Ron Rivera says Washington needs to ‘re-brand the style of football’ it plays in addition to its look
“The biggest thing that we’ve learned is that this is going to take steps,” Rivera said Friday during an interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning.” “This can’t happen automatically. We’re going to have to go through the process. On July 3, we mentioned that we were going to go through a thorough check, a background check on everything, and we found that it’s going to be a little harder than we anticipated.”
Terry Bateman, Washington’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said Thursday that a re-brand such as the one the franchise is undergoing is a “12- to 18-month process if you want to do it right.” Rivera said that amount of time is necessary to ensure Washington doesn’t “miss the opportunity to re-brand ourselves hopefully for the next 100 years.”
Washington will wear logo-less burgundy and gold uniforms and helmets with players’ jersey numbers on the sides this season. Rivera said the team has no plans to change its distinctive color scheme as part of its re-brand.
“There’s so much tradition and history with this football team,” he said. “To change the colors would kind of distract from what this team has done in terms of its past history, with the championships that it’s won. There was an era where it won three championships in about 10 seasons, so we don’t want to lose that part of our history.”
Many fans, including some who were opposed to retiring the name “Redskins,” were pleased with the team’s decision to not rush the re-branding process. Rivera recognized that the transition to a permanent replacement will take some getting used to.
“We’re going to try to win the fans over by playing good football, more so than anything else,” he said. “When you play well, when you win football games, people get behind you and they support you. We’ve got to come out and show our fan base that we’re the same football team, just a different name right now, a placeholder. We’ve got to do the things the right way. We’ve got to change the culture as to who we are and really kind of not just re-brand the name, but re-brand the style of football we’re going to play, re-brand the way we do things.”
In a separate interview Friday on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Rivera suggested that turning around the 3-13 team he inherited, like the franchise’s re-branding process, will take some time.
“Just because I got hired doesn’t mean things instantly change,” he said. “We’ve got to work at change. Change is going to happen, it’s going to happen gradually, it’s going to be a lot of work, it’s going to be hard work. If we can get [fans] behind us supporting us, it will help us. I’ve tried to tell people this, don’t judge us for where we’ve been, judge us for where we’re going.”
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