June 29, 2013

Redskins can afford name change

Risk for Redskins in Makeover of Team Mascot

By Scott Cacciola[T]he Charlotte Bobcats of the N.B.A. recently estimated that it would cost them $4 million to become the Hornets (again) in time for the start of the 2014-15 season. When the Washington Bullets decided to call themselves the Wizards in 1997, it was a similarly painstaking process.

“We anticipated needing two years to wipe the slate clean, and it never really is clean,” said Matt Williams, a former Wizards executive who now heads communications for the Washington Animal Rescue League. “You had to change everything, from court design to uniforms to luggage. It was almost like starting up an expansion team.”

One huge caveat is that the Redskins, with their zealous fan base and lucrative revenue streams, are neither the bottom-feeding Bobcats nor the Bullets. The Redskins make a lot of money. Last year, Forbes magazine assessed the Redskins’ annual revenue at $373 million. They ranked third in home attendance last season, behind the Dallas Cowboys and the Giants. Just as important, the Redskins share in the swollen coffers of the N.F.L., which generated $9 billion in revenue in 2012. The league receives more than $4 billion in annual television rights fees, which is split among its 32 teams.

So even if the franchise were to spend $10 million or $20 million to drop its nickname and rebrand itself, how much is that really?

“A drop in the bucket,” said Gabe Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University. Consider that the N.F.L.’s salary cap for the coming season is $123 million.
Comment:  The fact that the New York Times is discussing the nuts and bolts of a name change means it's getting closer to happening. Whether owner Dan Snyder is willing to admit it or not.

For more on the Washington Redskins, see Redskins Poll Reveals Fans' Hypocrisy and Taiwanese Video on Washington Redskins.

No comments: