pull off such a feat. The 2008 Cardinals, with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston, were the last to do so. In 1989, Washington made it happen, thanks to contributions from Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark.

So, no pressure, dudes.

Perhaps Cooper forgot that Ezekiel Elliott is also on the roster, and he's someone that tends to be involved a decent amount on Sundays. Regardless, Cooper is clearly confident in the damage he and his fellow wideouts are capable of this season.

Hopefully he's wrong, though, because nobody likes it when anyone on the Cowboys is proven correct. 

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Making a case for Warriors as Washington Football Team's new name

Making a case for Warriors as Washington Football Team's new name

It's been several weeks since the Washington Football Team announced it was retiring its former name and logo after more than 80 years. Ever since FedEx became the first known sponsor to formally ask Washington to change its name, fans have taken to social media to voice some of their favorites among potential replacements. I spoke with several marketing experts about a few of the fan-generated names, and will use their responses to make a case for some of the most popular suggestions. This is the case for Warriors.

Case for: Washington Warriors

When it comes to the Washington Football Team, developing a new brand has as much to do with separating itself from the previous identity as it does creating a new one.

While the team’s previous moniker provided a sense of pride and joy to some people, it was considered derogatory by others. Those offended by the name had expressed resentment for decades before the team finally decided to take action this summer. But the team only did so after its bottomline was at risk of taking a hit by corporate sponsors threatening to end their relationships with the team.

If Washington wants people to take its rebrand seriously and view it as more than a money-saving play, the team will need to completely distance itself from Native American imagery. That being considered, is Warriors a good choice as the replacement name? It depends, says Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

“It depends on which direction you go with it,” Derdenger said. “I’ve read things that they want to keep the feather and go in that direction as opposed to a military warrior, more of the Indian warrior. And if they do it the latter, they’re completely missing the mark on why they’re changing their name.”

CONCEPTS: TOP 5 NEW FAN-GENERATED WASHINGTON WARRIORS LOGOS

This conundrum highlights the different things that have to be considered when undergoing a name change. It isn’t just the name; it’s also the logo, the branding on team gear and uniforms, the stadium atmosphere, the fan experience, and so much more. If the team was able to rebrand itself as the Warriors without singling out a specific race or group of people, the name could work. The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association have a great brand and don’t use human imagery at all, going with the Bay Bridge as their primary logo.

Matt White, president of WHITE64, pointed to Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder's background in advertising and branding as a reason he thinks the team could pull it off.

“I think what you have to do is, do it in a thoughtful, logical manner, where you’re hiring a firm, which he has relationships with that can really do a great job,” White said.

The option for thoughtful branding exists in a way for "Warriors" that it doesn’t for a name like "Braves." Some fans had tossed around the latter as an option because of its history as the Washington franchise’s original name for one season in 1932, when the team was still located in Boston. But that’s a piece of history most fans likely forgot, if they ever knew it. And a Brave, by definition, is specifically a Native American warrior. The name doesn’t allow for a change in branding the same way Warriors does.

“The Cleveland Indians are already being asked to change their name. The Atlanta Braves apparently are even being looked at with that,” White said. “And again, there’s gotta be a solution that doesn’t offend somebody but that can still capture the spirit.”

CONCEPTS: TOP 5 NEW FAN-GENERATED WASHINGTON WARRIORS UNIFORM DESIGNS

That's where Warriors could be used, like Braves, to appease the base of fans who never wanted to part with the old moniker. However, Brad Nierenberg, the CEO of RedPeg Marketing, thinks choosing that name is also a choice to please those particular fans over the people who want to see a clean break. 

“If you’re gonna stay close with the Redskins, I think you’re gonna be staying with a fan base that ... you’re gonna placate the challenge to changing the name, then the Warriors and Braves are gonna be that next step,” Nierenberg said.

“I think there’s gonna be people saying they didn’t go far enough. That’s my gut.”

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This is where everything else that accompanies the name change becomes so vital. Because while it’s likely true everyone won’t be happy with Warriors, it’s possible to win over a few more people with the proper branding and imagery.

"The logo is then going to be the key part,” Derdenger said. “And what that logo will look like and how it connects back to the military warrior.

“I can’t right now see in my head what a Warriors logo looks like. ... But they have to go away from the connection to the Native Americans.”

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