Hi Washington Football Family,
It's been all business on and off the field this week as we get prepared for a huge showdown against Baltimore here at FedExField on Sunday. Yes, I'm turning the page a bit from last Sunday's loss in Cleveland because while it was most certainly disappointing to come away with the "L," traveling to Cleveland this weekend also brought back a lot of special memories I hold close to my heart. (But don't get it twisted, my wife and I weren't afraid to celebrate when we took the lead, see below)
Reflections From Browns Week
Cleveland gave me an opportunity to showcase my talents and embraced my family with open arms. We built a broad "family" of pastors, church friends, neighbors, co-workers, and teammates. Our two goddaughters, who we've raised as our own, came into our family in Cleveland. The community of Cleveland reminded me of close-knit family and served as my home away from home for many years. The team always had a structured set of community activities within the area that gave a higher purpose and meaning for the community. Walking on that same field I had played on for four seasons allowed me to reminisce about how strong of a connection Clevelanders and the Browns had. I was especially reminded of how economic activity, civic engagement and the general mood of the county seemed to rise and fall with the fortunes of a team (sadly, I was part of the last winning team there). However, I will argue that the Washington Football Team's fan base is even more passionate than Cleveland's. Yeah, I said it. Our fans are true patrons, passionate, knowledgeable, and hold a high bar for performance. Many of our fans have a deep emotional connection with the historical precedents the Washington Football Team once glorified.
In addition to focusing on the business fundamentals, we need to be good stewards in the community to honor the passion of our fan base and the community we call home. That's why we're launching a big initiative over the next month to get our team and fans registered to vote. We're holding "Turnout Tuesdays" over the next two weeks where community members can register to vote, check their registration status, and learn about options for mail-in and early voting. We're also partnering with Prince George's County to open up FedExField as a polling place on Election Day, and we'll be finding ways to get voters to the polls so that our community's voices are heard. For more information, go to washingtonfootball.com/dmvotes.
On Tuesday, Sep. 29, several players and the local police precinct hosted a roundtable discussion on the Community of Trust initiative to brainstorm how to deepen trust between law enforcement leaders and the communities they have committed themselves to serve and protect. We are going to do much more in this space as we revamp the way in which we will do our part in building a strong and inclusive DMV. Leading our approach to community activities will be the SVP of External Engagement and Communications; her announcement will be coming shortly!
Although this was a tough loss, Sunday's game was also historic. The game featured three trailblazing women in an official capacity; our very own Jennifer King (full-year coaching intern), Sarah Thomas (NFL Official), and the Browns Chief of Staff Callie Brownson. One day this will be the norm, but today we celebrate this momentous occasion as these three women will inspire the next generation that work in this league.
Business Question Of The Week
What are the top choices for a new name?
Without exception, the number one topic that fans, staff, partners, etc. want to know is -- "What's the name going to be?" -- except y'all aren't afraid to ask it with some… let's call it passion 😊. Here's the (honest) answer: "Bruh/sis, cut me some slack, we need some time to do this right! We can't ** this up!" Before I joined, the organization announced that we will call ourselves the Washington Football Team until a permanent name is chosen. It was a herculean effort by our Marketing team to get the Washington Football Team brand in place for this season! As a result, the level of activity around the new identity is now really starting to accelerate. It's something we work at every day, with a dedicated team of people focused on driving that project forward. This process has five phases:
- Transformation: Our "Transformation" phase was one in which we introduced the current name -- Washington Football Team. Our goal was to be ready for the season opener against the Eagles on Sep. 13. Everything had to be updated.
- Discovery: This phase will continue throughout the entirety of the 2020 season and will serve as an opportunity for us to gather input from everyone – fans, partners, staff, alumni, community leaders, etc… Inclusion is a key part of our journey, and we think it's critical that we listen to everyone before making a decision.
- Insight: Once we've completed the "Discovery" phase, we'll enter a rigorous data-driven process to help us chart a smart path forward. It's in this phase that we anticipate narrowing down our choices to a single direction.
- Creation: This is the fun part! Our internal creative team, in partnership with the NFL and our partners at Nike, will begin to bring this new brand to life visually.
- Execution: Once the name is chosen, and the design and identity work are complete, we'll introduce the new brand and start to update all of our touchpoints with fans.
As I mentioned, after completing the "Transformation" phase, we are now moving to the next step in our journey -- "Discovery." This process will not work without your input, and this is the time for you to give us your thoughts, ideas, and point of view on what this brand should stand for and represent as we go forward. If you have not done so already, we welcome your ideas… Visit WashingtonJourney.com and tell us what you think. We've received almost 9,000 submissions to date and the ideas continue to roll in! Here are some of the more "unique" submissions we've gotten from fans so far.
We love the creativity and thoughtfulness that our fans have shown. Keep the ideas coming and be sure to continue to check out our site at WashingtonJourney.com every day. Because you all care so deeply about this topic, I will try to get an update on this business topic monthly.
Encounter Of The Week
I am thoroughly working my way through getting to know everyone within the franchise by the end of the year. My encounter this week that I would love to highlight features my time with Vladimir Martinez, a hidden leader. Mr. Martinez has been our building manager for 22 years! He has seen many leaders come and go through this organization, and he gave me very candid advice on what makes an effective leader: listen, listen, and listen some more. People haven't always felt heard in our organization, and he implored me to make sure they are. He told me to do the little things that make people feel cared for -- thank you's for a job well done go a long way to make people feel seen and be ready to run through walls for this team. Vlad is definitively hardworking and picks up the phone at odd hours to be a great teammate -- all driven by passion for this franchise. His fandom is expressed in his work ethic each day. I am also personally inspired by Vlad because he is an incredibly professional person who exudes devotion to his spouse and children. I felt so privileged to hear his stories. His willingness to go above and beyond for this franchise as well as his leadership advice are things I will always strive to do as the President of this team. I want all of our leaders to have his character, professionalism, and integrity.
This week we are BACK AT HOME. It'll be so good to get back to work in our own stadium as we host a club that we share the same interstate beltway with. The "Battle of the Beltway" is the namesake of this rivalry, and it has me thinking about ways that we can impact our community on a much deeper level. This will also be our Crucial Catch game to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Think Pink, a campaign started by Tanya Snyder to raise awareness for breast cancer research and to honor individuals who have battled the disease. LET'S GO WASHINGTON!